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Summary

A necessary and unprecedented account of America's changing relationship with Israel.

When it comes to Israel, US policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel's security. Today, our ties to Israel are close - so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way.

Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping US policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly 30 years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton's envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies.

In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president's attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach. Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned.

Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape US policy in that light.

©2015 Dennis Ross (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

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  • Jean
  • 21-11-15

Even Handed Report

This is an absolutely fascinating book so packed with information I could hardly put it down. Dennis Ross has served as one of the United States Middle Eastern policy makers through four recent administrations. Ross states this is not a history of Arab-Israeli peace efforts but rather a discussion of the evolution of Israeli-American diplomatic relations. Ross discusses the relationship with each president starting with Truman’s recognition of Israel just eleven minutes after its Declaration of Statehood in 1948.

Ross enumerates the number of factors leading to a strengthening of the ties during the Cold War. The author also covers the problems for the U.S. regarding the Israel-Arab hostilities mostly “The Palestinian Question.” Ross discusses each of the key people including the America’s own Machiavelli, Henry Kissinger. The author also investigates the relationship of Israel’s prime ministers along with the United States presidents. I found it most interesting to learn how the various Presidents interacted with their Secretary of State’s; some presented the big picture of what they wanted to achieve and left the Secretary of State on their own to implement, others like Obama controlled everything from the White House and the Secretary of State was just an errand boy. I found a comment made by Ross most interesting and it triggered me to do a literature search to verify the comment. The comment is the Palestinians have never initiated a peace offering in all these years.

The book is well researched and also provides eyewitness accounts of the history it analyses. The author writes clearly and elucidates the complexities of the United States-Israel relationship and also the larger picture of the Middle East. The book is thoughtful and even handed in covering the material. The book is fairly long at almost 500 pages or 19 audio hours. Michael Kramer did a good job narrating the book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Goldston
  • 11-04-16

Insider View of US-Israel Relations

There is probably no one better positioned to provide this panoramic historical review of the US - Israel relationship. You will need some fair background to understand the story - Do you remember the Sinai Campaign of 1956? - but Dennis Ross provides a lot of useful perspective. He emphasizes that our Arab friends do not prioritize resolving the Israel - Palestinian conflict, but he has devoted countless years to trying to resolve it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tamir Orbach
  • 12-05-18

Great book with terrible narrator.

This is an important book, and very good. Its really unfortunate that the narrator who read this for Audible is so boring. I found it very difficult to listen to his voice without getting tired.

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  • Oren Magnezy
  • 19-12-17

A must-have for political junkies

Ross' account is extensive, accurate, and reflective. in addition to providing a rare Insider's perspective, he is also forthcoming about his own opinions and decision-making, and presents with much intellectual integrity opposing opinions and approaches to the us-israel relationship. Ross' writing and storytelling adequately compensates for Michael Kramer's somewhat archaic an stiff narration.

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  • Mendy Moscowitz
  • 14-07-17

Fantastic

This is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the Israeli Arab conflict. Mr Ross gives a brief history of each presidents relationship with Israel, and proves how the Arab leaders have bigger priorities and concerns than this ongoing conflict. America should stop being so concerned with Arab nations overreacting to our treatment of Israel.

The narrater was also great.

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  • Jonathan
  • 24-06-17

excellent and very informative but often dense

well written and narrated. often dense with detail that is hard to follow, but very informative. changed my view of many of the players.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-02-17

Incredible Book!

Incredible, comprehensive, scholarly, and most of all insightful. Probably the best book ever written on the U.S.-Israeli relationship and one of the best books pertaining to Israel. Dennis Ross should be every President's Secretary of State.

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  • Ofer
  • 16-02-17

a real view of politic between states.

loved the book! A rare look on states relationship between state as function of time. a detail explanation how personal view can impact.

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  • Marc
  • 02-01-16

Nothing new here

I have read many books on this subject but this one is not one of the better. The language is pretty dull and the author tells the anecdotes of his role in different negotiations without any real enthusiasm. The narrator is very monotone also, compared to other narrators you can find through Audible.

I would recommend Cursed Victory by Ahron Bregman over this, even though it's focused on Israel's occupied territories. Or the Prime Ministers, which is of course only focused on the Israel side of things.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Eyal Mintz
  • 06-05-18

ספר מצוין, גם אם לא מושלם

סיימתי לקרוא את ספרו של דניס רוס, "doomed to succeed", שבוחן את מערכת היחסים של ארה"ב עם ישראל מהקמת המדינה (טרומן) ועד לתום ממשל אובמה. בשורה התחתונה - ממליץ, גם אם הספר אינו מושלם.

רוס, שהיה מעורב בתפקידי עיצוב מדיניות בכל הממשלים מרייגן ועד אובמה (מינוס בוש הבן) מתמקד ביחסים עם ישראל דרך המשקפת של הנשיא, מחמ"ד, משה"ג והnsc.

הספר רחב ומקיף. בחלקו הראשון כולל סקירה היסטורית. החלק השני נשען יותר על חוויותיו האישיות, המרתקות, של רוס.

הספר לא נטול מגרעות. הוא נשען יותר מדי על ניסיונו ולכן מתמקד בחלק השני בסכסוך, אולי יתר על המידה. הוא גם מתמקד בזוית הממשלית ומזניח זויות ניתוח אחרות נדרשות ליחסים. רוס גם מושקע בנושא ולא מתמודד עם הכתיבה האחרת בנושא. הוא נע בין האישי למרוחק. בכך קסמו של הספר אך גם חולשותיו.

אבל בסה"כ - למתעניינים בנושא, הספר מוצלח ומומלץ מאד.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful