January 2, 2013

Reviews of "Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran"

"Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran" by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett will be available next week, January 8, 2013.

Below are excerpts from short reviews of the book by Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, professor Anatol Lieven, and professor Andrew J. Bacevich. [Source: Amazon.com]
"One needn’t agree with every word in Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett’s new book, Going to Tehran, to grasp its basic truth: U.S. Iran policy is delusional. To shatter this ‘sorry Scheme of Things,’ as the Persian poet describes it, will require a U.S. President with courage, audacity and political skill. It will also require a plan not too different from what the Leveretts lay out."—Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell

"This brilliant book eviscerates the American case for continued belligerence toward Iran.  The evidence of an Iranian bomb is just not there, the Leveretts write, and American diplomacy should be focused on resolving the conflict, and not expanding it.  There is a precedent—Nixon and Kissinger's stunning reversal of policy toward China in 1971 that produced the Shanghai Communique, with its public call for mutual respect and a reduction of tensions.  It is time, the book concludes, for an American president to reach for peace and go to Tehran." —Seymour Hersh, staff writer, The New Yorker
"This courageous and important book contains the three elements that are necessary for a rethinking of US policy towards Iran: a rigorous critique of the intellectual foundations of present strategy; a devastating expose of misreporting of Iran in the Western media; and a set of bold ideas for how the present dangerous impasse in relations can be broken. It should be essential reading for policymakers and journalists alike."—Anatol Lieven, professor of War Studies, King's College London; senior fellow of the New America Foundation
"Armchair warriors howling to have a go at Iran will denounce this book: you can count on it. Those who have had a bellyful of needless wars will have a different view. Going to Tehran is balanced, sober, impressively documented, and rich in insight. As an antidote to the warmongering that passes for analysis of Iran and US-Iranian relations, its appearance could hardly be more welcome or more timely."—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
On their new website, Going To Tehran, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett write:
The next six-to-twenty-four months are likely to be an extremely consequential period for U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.  We want both our new book and this blog to make the most constructive contribution possible to American and international discussion of how Washington should deal with Tehran.  We invite all to join the conversation.
The book is featured on ForeignPolicy.com's list, "What to Read in 2013." Margaret Slattery, the author of the list, says:
Former officials in the CIA, State Department, and National Security Council between the two of them, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have long called for the United States to engage with Iran. After heightened rhetoric from Israeli and U.S. politicians and commentators in 2012, the Mann Leverett duo's sure to be controversial new book argues that concerns about Iran's nuclear program have been overblown. The country is ready for a change, they say, calling for a bold overture from the United States akin to Richard Nixon's historic visit to China.
In addition, read, "The Mad Mullah Myth: The dangers of misunderstanding Iran," which was published in Harper's November 2012 issue

II. Update [March 3].

Chase Madar's review of Going to Tehran.

Gareth Porter's review.