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A Basic Introduction, 4th ed.

by Gregory Harms with Todd M. FerryLondon: Pluto Press, 2017. 304 pages.

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BACK COVER: The Palestine-Israel conflict is the subject of more disinformation and confusion than any other in living memory. This book provides a clear introduction to the issue, covering the region's history and politics from Biblical times to today.

This revised fourth edition brings readers up to date, covering dramatic recent events such as Israel's military operations in Gaza, the continuing differences and rapprochements between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian resistance and diplomacy, and the United States' ongoing relationship with Israel under Presidents Obama and Trump.

Steering clear of polemics, fake news, and side-choosing, this book traces a careful and measured path through one of the most ideologically charged conflicts of modern times.


by Gregory HarmsSanta Monica: Perceval Press, 2012. 106 pages.

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BACK COVER: When the Middle East is covered on the news or depicted in film, what is shown is a region defined almost exclusively by violence, chaos, and extremism, and a common question often arises in response: Does religion have anything to do with it?

In this concise book, Gregory Harms examines a range of topics in an effort to answer the question. As the book's title indicates, the region's woes and instability are in fact not caused by biblical or Islamic factors. Harms reveals a list of entirely secular factors and realities as he examines how and why Americans view the Arab Middle East the way they do; the history of European and U.S. involvement in the region; the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism; and how academics and the mass media tend to discuss the region and its inhabitants.

In roughly one hundred pages, the reader is shown a constellation of history and culture that will hopefully help move the conversation of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in a more grounded and precise direction.

US Foreign Policy, Israel, and World History

by Gregory HarmsLondon: Pluto Press, 2010. 240 pages.

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How did the US become a world power?
How did it become involved in the Middle East?
What is the history and nature of its "special relationship" with Israel?

AMAZON COPY: Given the increase in tensions in the Middle East, and the United States' involvement in them, news coverage is in abundance. Yet, the reportage and discussion of American foreign policy is often narrow in scope, offering little background or context. The subject is routinely treated with the vocabulary provided by government officials, presenting best intentions while conceding occasional mistakes and unfortunate incidents. As Gregory Harms demonstrates in Straight Power Concepts, the historical record bears out a different vocabulary and tells a story that sharply contrasts with the common assumptions.

In this brief and accessible account, the reader is guided through the panoramic sweep of world and American history, reviewing how the US became a world power, how the Middle East became "modern," and how Israel became an American "strategic asset." In doing so, the book provides a broad frame of reference, illustrating that recent developments are closer to business-as-usual and nothing resembling the rhetoric commonly used by heads of state, press secretaries, news media, and commentators.

As in his highly successful book The Palestine-Israel Conflict, Harms makes complex subjects accessible to everyone, without sacrificing analytical rigor. This book should be the first port of call for students and anyone seeking clarity and a historical elucidation of current events involving the United States, Israel, and the Middle East.

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