Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 1, 1995 - History - 368 pages
11 Reviews
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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Review: The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite

User Review  - Gary - Goodreads

This is a great book! The only reason - the ONLY reason - I didn't give it five stars is that I thought his treatment of April Glaspie in the final chapters was not as evenhanded as his treatment of ... Read full review

Review: The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

Well written, entertaining, well researched, and very informative. A well balanced appraisal of the NEA bureau at State, arabists in the US foreign service, as well as the foreign service itself. Read full review

Contents

Three generations Three wars Three marriages
1
Dream
11
Home to Lebanon
13
The Finest Site in All Beirut
31
SandMad Englishmen
45
End of the Rainbow
65
Reality
83
Mr Foreign Service
85
Mugged by Reality
181
Horan of Arabia
195
Indiana Jones
207
The Icy Eyes That
243
Cowering in a Dark Alley
263
Hostages to Idealism
281
A New Species?
305
Bibliography
313

Old Hands
101
Never a Dull Moment
131
Aggrieved Area Experts
147

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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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