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The Resource The Arabists : the romance of an American elite, Robert D. Kaplan

The Arabists : the romance of an American elite, Robert D. Kaplan

Label
The Arabists : the romance of an American elite
Title
The Arabists
Title remainder
the romance of an American elite
Statement of responsibility
Robert D. Kaplan
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • Here is the untold story of an inbred, gifted, and powerful elite of families and friends who dominated America's relations with the Middle East for over a century. Known to Foreign Service colleagues as "the Arabists, " these were the men and women who had spent much of their lives, usually with their families, living in the Arab world as diplomats, military attaches, intelligence agents, and educators. Descended from the missionaries, scholars, and explorers who first ventured into the region - an offshoot of the WASP elite that ruled America during the nineteenth century - the Arabists were an exclusive caste linked by complex social, institutional, and family ties
  • Thoroughly at home in Arab cultures and often enjoying relations of longstanding intimacy with the monarchs and ruling elites of Arab countries, these American expatriates lived a charmed lifestyle that has become a source of intense nostalgia among the Arabists themselves as well as a symbol of their romance with Arab culture and increasing isolation from American society and interests
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Kaplan supplies a secondary source of minibiographies sketching the lives ofdozens of Protestant missionaries and U.S. State Department officials who workedin the Arab world over the past 200 years. Addressing current concerns, he shows that the opposition of missionaries and Foreign Service officers to Israel's creation--meant to appease the Arabs--led to the various wars in the MiddleEast and, ultimately, to the Gulf War of 1991. Since so many people are mentioned in this account, Kaplan ( Balkan Ghosts , LJ 2/15/93) can give only superficial treatment to each one (from a few paragraphs to a few pages). As a result, thetext seems fragmented, and the introduction of each new character reads like anentry out of Who's Who . Recommended for specialized collections only.-- John D. Horton, MLS, Royal Saudi Navy, Jubail, Saudi Arabia
  • An analysis of the evolution of US policy toward the Middle East--as well as of the foreign-policy elite that guided it--that goes far deeper than the headlines. America's concern with the Middle East, says Kaplan (Soldiers of God, 1990, etc.), began in the 19th century with the missionaries who braved great hardship, with little success, to bring the Christian message to the area. Eventually, these missionaries concluded that education might be the best way of proselytizing--a conclusion that Kaplan calls "probably the most inspired idea in the history of foreign aid." More sustained American interest in the Middle East developed only after WW II, and much of the subsequent history of the "Arabists" is tied up with Truman's decision to recognize the State of Israel despite the almost universal opposition of his foreign-policy advisors-- opposition that, according to Truman, smacked of anti-Semitism. Kaplan, himself Jewish, handles this controversy evenhandedly, and notes that then-Assistant Secretary of State Loy Henderson was remarkably prescient about the aftermath of our recognition of Israel: decades of constant trouble and expense, as well "the rise of fanatic Mohammedanism" of a kind "not experienced for hundreds of years." In tracing the controversy over recognition, Kaplan relies particularly on interviews with leading Arabists, and he gives vivid pictures of an elite whose skills were developed by the sheer difficulty of mastering Arabic but who nonetheless have been regarded by critics like Francis Fukuyama as "more systematically wrong" than any other branch of the foreign service. The Arabists' story, Kaplan says, is one of dramatic successes (e.g., the extraction of the Falasha Jews from the Sudan, revealed here in all its truth perhaps for the first time) but of great failures as well (for instance, the failure to predict the true aims of Saddam Hussein). Full of fascinating, sometimes brilliant, insight into the politics of the area and its impact on those entrusted with US policy. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1993)
Biography type
collective biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
211217
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1952-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kaplan, Robert D.
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • plates
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • United States
  • Orientalists
  • United States
  • Arab countries
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the romance of an American elite
Label
The Arabists : the romance of an American elite, Robert D. Kaplan
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-317) and index
Control code
000010110128
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
xi, 333 p., [16] p. of plates
Isbn
9780029167854
Lccn
93004321
Other physical details
ill.
Label
The Arabists : the romance of an American elite, Robert D. Kaplan
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-317) and index
Control code
000010110128
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
xi, 333 p., [16] p. of plates
Isbn
9780029167854
Lccn
93004321
Other physical details
ill.

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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