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The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East

by Michael F. Cairo

Availablecloth$35.00s 978-0-8131-3672-1
Availableweb pdf$35.00s 978-0-8131-3673-8
Availableepub$35.00s 978-0-8131-4074-2
Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace
232 pages  Pubdate: 11/01/2012  6 x 9  3 maps

Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush both led the United States through watershed events in foreign relations: the end of the Cold War and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many high-level cabinet members and advisers played important foreign policy roles in both administrations, most notably Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice. Both presidents perceived Saddam Hussein as a significant threat and took action against Iraq. But was the George W. Bush administration really just “Act II” of George H. W. Bush’s administration?

In The Gulf, Michael F. Cairo reveals how, despite many similarities, father and son pursued very different international strategies. He explores how the personality, beliefs, and leadership style of each man influenced contemporary U.S. foreign policy. Contrasting the presidents’ management of American wars in Iraq, approach to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and relationships with their Israeli counterparts, Cairo offers valuable insights into two leaders who left indelible marks on U.S. international relations. The result is a fresh analysis of the singular role the executive office plays in shaping foreign policy.

Michael F. Cairo is associate professor of political science at Transylvania University.

This book is a remarkable accomplishment. Cairo has produced what students of the modern presidency have been waiting for—a thoughtful, critical, impeccably researched, and engagingly written study of the foreign policy of the two Bushes. In the first joint study of Bush 41 and Bush 43, Cairo deftly uses both a wide selection of the available literature as well as newly opened material from the Bush Papers to show how these two men defined the policy of a generation. -- John Robert Greene, Cazenovia College

A significant contribution to scholarship. Cairo helps to put America's wars in the Middle East in the context of the larger American involvement in that region. -- Ryan Barilleaux, Miami University

Others have ventured comparisons of the Bush presidencies, but Cairo does so more methodically and systematically. His analysis is well-documented, his interpretation cogent. His finding--that personality factors such as belief and style, not simply bureaucratic politics or international context, explain the marked contrast in the effectiveness of two Bush policies toward Iraq and the Mideast peace process--represents a significant corrective to the literature on determinants of US foreign policy. -- Robert F. Goeckel, SUNY Geneseo

The major thesis of this highly readable and well-researched book is that, more than anyhting else, the beliefs, values, and ccharacters of Bush 41 and Bush 43 shaped the contours of US foreign policy. -- Choice

I would certianly recommend Cairo's book for undergraduate and graduate courses in history and political science and for those seeking an introduction to either prsident's efforts in the Middle East. Cairo's work also provides a thought-provoking analysis that will be cited by many scholars seeking to advance the study of the making of U.S. foreign policy. -- Trevor T. Thrall -- H-Net Review

Political scientist Michael F. Cairo confronts questions of agency and decision making in this outstanding study of the two Bush presidencies, as they relate to two wars in the Gulf.

[. . .] In the end, this well-documented, elegantly written, forcefully argued book is both important and groundbreaking. This book will be of particularly high value to young scholars as a model of excellent scholarship that they may wish to follow and from which much can be learned. -- Presidential Studies Quarterly