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Cauldron of Turmoil was written as a history--that I hoped to present in an exciting narrative way--of the dramatic developments in the Persian Gulf in the 1970s and 1980s and how they made this area the highest priority for U.S. foreign policy. The combination of Iran’s Islamist revolution and the Iran-Iraq War transformed the Gulf region from a relatively quiet backwater into the world’s most tumultuous lands. It gave rise to the modern powerful movement of revolutionary Islamism. And later, it would produce the Kuwait war, American invasion of Iraq, and the September 11 attacks, among other events.
Yet America and Americans were not prepared for this new priority and challenge in a part of the world about which they knew little and understood less. Even today, two decades after this book’s publication by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, those statements still remain largely true. Indeed, the book’s analysis and conclusions still remain accurate for the period covered. I hope you will find Cauldron of Turmoil accurate and even enjoyable as the story of this fascinating region and of the remarkable events that unfolded there.