The Invention of the Modern Middle East

Book - 2008/06/01
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Baker & Taylor
A narrative history of the influence of Great Britain and the United States on the shaping of the modern Middle East cites the contributions of famous and controversial figures, from Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell to Miles Copeland and Paul Wolfowitz.

Norton Pub
Kingmakers is the story of how the modern Middle East came to be, told through the lives of the Britons and Americans who shaped it. Some are famous (Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell); others infamous (Harry St. John Philby, father of Kim); some forgotten (Sir Mark Sykes, Israel's godfather, and A. T. Wilson, the territorial creator of Iraq); some controversial (the CIA's Miles Copeland and the Pentagon's Paul Wolfowitz). All helped enthrone rulers in a region whose very name is an Anglo-American invention. As a bonus, we meet the British Empire's power couple, Lord and Lady Lugard (Flora Shaw): she named Nigeria, he ruled it; she used the power of the Times of London to attempt a regime change in the gold-rich Transvaal. The narrative is character-driven, and the aim is to restore to life the colorful figures who for good or ill gave us the Middle East in which Americans are enmeshed today.
A brilliant narrative history tracing today's troubles back to grandiose imperial overreach of Great Britain and the United States.

Book News
Meyer (editor emeritus, World Policy Journal) and Brysac (a former documentary producer at CBS News) explore the history of the Middle East through the biographies of Westerners who have played significant roles in its political development. Among the people profiled in individual chapters: Evelyn Baring, the British consul-general of Egypt from 1883 to 1907; Frederick Lugard, Governor-General of Nigeria who had served in the Afghan War of 1879-1880 and the Sudan campaign of 1884-1885; Mark Sykes, the British politician forever associated with the Sykes-Picot Agreement; A.T. Wilson, the British colonial administrator of Mesopotamia (Iraq) during and after World War I; Gertrude Bell, the British colonial administrator credited with inciting the Arab revolt against the Ottomans and with creating the Hashemite dynasty of Iraq and Jordan; Lawrence of Arabia, who worked with Bell on both of those tasks; Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA agent principally involved in overthrowing Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh and installing the Shah in 1953; and Paul Wolfowitz, who helped engineer the US invasion and occupation of Iraq while working under Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Describes the history of the modern development of the Middle East, focusing on the British and American influences on Middle Eastern politics and culture.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2008/06/01
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393061994
Branch Call Number: 956.04 MEY
Characteristics: 507 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Brysac, Shareen Blair


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