region. Particularly striking are the behind-the- Despite these shortcomings, as a historical
scenes explanations of actions during early US review of US involvement in the Middle East,
political ventures as well as Middle East peace Crisis and Crossfire serves as a good resource.
conferences. Hahn does a splendid job of setting However, readers desiring deeper analysis and
the stage for US political and economic involve- perhaps even recommended courses of action
ment in the area. for American foreign policy in the region may
Before World War II, US government officials desire to seek alternate texts.
had little interest in the Middle East. “ ‘Egypt is a
Maj Paul G. Niesen, USAF, Retired
charming place to be stationed,’ William J. Jar-
Scott AFB, Illinois
dine, the American minister to Cairo, wrote in
1932. ‘As I see it, there is not much going on
here of tremendous importance to my govern-
ment. . . . It appears to me to be quite a side- Evader: The Epic Story of the First British
show’ ” (pp. 1–2). One may reasonably conclude Airman to Be Rescued by the Com’ete Es-
that official US involvement in the Middle East cape Line in World War II by Derek Shuff.
after World War II focuses on regional stability to Spellmount Publishers, Tempus Publishing
ensure the flow of and US access to Middle East- Group (http://www.spellmount.com), The Mill,
ern oil. The author illustrates how this interest Brimscombe Port, Stroud, Gloucestershire,
arose as British influence in the region waned GL5 2QG, 2003, 216 pages, $32.95 (hardcover).
and grew more intense as the US economy be-
came more dependent on foreign oil. Hahn’s On 5 August 1941, dropping from the skies of
ensuing discussion of World War II and Cold Belgium, a British Royal Air Force Wellington 1c
War–era US government activities lead the bomber, call sign “G for George,” crash-landed in
reader through a number of security systems, Antwerp after its first successful bombing raid
treaties, and alliances that ultimately set the over enemy territory. The ensuing journey back
stage for or helped preclude future conflicts in to Allied lines was a harrowing adventure that
the region. Furthermore, Hahn shows how US Flight Sgt Jack Newman had not expected to
interest has also waxed and waned with the de- take, but through the brave actions of many re-
gree of Soviet—and, later, Russian—activity in sistance fighters from Belgium, France, and Spain,
the region. he lived to tell his story more than 50 years later
The discussion of US presidential doctrine for to Derek Shuff, author of Evader. Many strange
the Middle East is enlightening. Hahn begins twists of fate ultimately led Newman to become
with the Truman Doctrine of 1947 and works his the first British airman safely transported
way through to Pres. George W. Bush (current as through the Com’ete Escape Line.
of 2005). I was happy to see discussion not only Newman would eventually split off from the
about oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, but two other airmen from the G for George but not
also about Israel, its neighbors and their collec- before they barely escaped with their lives. Local
tive issues, and US presidential involvement in a