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Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East 1st Cloth Ed Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 0807002348
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Editorial Reviews


Khalidi has produced an extremely valuable analysis of how and why the PLO made the decisions it did during that fateful summer of 1982. . .His generally objective, lucid and incisive account of PLO decision-making fills a critical void in the literature about the Israeli invasion.--Thomas Friedman, author of From Beirut to Jerusalem and Longitudes and Latitudes

Praise for Palestinian Identity:
Winner of the 1997 Albert Hourani Book Award

"A pathbreaking work of major importance. . . [Khalidi demonstrates] a complete mastery of the relevant literature in Arabic, Hebrew and Western sources."--Edward Said, author of Orientalism

Praise for Resurrecting Empire:

"Rashid Khalidi's extraordinary book is enormously relevant for our times, especially in light of America's growing involvement in the Middle East. Khalidi brings first hand knowledge and an extensive historical background to a topic where such insight is needed more than ever."--Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize, author of The Roaring Nineties

"If you are wondering why the United States is up to its ears in alligators in Iraq and is widely hated in the Arab world, read this impressive book. Unlike most so-called Middle East experts, Khalidi actually knows a great deal about the that region, which allows him to make a sophisticated and persuasive case that the Bush Administration's plan to re-make the Middle East at the end of a rifle barrel is delusional."--John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rashid Khalidi, author of three previous books about the Middle East - Origins of Arab Nationalism, Under Siege, and the award-winning Palestinian Identity-is the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies and director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. He has written more than seventy-five articles on aspects of Middle East history and politics including pieces in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and many journals. Professor Khalidi has received fellowships and grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Rockefeller Foundation; he was also the recipient of a Fulbright research award. Professor Khalidi has been a regular guest on numerous radio and TV shows, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Nightline.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1st Cloth Ed edition (May 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807002348
  • ASIN: B007K56RFK
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although I disagree with Professor Khalidi on a number of points, I want to make it clear at the outset that this is an excellent book, very well-written and edited, and driven with the sort of restrained passion that makes for a most interesting read. His command of the modern history of the Middle East is admirable and obvious.
But Khalidi is not a disinterested observer by any stretch of the imagination. He has an agenda, that of laying the blame for the backwardness of the Middle East at the doorstep of the West while championing the cause of the Islamic people of the region. He is especially passionate when presenting the case for the Palestinians. His outrage at the historical record of a brutal, exploitive, and hypocritical colonialism (was there any other kind?) by the West, especially Great Britain and France, fairly singes the pages. His disgust at the stupidity, mendacity, and narrow-mindedness of the current Bush administration is palpable.
What Khalidi does not do very well is offer the sort of forward-looking, balanced, and dispassionate critique that would lead to a solution to the trouble in the Middle East. He offers a first step toward a solution to the problem in Iraq, namely that of a multilaterally-guided transition to a sovereign Iraq as opposed to the current bilateralism of the United States and Great Britain. Along the way he points out that it was the Western powers who concocted the artificial Iraqi state in the first place, and it was the Cold War US government that supported Saddam Hussein and helped him to brutalize the Iraqi people. However he does not offer specifics on how a recurrence of a Baathist-like dictatorship, or a civil war, or a Shiite theocracy (or all three in succession) can be avoided after the Western powers leave.
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Format: Hardcover
When an administration clothes itself in secrecy, oblivious to the history of a region before charging into war, it runs the risk of failure. As Rashid Khalidi carefully explains, this is exactly what is happening in Iraq and the consequences will long be felt. "Resurrecting Empire" is a hard-hitting critique of a White House that has gotten us into a mess with no end in sight. It is a timely book exposing the naivete of leaders with tunnel vision.
The author writes with a serious and often weighty pen; this is not a book to be read in one sitting. Khalidi effectively lays out the history of the region, the strategic importance of oil, the Palestinian/Israeli situation and America's reactions and responses to what has happened in the Middle East prior to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and what the ramifications may be. I found those chapters about oil and Palestine to be the most fascinating sections of the book. Oil is an issue that the Bush White House doesn't like to talk about too much and the Palestinian question, as the author points out, has become even more of a problem with the administration's tilt toward Israel.
"Resurrecting Empire" is a highly laudable work and is for the serious reader who wants to get to know more about the heart and the history of this volatile region of the world. Had Bush and his cronies made any attempt to learn more of what the Middle East is like, the United States might not be in the rough situation we face in Iraq today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rashid Khalidi warned in his latest book of the transformation of the United States into an empire, following in the footsteps of former Western empires whose fate was colonial failure after a bitter and failing confrontation with the colonies'natives.
Published in 2004 slightly after the American liberation of Baghdad, Khalidi's book, Empire, can be divided into five main parts. The first part criticizes the American war on Iraq saying that it was uncalled for and waged by people driven by their personal interests more than their claims of defending
America against the danger of terrorism. In the second part, Khalidi highlighted the failure of British and France to colonize most of the Arab world saying that behind this failure, there was popular determination to win independence.
In this part, historian Khalidi committed a lot of anachronisms. He failed to put what he termed the national struggle in its greater regional and international context. Was the Palestinian revolution against the British out of national motives or was it instigated by the growing power of the axis countries that were trying to win back colonies they had lost to
Britain and France in WWI?
Khalidi's emotional description of what he sees as struggle for national sovereignty is perhaps the only drawback in his book. Khalidi then moves to describe the growth of relations between the United States and the Arab world ever since the 1919 post WWI Versailles Conference delegated what came to be known as the King-Crane Commission to learn about the Arab peoplesÕ whishes.
The committee astoundingly founded that Arabs thought, if mandate was their only option, they would go for American mandate.
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Format: Hardcover
As an American from Turkey, I am impressed with Prof. Khalidi's depth of understanding of Iraq and Middle East, and, of course, our country's not so successful relationship with Middle East. It is easy to hurl insults by some Americans to all that is not American (see the comments by a reviewer from Chicago below) but we have previously experienced our "imperialistic" tendencies in Vietnam when we're not clear about our reasons for being there. We left after terrible sacrifices and, behold, Vietnam turned out to be a friend down the road. No thanks to us, they are doing fine as an independent country. Prof. Khalidi brings a similar sensitivity to our goals, methods and end games in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. His approach is refreshing, honest, clear and doable. Bush administration may not like the objective outside voices but most administrations do not. This isn't the time to be pig-headed but to be level-headed and extremely clear. Prof. K. brings that thoughtfulness. Those who'd like to "nuke" any country who doesn't do what we tell it, will not like this book.
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