John Waterbury

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2015
John Waterbury
Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Kroenig advances a serious, but not entirely convincing, argument in favor of a U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities: the United States has the military capability to destroy all known Iranian nuclear facilities without committing any ground troops to the task. 

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

This collection on environmental history includes pieces on topics ranging from the environment’s effect on the longevity of empires to estimates of the size of the daily catch enjoyed by fishermen in medieval Istanbul.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Despite his years as a Middle East analyst for the CIA, the National Intelligence Council, and the RAND Corporation, Fuller is a fierce critic of U.S. policy in the region. He spreads the blame for the Middle East’s woes among Western powers and local actors.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Robert Ames was an influential CIA operative in the Middle East who was killed in the blast that leveled the U.S. embassy in Beirut in April 1983. Bird argues that for more than a decade, Ames was the sole U.S. conduit to Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2014
John Waterbury

Abbas seeks to answer a basic question: Why did the Afghan Taliban rebound after U.S.-led forces defeated them in 2001–2? His answers spare none of the region’s main players.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Women in the Middle East suffer more from the inequities of globalization than from patriarchy. Indeed, argues Abu-Lughod, well-intentioned Western feminism has served as a cover for the U.S.-led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, harming women. 

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Many observers have explored the question of whether Islamist moderation is tactical or sincere. Hamid’s answer is clear: it is tactical.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Shah is a strong advocate for civilian control of military forces, and his book explores why such control has consistently eluded Pakistan’s government.

Capsule Review
SEPT/OCT
2014
John Waterbury

Arab millenials have the opportunity to promote their agendas by politicizing social media. The question is whether they will be able to do so in the face of determined repression and censorship.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

Al-Ali returned to Iraq as a legal adviser to the United Nations during the U.S. occupation. All his attempts to reform the post-Saddam state failed; this book is his lament.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

These books present two very different takes on the most dynamic part of the Arab world.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

No former editor in chief of the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz would likely be kind to Ariel Sharon, the recently deceased Israeli leader, and Landau is not.

Capsule Review
May/June
2014
John Waterbury

Porter argues that Iran’s nuclear energy program is peaceful and that widely cited evidence of the Islamic Republic’s attempts to design nuclear weapons relies on fabrications concocted by Israel and the United States.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2014
John Waterbury

This collection calls into question, not always convincingly, a body of scholarship dubbed “transitology,” which emphasizes the positive role played by civil society during the transitions to democracy in eastern Europe and Latin America.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2014
John Waterbury

Muasher, a former foreign minister and former deputy prime minister of Jordan, has produced an optimistic liberal manifesto. Ayoob, a political scientist, is more pessimistic and sees looming chaos throughout the region.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2014
John Waterbury

Migdal’s intriguing analysis rests on a somewhat revisionist take of the main phases of U.S. Middle East policy, which forces readers to reconsider some conventional wisdom.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2014
John Waterbury

Predicting business as usual is always the safest bet. Davidson follows a riskier path, predicting that the monarchies and emirates of the Arabian Peninsula will collapse within the next five years.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
John Waterbury

Levitt, a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Treasury Department, focuses on Hezbollah’s operations outside Lebanon in near-excruciating detail.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
John Waterbury

Brown and Rassler argue that the Haqqanis have played a greater role in the region’s anti-American jihad than has al Qaeda.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
John Waterbury

The West should have sensed that something was coming, since systemic changes had already been roiling Arab societies for some time.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
John Waterbury

These studies bring together leading experts on Syrian affairs and conflict resolution. Both studies confirm that the Syrian civil war presents stakeholders with many options, all of them bad.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2014
John Waterbury

This book will be read carefully in Tehran, Washington, and Tel Aviv; Pollack lays out the strategic factors the United States must take into account when deciding how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
John Waterbury

This carefully researched book focuses on food security in the Middle East, especially in the Persian Gulf and on the Arabian Peninsula, but it ranges far beyond that subject to delve into the relative impact of oil and food on international trade and the likely effects of climate change on agricultural markets.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2013
John Waterbury

Drawing on his experience as a New York Times correspondent, Rohde argues that U.S. policy in the Middle East should rely less on military strength and that Washington should stop throwing aid money at problems in the region.