Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite

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Simon and Schuster, 1995 M07 1 - 368 pages
A tight-knit group closely linked by intermarriage as well as class and old school ties, the “Arabists” were men and women who spent much of their lives living and working in the Arab world as diplomats, military attaches, intelligence agents, scholar-adventurers, and teachers. As such, the Arabists exerted considerable influence both as career diplomats and as bureaucrats within the State Department from the early nineteenth century to the present. But over time, as this work shows, the group increasingly lost touch with a rapidly changing American society, growing both more insular and headstrong and showing a marked tendency to assert the Arab point of view. Drawing on interviews, memoirs, and other official and private sources, Kaplan reconstructs the 100-year history of the Arabist elite, demonstrating their profound influence on American attitudes toward the Middle East, and tracing their decline as an influx of ethnic and regional specialists has transformed the State Department and challenged the power of the old elite.

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User Review  - danoomistmatiste - www.librarything.com

This is certainly one of the best books I have read this year. This book is about the interactions of Americans with the people of the Middle East, predominantly Arab. When we come to that region all ... Read full review

THE ARABISTS: The Romance of an American Elite

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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 ... Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Journalist Robert D. Kaplan is a contributing editor The Atlantic Monthly. He has traveled extensively, and his journeys through Yugoslavia and America have produced, respectively, Balkan Ghosts (which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize) and An Empire Wilderness. Kapan is also the author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power (Random House, 2010) and The Revenge of Geography (Random House, 2012) Kaplan has lectured at the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Pentagon's Joint Staff, major universities, the CIA, and business forums.

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