Reviews for Enemies and allies : an unforgettable journey inside the fast-moving & immensely turbulent modern Middle East

Publishers Weekly
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Novelist and former political strategist Rosenberg (Damascus Countdown) attempts to explain the modern Middle East in this underwhelming collection of interviews with key political players. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel, Rosenberg is well-connected in the region, and his access to interview subjects such as Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi creates a unique opportunity for English-speaking audiences to hear directly from these leaders. Rosenberg’s accompanying commentary, however, is blatantly politically biased, making this ultimately a work of advocacy rather than scholarship; his religious worldview shapes his interpretations, to the point that the book’s chapter on the future of faith in the region focuses solely on the presence of evangelical Christianity, and he never misses an opportunity to denigrate Barack Obama and praise Donald Trump. The book also spends as much time on the author as on his interview subjects, frequently belaboring what personal connections led to any given interview or emphasizing Rosenberg’s humble responses to his interviewee’s graciousness. Readers already in agreement with Rosenberg’s worldview may appreciate the extra facts and detail provided, but others seeking new insights or nuance should steer clear. (Sept.)