William R. Polk

William R. Polk, BA and Ph.D. (Harvard), BA and MA (Oxford) taught at Harvard until 1961, when President John F. Kennedy asked him to become the member of the Policy Planning Council responsible for planning American policy for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. There he headed the interagency task force that helped to bring about the end of the Algerian war and served as one of three members of the Crisis Management Committee during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1965, he became a professor of history at the University of Chicago and in 1967 he founded and became president of the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs. In 1970, at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, he negotiated the Suez cease-fire with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. His books on international affairs include The United States and the Arab World; The Elusive Peace: The Middle East in the 20th Century; Neighbors and Strangers: The Fundamentals of Foreign Affairs; Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism & Guerrilla War, From the American Revolution to Iraq; Understanding Iraq; Out of Iraq (with Sen. George McGovern); Understanding Iran; and the forthcoming Crusade and Jihad: The Thousand Year War between the Muslim World and the Global North.

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