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The Much Too Promised Land

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  123 ratings  ·  18 reviews
For nearly twenty years, Aaron David Miller has played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace as an advisor to presidents, secretaries of state, and national security advisors. Without partisanship or finger-pointing, Miller records what went right, what went wrong, and how we got where we are today. Here is a look at the peace process from a place at ...more
ebook, 250 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2008)
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Part memoir, part history, part journalism, this book by a veteran Arab-Israeli peace negotiator should appeal to Mideast junkies who still believe in the "peace process."
A disclaimer: I covered many of these same events as State Dept. correspondent for Reuters from 1989-94. I was present at some of the events Miller describes; I traveled with Secretaries Baker and Christopher. I even interviewed Miller himself on background a number of times. (He seemed to like chatting to reporters on backgro
Despite being excessively anecdotal and meandering at times, Miller's book is useful and interesting on several accounts. First, he provides one of the best available outlines of the history of America's role in Arab-Israeli peace processes, especially the Carter-Sadat-Begin Camp David negotiations, as well as the Baker-Arafat-Rabin Madrid and Oslo processes. Second, he details his personal role in the recent and ongoing roles in the frustrated Wye River and Camp David negotiations between Clint ...more
A wowably infomative and comprehensive look at the efforts to make peace between Israel and Palestine with a very personal flavor.But damn! Miller was dropping names like a shetetl pissing in high cotton (he also dropped COMPLICATED, NON-SENSICAL metaphors like a bullfrog scraping its balls on the ground) so sometimes I felt out of the loop, or that I should have read "The Dummies Guide to the Middle East" first. In fact, I went out right away and BOUGHT "The Dummies Guide to the Middle East." S ...more
I have read a lot of books about this conflict as it has always fascinated me. I have an American friend who emigrated to Israel for personal reasons rather than political, but I think it might be impossible to do that without making the political statement also. My eyes were opened a long time ago to the reality of the Palestinian oppression and the apartheid situation being created there. President Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, was another eye opener, although he is criticized ...more
I've read many books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This one offers a more personal account than any other I've come across.

Miller was directly involved for twenty years on behalf of the United States in Middle Eastern affairs. His account of what has happened since the 1973 war is quite readable and much easier to follow than the more detailed accounts of specific negotiations available elsewhere.

I believe most readers will finish the book with a good outline of what happened and why from
This is probably closer to a 3.5.

Hmm...what do I say about this book? Dr. Miller spent a long time from (as I recall) some of the 70s through the early years of G.W. Bush as part of the U.S. diplomatic team dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In this book, he shares some of his experiences and perspective on the Arab/Israeli peace process, though, strangely, he doesn't seem to go much into recounting his own tales from the front.

My main impression, after reading this, was ambivalence
This is a fabulous book by one of the great insiders in US middle eastern diplomacy. Worthwhile for the anecdotes alone. What is Arafat really like? This book does better than some biographies I've read about the man. And that's only one of the thumbnail sketches of the great and influential.
The larger picture is also worth evaluating. This is a stunning portrait of 25 years of US diplomacy trying to bring about Israel-Palestine peace. Why did so much fail? Why wasn't the US more influential? At
Homer H Blass
A very good book on American diplomacy around the Israeli-Palestanian issue. Miller not only worked with American Presidents from Reagan to Bush 2 but he also arranged for a series of interviews with the most important Americans involved before he wrote this book. He feels only three Americans: James Baker; Henry Kissinger; and Jimmy Carter succeeded in their objectives, Kissinger set up the international situation to make the Israeli-Egyptian Treaty possible; Carter got the Israeli-Egyptian Pea ...more
The Author, Aaron David Miller, has extensive experience with Mid-East peace negotiations over the years with various U.S. administrations. He describes the atitudes and approaches of past Presidents and Secretaries of State, Arafat, and various Israeli leaders in peace negotiations over the years. He also discusses some of the more subtle influences on U.S. policy, including the effectiveness and significant impact of the Israel Lobby influencing congressional lawmakers, and the lack of an effe ...more
May 27, 2011 Bob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bob by: David Abelson
Written at the end of 2008, this is an excellent history of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by a high level US government insider during the 1980s and 1990s. The perspective is "how can America help the parties resolve their main issues (Jerusalem, borders, refugees, Palestinian statehood)" and "why should it matter to America" - both very well addressed. Recommended reading for those interested in the history of current events. He quotes Faulkner, "The past is never dead. It's not even p ...more
This is what I am currently reading. I could never make it in the diplomatic corps of ANY country. Personally, I have a great difficulty in rewarding peoples peace and appeasement for bad behavior. That pretty much was the message coming from Aaron David Miller. Stay tuned, I will have a full book review in the near future.
Couldn't quite make it through. In theory it's easy to read: conversational and casual, but it's not organized into a story, which makes it hard to follow and care about the players in the book -- even though this is a book you read because you care or are interested in the issue. Kind of disappointing.
Probably tied with Thomas Friedman's book as my favorite book on the Middle East. Great overview of the last 20 years of American diplomatic involvement by one of the actors. Balanced and self-critical. Made me want to read more about it - what more can you ask for?
Very good history of American's involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Includes interviews with Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, James Baker, Bill Clinton. Miller also offers prescriptions for what a new President and administration should be focused on.
If I had to pick one guy to explain the historical American point of view regarding this topic, this would be the guy.
Andrew Griffith
For those interested in the Mid-East, one of the better books of various US peace and diplomatic initiatives from an insider.
It was a good read, but gloomy. See full review at
Found this too boring, too much profanity, didn't finish it.
Miranda Haley
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