Hero of the Crossing: How Anwar Sadat and the 1973 War Changed the World

Date(s) - 04/26/18
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Pritzker Military Library

Hosted by

Thomas W. Lippman, Hero of the Crossing: How Anwar Sadat and the 1973 War Changed the World


Thursday, April 26, 2018 6:00pm

Author Thomas W. Lippman visits the Museum & Library to discuss his book on the impact of Anwar Sadat’s presidency.

In eleven dramatic years, Anwar Sadat changed history—not just that of Egypt, or of the Middle East, but of the entire world. As the architect of the 1973 war against Israel, he gained the support of other Arab nations and inspired the oil embargo that transformed the global economy. Following the war, however, he forever ended Arab aspirations of unity by making peace with Israel. Early in his presidency, Sadat jettisoned Egypt’s alliance with the Soviet Union and turned to the United States, thereby giving the West a crucial Cold War victory. Sadat’s historic tenure still resonates in the twenty-first century as the Islamic activists—whom he originally encouraged but who opposed his conciliatory policy toward Israel and ultimately played a role in his assassination—continue to foster activism, including the Muslim Brotherhood, today.

Thomas W. Lippman was stationed in the Middle East as a journalist during Sadat’s presidency and lived in Egypt in the aftermath of the October War. He knew Sadat personally, but only now, after the passage of time and the long-delayed release of the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic files, can Lippman assess the full consequences of Sadat’s presidency. Hero of the Crossing provides an eye-opening account of the profound reverberations of one leader’s political, cultural, and economic maneuverings and legacy.

Thomas W. Lippman Thomas W. Lippman is an author and journalist who has written about Middle Eastern affairs and American foreign policy for four decades, specializing in Saudi Arabian affairs, U.S.- Saudi relations, and relations between the West and Islam. He is a former Middle East bureau chief of the Washington Post and also served as that newspaper’s oil and energy reporter. Throughout the 1990s, he covered foreign policy and national security for the Post, traveling frequently to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.

Lippman is the author of numerous magazine articles, book reviews and op-ed columns about Mideast affairs, and of seven books: Understanding Islam (1982, 3d revised edition 2002); Egypt After Nasser (1989); Madeleine Albright and the New American Diplomacy (2000); Inside the Mirage: America’s Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia (2004); Arabian Knight: Col .Bill Eddy USMC and the Rise of American Power in the Middle East (2008); and Saudi Arabia on the Edge (2012).

Lippman has appeared on all major US television networks, NPR, the BBC, and many television stations overseas. He has lectured on Gulf regional affairs at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School and has also lectured on Middle Eastern affairs at the National Defense University and at the Brookings Institution. He has also been also a consultant to film producers, the U.S. armed forces, the National Counterterrorism Center, corporations that do business in the Gulf.

Lippman is an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington and was an Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.