- February 4, 2023
- Posted by: Chad
Walter Russell Mead
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD is James Clark Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship at Hudson Institute, and the Global View columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He served as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in American Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and as a Brady-Johnson Fellow in Grand Strategy at Yale University. He is the author of four books including God and Gold, and Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World. He lives in Washington, D.C.
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • A groundbreaking work that overturns the conventional understanding of the Israeli-American relationship and, in doing so, explores how fundamental debates about American identity drive our country’s foreign policy.
In this bold examination of the Israeli-American relationship, Walter Russell Mead demolishes the myths that both pro-Zionists and anti-Zionists have fostered over the years. He makes clear that Zionism has always been a divisive subject in the American Jewish community, and that American Christians have often been the most fervent supporters of a Jewish state, citing examples from the time of J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller to the present day.
He spotlights the almost forgotten story of left-wing support for Zionism, arguing that Eleanor Roosevelt and liberal New Dealers had more influence on President Truman’s Israel policy than the American Jewish community–and that Stalin’s influence was more decisive than Truman’s in Israel’s struggle for independence. Mead shows how Israel’s rise in the Middle East helped kindle both the modern evangelical movement and the Sunbelt coalition that carried Reagan into the White House. Highlighting the real sources of Israel’s support across the American political spectrum, he debunks the legend of the so-called “Israel lobby.” And, he describes the aspects of American culture that make it hostile to anti-Semitism and warns about the danger to that tradition of tolerance as our current culture wars heat up. With original analysis and in lively prose, Mead illuminates the American-Israeli relationship, how it affects contemporary politics, and how it will influence the future of both that relationship and American life.
“In his history of America, Israel, and the Jewish people, Walter Russell Mead deftly explores contentious issues with powers of empathy and analysis for which he is known from his columns. The Arc of a Covenant is an extraordinary contribution to the growing literature on the complexities and opportunities of U.S. foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East. A thoughtful, learned, and engaging book.”—Henry Kissinger
“Passionate and scholarly, insightful and inspiring, The Arc of a Covenant is an essential work for historians, journalists, and decision-makers, and all those wishing to understand the depth of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Walter Russell Mead, the world’s leading expert on the role of faith in American foreign policy, has provided us with a masterwork.”—Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States
“Walter Russell Mead is today’s most penetrating writer on geopolitics because he also is an extraordinarily accomplished historian. roader of this mind-opening book will acquire a fresh understanding of the United States, of Israel, and of the surprisingly complex relations between two of the world’s most vibrant democracies.” —George F. Will, syndicated columnist.
This book reshapes our understanding of the American-Israel relationship and its Jewish components, elegantly dispatching misconceptions and prejudices to show the genuine dynamics at work. An erudite, graceful, and altogether necessary work.” —Rabbi David Wolpe, author of Why Faith Matters