Lewis Bateman is a senior editor at Cambridge University Press, commissioning titles in political science, history, and Jewish studies. At conferences, he is famous for his distinctive bow ties. We sat down with Lew to discuss the editorial process behind Tested by Zion.
1) What drew you to the project? How did Elliott Abrams’ book land on your desk?
It came to the Press by accident. I was approached by Rebecca Nagel of the Wiley Agency. Perhaps I am known as an editor who is willing to consider books by individuals with whom I may disagree. Abrams’ voice is an important one that needs to be heard.
2) What distinguishes Abrams’ perspective from other books on George W. Bush’s record on foreign policy in the Middle East?
This is an insider’s account of the formulation of policy in this administration. It will be an important source for historians and policy makers for thirty years when other government documents, which are now classified, will be released. It is a good read with a perspective with which many will disagree.
3) Why should those who perhaps didn’t support George W. Bush’s administration read this book?
If one disagrees with policy, it’s a good idea to understand why and how it was made. One can be more effective in advancing your own position by knowing the opposition.