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Henry Kissinger Used Cold Realpolitik to Create Order in the Middle East. Did it Work?

January 06, 2022
00:00 52:35
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More than twenty years have elapsed since the United States last brokered a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In that time, three presidents have tried and failed. Today’s guest, Martin Indyk—a former United States ambassador to Israel and special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2013—has experienced these political frustrations and disappointments firsthand.

To understand the arc of American diplomatic influence in the Middle East, Indyk returns to the origins of American-led peace efforts and to Henry Kissinger, the man who created the Middle East peace process. He is the author of the new book “Master of the Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy.” He discusses the unique challenges and barriers Kissinger and his successors have faced in their attempts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Based on newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, extensive interviews with Kissinger, and Indyk’s own interactions with some of the main players, the author takes readers inside the pivotal negotiations and reveals how American diplomacy operates behind closed doors. He argues that understanding Kissinger’s design for Middle East peacemaking is key to comprehending how—and how not—to make peace.

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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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