Edward Mortimer was until 2006 the Director of Communications in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General. He is a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer at the Salzburg Global Seminar. (April 2008)

IN THE REVIEW

Big Ideas for a New President

Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership

by Madeleine Albright, with Bill Woodward

The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation

by Strobe Talbott
Seven years have passed since the Clinton administration left office. It’s election year, and the prospects look good for a Democratic—perhaps even a Clinton—comeback. Those who served under Bill Clinton, whether or not they hope to be back in office themselves, can reasonably hope that the public will be interested …

Saying the Unsayable

Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising, and the Arab World

by Kanan Makiya
“As he has been a target for the Iraqi police, he will now be the target for Arab and pro-Arab intellectuals. The book will drive them crazy.” —A.M. Rosenthal, The New York Times, April 13, 1993 Personally I should fear the Iraqi police much more than the …

Iraq: The Road Not Taken

By mid-April, well over two million Iraqis, mainly Kurds, had fled their homes and were struggling to survive in freezing conditions on the high mountain range that forms the frontier with Iran and Turkey. A thousand a day, mainly babies and small children, were estimated to be dying either directly …

The Thief of Baghdad

Saddam Hussein: A Biography

by Fuad Matar

Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq

by Samir al-Khalil
The publications under review about the regime of Saddam Hussein have at least one thing in common: they were all written before August 2, 1990. None of the authors had foreknowledge that, in the small hours of that day, the armed forces of Iraq would invade and occupy the entire …

The Road Not Taken

The Vanished Imam: Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon

by Fouad Ajami
Beirut, 1963: a Muslim secondary-school classroom, full of eager young Arab nationalists in their final year. The visitor, a Shi’ite Muslim cleric, recent immigrant to Lebanon from Iran, doesn’t arouse much interest—even if (with hindsight at least) “there was something special about him. He cut a striking figure. His looks—he …

Yalta & the Fate of Poland

The following remarks are extracted from the proceedings of a seminar held at All Souls College, Oxford, on October 22, 1985. The seminar, one of a series on “The Partition of Europe 1945–1985,” was entitled “Yalta and the Origins of Partition.” The principal speaker was Sir Frank Roberts, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., …