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Author Wilford, Hugh, 1965-
Title AMERICA'S GREAT GAME : the CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East / Hugh Wilford.
Published New York, NY : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, 2013.
Book Cover
LOCATION CALL # STATUS
 Floor2  DS63.2.U5 W49 2013    IN LIBRARY
  
Description xxiv, 342 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm.
Content Type text
Format volume
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Part 1: Pre-game, 1916-1947. Learning the game ; Beginning the quest ; OSS/Cairo ; Great Game redux ; Zion ; The guest no one invites again -- Part 2: Warm-up, 1947-1949. Game plan ; The right kind of leader? Syria, 1949 -- Part 3: Winning, 1949-1956. American friends of the Middle East ; In search of a hero: Egypt, 1952 ; Mad men on the Nile ; Authoring a coup: Iran, 1953 ; From ALPHA ... ; Crypto-diplomacy ; Peacemakers -- Part 4: Losing, 1956-1958. ... to OMEGA ; Increasingly a vehicle for your purposes ; Archie's turn: Syria, 1956 ; Game on: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, 1957 ; Game over.
Summary "From the 9/11 attacks to waterboarding to drone strikes, relations between the United States and the Middle East seem caught in a downward spiral. And all too often, the Central Intelligence Agency has made the situation worse. But this crisis was not a historical inevitability-far from it. Indeed, the earliest generation of CIA operatives was actually the region's staunchest western ally. In America's Great Game, celebrated intelligence historian Hugh Wilford reveals the surprising history of the CIA's pro-Arab operations in the 1940s and 50s by tracing the work of the agency's three most influential-and colorful-officers in the Middle East. Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt was the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and the first head of CIA covert action in the region; his cousin, Archie Roosevelt, was a Middle East scholar and chief of the Beirut station. The two Roosevelts joined combined forces with Miles Copeland, a maverick covert operations specialist who had joined the American intelligence establishment during World War II. With their deep knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs, the three men were heirs to an American missionary tradition that engaged Arabs and Muslims with respect and empathy. Yet they were also fascinated by imperial intrigue, and were eager to play a modern rematch of the "Great Game," the nineteenth-century struggle between Britain and Russia for control over central Asia. Despite their good intentions, these "Arabists" propped up authoritarian regimes, attempted secretly to sway public opinion in America against support for the new state of Israel, and staged coups that irrevocably destabilized the nations with which they empathized. Their efforts, and ultimate failure, would shape the course of U.S.-Middle Eastern relations for decades to come. Based on a vast array of declassified government records, private papers, and personal interviews, America's Great Game tells the riveting story of the merry band of CIA officers whose spy games forever changed U.S. foreign policy. "-- Provided by publisher.
"The Central Intelligence Agency's reputation in the Middle East today has been marred by waterboarding and drone strikes, yet in its earliest years the agency was actually the region's staunchest western ally. In America's Great Game, celebrated intelligence historian Hugh Wilford reveals how three colorful CIA operatives--Kermit and Archie Roosevelt, and maverick covert-ops expert Miles Copeland--attempted, futilely, to bring the U.S. and Middle East into harmony during the 1940s and '50s. Heirs to an American missionary tradition that taught them to treat Arabs and Muslims with respect and empathy, these CIA "Arabists" nevertheless behaved like political puppet-masters, orchestrating coup plots throughout the Middle East while seeking to sway public opinion in America against support for the new state of Israel. Their efforts, and ultimate failure, would doom U.S.-Middle Eastern relations for decades to come. Drawing on extensive new material, including declassified government records, private papers, and personal interviews, America's Great Game shows how three well-intentioned spies inadvertently ruptured relations between America and the Arab world"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Middle East -- Relations -- United States -- History.
United States -- Relations -- Middle East -- History.
Arab countries -- Relations -- United States -- History.
United States -- Relations -- Arab countries -- History.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
ISBN 046501965X hardback
9780465019656 hardback
9780465069828 (ebook)
OCLC number 855507173