The Elusive Peace (Routledge Revivals): The Middle East in the Twentieth Century, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Elusive Peace (Routledge Revivals)

The Middle East in the Twentieth Century, 1st Edition

By William R. Polk


194 pages

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The Elusive Peace, first published in 1979, highlights the crucial developments in the Middle East during the twentieth century: the coming of nationalism, the struggle for independence, the effects of the Cold War and the four ‘hot wars’ in the Middle East. The numerous attempts to solve the conflicts, and the ultimate failure of such attempts, are discussed with particular reference to the war in Lebanon, and its relation to larger conflicts. As an American emissary during the Kennedy, Johnston and Nixon years, William Polk is unique in his ability to assess the key personalities and provide thorough analysis, considering Sadat and Begin, and the American policies of Dulles and Kissinger. This is a fascinating and inclusive study which provides essential background to the on-going turmoil in the Middle East.


"I can’t remember a better general book on the whole region" – The New Statesman

"William Polk, a professional in history and diplomacy … manages to simplify without distorting the region’s problems of war and peace, of wealth and poverty, and of adaptation to the modern world, setting them against a background of political and cultural history" – Foreign Affairs

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I 1. Memories of the Past 2. The Rise of Nationalism 3. The Struggle for Independence 4. The Growth of Capacity; Part II 5. The Cold War 6. Hot Wars 7. American Diplomacy 8. Lebanon and Palestine 9. Begin and Sadat; Part III 10. Potential for the Future 11. Conclusion; Appendix A: The Camp David Agreement; Appendix B: Framework for an Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty; Appendix C: Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Arab Republic of Egypt; Appendix D: Memorandum of Agreement on Assurances signed by the U.S. Secretary of State Mr Cyrus Vance, and the Israel Foreign Minister, Mr Moshe Dayan, on 26 March 1979; Index; Bibliographical Note

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies