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Envisioning the Arab Future
Modernization in US-Arab Relations, 1945–1967


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Part of Global and International History

  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108741835

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About the Authors
  • Decades before 9/11 and the 'Arab Spring', US and Arab elites contended over the future of the Middle East. Through unprecedented research in Arabic and English, Envisioning the Arab Future details how Americans and Arabs - nationalists, Islamists, and communists - disputed the meaning of modernization within a shared set of Cold War-era concepts. Faith in linear progress, the idea that society functioned as a 'system', and a fascination with speed united officials and intellectuals who were otherwise divided by language and politics. This book assesses the regional implications of US power while examining a range of topics that transcends the Arab-Israeli conflict, including travel, communities, gender, oil, agriculture, Iraqi nationalism, Nasser's Arab Socialism, and hijackings in both the United States and the Middle East. By uncovering a shared history of modernization between Arabs and Americans, Envisioning the Arab Future challenges assumptions about a 'clash of civilizations' and profoundly reinterprets the antecedents of today's crises.

    • Demonstrates that Arab and US elites contended over the future of the Middle East within a shared set of Cold War-era concepts, challenging assumptions about a 'clash of civilizations' or fundamental cultural differences
    • Covers diverse topics such as travel, oil, model communities, nationalism, and land reform, exploring the range and depth of US relations with Arab countries
    • Introduces Arab figures largely unknown among English-language readers, improving upon accounts that present US officials as sole protagonists in histories of US-Arab relations
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    • Winner, 2018 Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Envisioning the Arab Future is noteworthy both in the variety of case studies examined and in the range of sources utilized. It repeatedly demonstrates the degree to which Arabs and Americans often spoke a common language and had a shared vision of 'modernization', and how specific modernizing policies and initiatives were mutually constituted out of Arab-American dialogue. This is a valuable addition to our understanding of the Arab-American relationship in the post-World War II decades.' James Jankowski, University of Colorado Boulder

    'Envisioning the Arab Future traces a key source for the social scientists who pioneered the study of 'modernization' in the post-1945 Arab world and beyond, as well as for those who would retell that history now, namely Arab thinkers and politicians themselves. Muslim Brothers, Communists, Baathists, and others all had influential ideas about development. Vivid writing, new findings, thoughtful criticism, and a bold turn in argument: Citino does it all.' Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania

    '… brings a host of often unfamiliar Arab voices to a Western audience and contains striking, novel insights on nearly every page.' Salim Yaqub, International Journal of Middle East Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108741835
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. The 'history of the future'
    1. The age of speed
    2. Imperial legacies
    3. City of the future
    4. Yeoman farmers
    5. People's court
    6. New men
    7. Changing course
    Conclusion. A better future

  • Author

    Nathan J. Citino, Rice University, Houston
    Nathan J. Citino is Associate Professor of History at Rice University, Houston. Dr Citino received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University and completed an Arabic program at the University of Chicago. He is the author of From Arab Nationalism to OPEC: Eisenhower, King Sa'ud, and the Making of US-Saudi Relations (2010) and articles published in journals including Diplomacy and Statecraft, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Cold War History. A former associate editor of Diplomatic History, Dr Citino is the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham.


    • Winner, 2018 Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

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