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Lords of the Desert: The Battle Between the US and Great Britain for Supremacy in the Modern Middle East

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An authoritative history of how the U.S. supplanted Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East-that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region. In Lords of the Des An authoritative history of how the U.S. supplanted Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East-that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region. In Lords of the Desert, historian James Barr draws on newly declassified archives to argue instead that the United States was the driving force behind the British exit. Though the two nations were allies, they found themselves at odds over just about every question, from who owned Saudi Arabia's oil to who should control the Suez Canal. Encouraging and exploiting widespread opposition to the British, the U.S. intrigued its way to power-ultimately becoming as resented as the British had been. As Barr shows, it is impossible to understand the region today without first grappling with this little-known prehistory.


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An authoritative history of how the U.S. supplanted Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East-that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region. In Lords of the Des An authoritative history of how the U.S. supplanted Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East-that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region. In Lords of the Desert, historian James Barr draws on newly declassified archives to argue instead that the United States was the driving force behind the British exit. Though the two nations were allies, they found themselves at odds over just about every question, from who owned Saudi Arabia's oil to who should control the Suez Canal. Encouraging and exploiting widespread opposition to the British, the U.S. intrigued its way to power-ultimately becoming as resented as the British had been. As Barr shows, it is impossible to understand the region today without first grappling with this little-known prehistory.

41 review for Lords of the Desert: The Battle Between the US and Great Britain for Supremacy in the Modern Middle East

  1. 5 out of 5

    Max Hellicar

    If you want to understand the history of the Middle East in the context of the political and economic strategy of the superpowers - one declining and one gaining influence - this is a superb read. The author makes everything that has happened in this region including coups, military takeovers, economic deception, the rise of puppet governments and their downfall understandable: even logical.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Griswold

    *I received an electronic galley from netgalley.com in exchange for a review* Lords of the Desert may be a hard book for a modern American audience considering that the United States and Great Britain have been fast international allies for centuries. But Lords of the Desert chronicles the thirty years of Middle Eastern relations between the United States and Great Britain from the late 1940s to the 1970s. Sometimes, the countries collaborated, sometimes they broke with each other, and occasional *I received an electronic galley from netgalley.com in exchange for a review* Lords of the Desert may be a hard book for a modern American audience considering that the United States and Great Britain have been fast international allies for centuries. But Lords of the Desert chronicles the thirty years of Middle Eastern relations between the United States and Great Britain from the late 1940s to the 1970s. Sometimes, the countries collaborated, sometimes they broke with each other, and occasionally they appear to have sabotaged each other. What could account for such a complicated relationship? Great Britain was the greatest empire modern times had ever seen, but war had exhausted and bankrupted it. The United States viewed itself as the new global power following WW2 victory and sought to use that influence. It turns out that empire does not yield to rational human thought, which led to a tug of war of sorts between a Great Britain desperate to retain something of empire and their place in global affairs and the United States who had their own version of the Middle East that didn’t always square with their British “friends.” It’s an action packed narrative that belongs in the library of any individual who wants to know how the Middle East became what it is today.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Philip Cope

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mauricio Santoro

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Al-Halwachi

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mbarak

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sean Smart

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sajjad K

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abdulhadi

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jerome

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hany

  14. 4 out of 5

    EBRAHIM NAKHUDA

  15. 4 out of 5

    Isbook

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olaf Koopmans

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maximw

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yeongbae Kim

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve Walker

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  21. 4 out of 5

    MrK

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tariq

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Boiko

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joe Jones

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kira

  26. 4 out of 5

    SigurSof

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yahya

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

  30. 5 out of 5

    Magnus Halsnes

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wilkinson

  32. 4 out of 5

    Harry Walker

  33. 5 out of 5

    Elen

  34. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  35. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  36. 5 out of 5

    Dan Leng

  37. 5 out of 5

    Aasiyah Sidat

  38. 5 out of 5

    Yana

  39. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  40. 5 out of 5

    Ron Turner

  41. 4 out of 5

    Plamen Stoyanov

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