(PDF) Thirteen Days in September BY Lawrence Wright

Begin It praises him for having the courage to something tangible the land of the Sinai Peninsula something phemeral peace the land of the Sinai Peninsula for something Buried ephemeral peace it also faults him for making virtually noffort to revolve the Palestinian problem which remains vexing almost forty years later In the nd the book leaves one with a sense of the normity of trying to arrive a comprehensive solution to the problems of the Middle East but also with a sense of hope about what imperfect human beings are able to accomplish A fascinating and in depth account of the thirteen days spent at Camp David Maryland in 1978 where US President Jimmy Carter arranged and brokered a Peace accord between Egypt and Israel Lawrence Wright did a phenomenal job researching and providing background information on all the key players He made it very clear what ach individual as well as ach country had to gain and lose by agreeing to undertake such a momentous task I was awed by how intricate the nuances and wording of very line in the agreement was hammered out and to what xtent both world leaders were willing to budge or hold unto A remarkable read which helps xplain the situation the Middle East is still currently negotiating It is striking that in a region as "intimate as the Middle East cultural ignorance and political miscalculation have played such perverse roles By "as the Middle East cultural ignorance and political miscalculation have played such perverse roles By the new country of Israel in 1948 the Arabs lost the chance to create an ntity for Palestine Through its policy of xpulsion of the native population Israel destabilized its neighbors and created a reservoir of future terrorists that was continually refreshed by new wars and population transfers In surely what is the most intimately detailed report of the Carter Camp David Accords collected for public consumption Lawrence Wright gives us a look at the men who came to that place in 1978 to wage peace Chapter headings mark the thirteen days of talks and within ach day we are treated to the increasingly stuffy and claustrophobic internal debates which contrasted with the comfortable and laid back atmosphere of the country playground As the chapters unfold so do brief histories and biographies of the men who played a role Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan Israeli Minister of Defence Ezer Weizman Prime Minister of Israel and leader of the minority coalition Likud Menachem Begin Egypt s deputy Prime Minister Hassan al Tohamy Egypt s new Foreign Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel Egyptian President Anwar Sadat US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance American first term President Jimmy Carter The men are merely men with all the ticks scars and faults of men What is so breathtaking is that the lives of so many depended on these men acting like statesmen By meeting at Camp David all three men were taking huge political risks for their own lives and careers One might argue that the risks never left the personal realm None of them really took risks with the nations they represented Carter continued to financially and politically support both countries Begin never changed his determination to settle confiscated lands and Egypt simply withdrew support for Palestinians it had previously protected Wright concentrates his focus on the Israeli and Egyptian delegations We get a look at Jimmy and Roslyn Carter their background and rise to prominence in Washington and Jimmy Carter s team of advisors but we get a detailed look at what was happening in the other camps as talks progressed through two weeks in September We learn too of the wars fought in the name of legitimate rights which brought these men to Camp David There was a dangling thread that did. Days of the Camp David conference delving deeply into the issues and nmities between the two nations xplaining the relevant background to the conflict and to all the major participants at the conference from the three heads of state to their mostly well known seconds working furiously behind the scenes What A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, emerges is not what we've come to think of as an unprecedented yet simple peace Rather Wright reveals the fullxtent of Carter's persis. On November 19 1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made a momentous journey when he visited Jerusalem First it led to the Camp David Agreement between Egypt and Israel The Shadow Reader effectively removing Israel s strongestnemy from the "Battlefield Second It Cost The Egyptian Leader "Second it cost the Egyptian leader life as he was assassinated by Islami In the hands of a good author history can be absolutely gripping I was as nthralled with this book as any fictional thriller I learned a LOT and not just about the Camp David accord The author included a great deal of Camp David accord The author included a great deal of information about so many of the people involved to greater and lesser degrees in this historic meeting The middle ast is such a complicated place and this book helped straighten much of it out for me One of the things I came away with is that very side the British the French the Americans the Israelis the Palestinians the Arabs all have made mistakes choosing at critical moments to scalate hostilities instead of looking to the future and looking for other options And at the same time I also feel that there have been individuals who have tried against all odds and pressure to move in the right direction Lawrence Wright masterfully reviews and analyzes in detail the days leading up to the Camp David Accords in September 1978 This My new favorite nonfiction subgenre is Stuff That Happened When I Was Alive But Not Old Enough to Understand It is necessarily a very specific topic area of interest to a very specific audience While I don t The Power Of A Choice exactly remember these thirteen days I remember the peace agreements signing ceremony and wondering why it was such a big deal Of course I have spent seeminglyvery other day since then getting taught why these accords were important As with so many things in history the Camp David agreements were both an astounding success and abject failure They succeeded in brokering a peace between Israel and Egypt but succeeded in brokering a peace between Israel and Egypt but the issue of a homeland for Palestinians aside And as is often the case