Cursed Is the Peacemaker

America's master of high-stakes crisis diplomacy was the bellowing, exuberant Philip Habib. His 1981-83 mission as Ronald Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East remains America's most important Middle East diplomatic effort since 1979. The results were a mix of dramatic success and humiliating failure.

For a generation, the inside story of Habib's mission was classified. Cursed Is the Peacemaker reveals what really happened behind closed doors. Based on newly declassified records and extensive interviews with participants, the book focuses on how Habib negotiated an end to Israel's 1982 siege of Beirut.

The siege's architect was Israel's then-defense minister Ariel Sharon. While Sharon raced to conclude the siege violently, Habib raced to conclude it peacefully. Thwarted at every turn and risking his life to fight impossible odds, Habib pulled off what George Shultz calls a miracle.

This is a story of conflict between allies: between the US and Israel during some of the darkest days of their relations, and between Habib and Sharon. The story of their rivalry provides rare insight into the world of high-stakes crisis diplomacy and US-Israel relations at a turning point in Middle East history.

Cursed Is the Peacemaker book cover



The American Diplomat Versus
the Israeli General, Beirut 1982

by John Boykin, foreword by George Shultz

American Academy of Diplomacy book award

Video of AAD acceptance speech (6 min., 22 sec.)

Sample chapter (The War That Got Away)

Sample chapter (The Other Side of the Moon)

Reviews and endorsements

A selection of the Diplomats and Diplomacy Book Series sponsored by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) and Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR)

GET A COPY: Print copies are sold out, though some are still available through the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) and Amazon.

Applegate Press, 2002
ISBN 0-9719432-0-6

Arabic translation published by Dar An Nahar, Beirut, 2002