when history is xamined through the lives of the real humans who made it one is constantly reminded that so much depends on who is at the table and what the have xperienced as well as who is staffing the table and what brilliant ideas they come up with in the hallway This relatively short well written book provides an xcellent xamination of the Camp David peace conference of 1978 which resulted in the first peace treaty between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors I was drawn to the book not only because of the subject matter but because its author Lawrence Wright wrote one of the best books that I have The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right ever read the Pulitzer Prize winningxamination of the history of al aeda The Looming Tower His current book did not disappoint Not only does it provide a day by day account of the Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling events in Camp David but it ingeniously weaves into the narrative a history of Arab Israeli conflict up to that moment in time as well as the backgrounds of the key protagonists President Jimmy Carter Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat I had alwaysnvisioned Carter s role as that of the wise low key benevolent peace maker but this book shows him to have been very very tough when he needed to be which was Monsieur Pain every time that the talks were threatened with collapse which happened a number of times Carter was not afraid to use his power as President to threaten the other two leaders with serious repercussions if a framework for peace was not worked out And while the book points out the frailties of all of the individuals involved it lays the blame for the conference s failure to produce a comprehensive peace for thentire Middle East at the feet of. A dramatic illuminating day by day account of the 1978 Camp David conference when President Jimmy Carter convinced Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to sign a peace treaty the first treaty in the modern Middle East and one which ndures to this day With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill Lawrence Wright takes us through ach of the thirteen. Not get resolved at Camp David though two of the three parties believed it had been resolved In the months after the agreement was signed that dangling thread became part of the noose which helped to hang the careers of Carter and Sadat Menachem Begin "claimed he had not agreed to a settlement freeze while discussions with Palestinians continued but only for three months "he had not agreed to a settlement freeze while discussions with Palestinians continued but only for three months the side letter that Carter and Sadat believed Begin had promised to produce the concession was moot and not part of the original accordBegin returned to Israel triumphant only to lose his closest advisors to resignations for his continued unwillingness to honor the spirit of the agreement he d signed Sadat was murdered by his own people three years later Carter having spent so much time on the ffort of achieving the peace had neglected his other duties and lost much support among his party and his lectorateThis was a time in Israeli Arab relations when any observer could not be blamed for feeling despair The Israelis were gloating and acting invincible with America s money and support The Palestinians were further marginalized and weakened by their loss of Egyptian backing and lack of good leadership The conditions spelled out in the agreement continue to hold but there is little sense of jubilation now This book must have been a difficult one to research and write which only manages to shine a light on Wright s achievement He captures the ups and downs of high stakes negotiation and gives us a feel for the real work involved in the process There is little xhilaration here Mostly there was just terror and relief In a final note Wright tells the story of one of Begin s closest advisors Ezer Weizman who was known to be a raging hawk in when it came to Protecting Israel With Military One Day His Israel with military One day his was shot between the yes in an Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. engagement At that point Weizman began to see the futility of war Man seems determined to learn this lesson again and again and not soonnough A detailed account of the Camp David peace summit in 1978 between Egypt s Anwar Sadat and Israel s Menachem Begin refereed by US President Jimmy CarterWright draws vivid portraits of the principals the logical well intentioned Carter the intransigent Begin and the moderate and accommodating SadatReading this book the reader will come to understand what worked and what didn t of the Treaties How Egypt was temporarily isolated from the Arab world how Begin subseuently blew the whole thing up through overreaching and how the summit s failure to address Palestinian self determination planted the seeds of Islamist xtremism Yet Israel and Egypt have remained at peace since that time which is not an inconsiderable accomplishmentThis book is well worth reading as was Wright s previous book on Scientology Going Clear I know very little about the Middle East and the origins of all the conflicts that plague the region I was curious and picked up The Looming Tower and THIS BOOK AS AFTER FINISHING GOING book as After finishing Going I was hungry for some Lawrence Wright and this book didn t disappoint His talent for depicting leaders in all the highs and lows of their humanity is pretty astounding Carter Begin and Sadat all come across as plagued by different personal neuroses driven by disparate hopes and incapable of ven agreeing on the same goals Still these three men managed to iron out an admittedly flawed set of peace accords in less than two weeks against all odds and that remains impressive to this day Wright also does a great job of portraying how ach man s deeply held religious convictions both hampered and helped these talks He s an incredible journalist and he told this story so well. Tence in pushing peace forward the xtraordinary way in which the participants at the conference many of them lifelong nemies attained it and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians In Thirteen Days in September Wright gives us a gripping work of history and reportage that provides an inside view of how peace is made. .

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Thirteen Days in September
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