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Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East
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Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Begun as the United States moved its armed forces into Iraq, Rashid Khalidi's powerful and thoughtful new book examines the record of Western involvement in the region and analyzes the likely outcome of our most recent Middle East incursions. Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of the political and cultural history of the entire region as well as interviews and documents ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 15th 2005 by Beacon Press (first published May 15th 2004)
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Mikey B.
A good history, if somewhat condensed, of the Middle East from colonial times to the present. The author compares colonial aims to the war aspirations of the Bush administration. This U.S. administration is made to look foolish, hypocritical and extremely short-sighted for its Iraqi invasion. In its’ mission to “sell” the invasion to the American people it pushed two false assumptions – weapons of mass destruction and connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

Mr. Khalidi is also convincing in his a
...more
Jackie
Khalidi is clearly a bright man, but this book is so relentlessly inflammatory that my brain turned off after a while. To consider this a scholarly history would be kind of like calling Bill O'Reilly a journalist: Yes, he offers facts, but they're assembled in such a way as to suffocate any potential for dissent or rational evaluation.

If I took anything of value from this book, it was Khalidi's analysis of colonialism as the primary perceived threat to the Arab populace. He convincingly traces t
...more
Kathy Conte
The Israeli / Palestinian conflict is always in the newspapers and the US always supports Israel. I figured it couldn't be this black and white. After reading "Lawrence in Arabia" I wanted to read more about the Balfour Declaration and the origins of Israel. After some research, I turned to Rashid Khalidi for another point of view and how different it is. Khalidi is a Palestinian-Lebanese American historian of the Middle East, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia Universi ...more
Harry Steinmetz
An excellent history and an excellent expression of the perceptions the Arabs have about the actions of the U.S. In the Middle East. Parts are harshly critical of the NeoCons in the Bush II administration, which is well deserved. Although the author doesn't attempt specifics about the years following the Iraq occupation, he lays a picture that you can see have developed in the past few years. A good read, if a bit chewy in spots, but very relevant to understanding the attitudes of the Middle Eas ...more
Heather
Khalidi uses memory as the driving force behind this book. As well as his biased opinion on the Middle East and America's intervention. This book is oozing with negativity and lacks any optimism or hope. He wrote this during the beginning of the war, which makes it easy to make assumptions of what "could" happen and what "won't" happen. Some of what he wrote never came to pass and some of what he said America would refuse to do, did. It would be fantastic if Khalidi wrote another book or updated ...more
Lauren Hopkins
Well...my professor wrote this book, so I can't be too harsh or he'll fail me. :) KIDDING. My professor is awesome and his book is nothing less than great. He presents not only the history and current situation of the region but also uses what he talks about as a way to introduce potential ways to solve it in the last chapter. Though covering "the middle east" is pretty broad, he does a great job taking a wide array of nations into consideration before digging into specific focuses. His opinion ...more
suraj
Sep 03, 2007 suraj rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
My first school book! The first and last 15 pages are a rather uninformative diatribe against the hawks in the neocon war cabinet and the purportedly myopic and ignorant american populace. get past that, and you get a neat and fascinating run through modern middle eastern history. his treatment of the formation of saudi arabi, iran, and iraq through the lens of power and oil is particularly useful. it's shocking how many people have died and how many countries have been destroyed by a resource t ...more
Reb
really useful stuff in understanding modern middle east history--which is why i read it. however the overall structure is quite poorly done, with the result that each chapter would be better as a self-contained essay.

it feels like khalidi (whose incisive analysis and research are spot-on) wanted badly to publish "ignorant americans, here's why the iraq war is effed up, because of colonial history." he can't seem to find the tone of popular non-academic writing, and so just hammers on endlessly t
...more
Liz
I didn't read this all the way through, but since I doubt I ever will -- I'm taking it off my "reading" shelf.

I enjoyed what I was able to read (about half). It wasn't so much an "ah-ha!" book as a "well of course, I just didn't think of it that way till you said it" book.

Does America really want democracy in Iraq? No. That would mean a stronger relationship with Iran, kicking US bases out, and favoring Palestine independence. Those three things are the opposite of our goal in Iraq/the entire
...more
Letitia
Jan 23, 2014 Letitia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Letitia by: Choon
3.5 stars for content, -1 for style.

I am glad I read this book because I sorely needed much of this general knowledge. One of my best childhood friends, who is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in a Middle Eastern country, recommended this book to me knowing that my mind is a blank slate when it comes to the region. Resurrecting Empire imparted historical context of previous European activity in the region and necessary criticism of the Bush administration's botching of their Iraq occupatio
...more
Emily
Jun 28, 2007 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: political enthusiasts, those with an interest in the Middle East
Shelves: booksofthepast
This book is fantastic on a number of levels, but that which struck me most is the linear way in which Khalidi explains to readers exactly why the current American occupation of Iraq and interference in Middle Eastern politics is both wrong and doomed to fail. With excellent background and a hard-lined but generally non-judgemental approach to American and Middle Eastern politics, Khalidi takes his reader through the history of democracy (yes, there has been some) and foreign invasions in the Mi ...more
Nikita Jayswal
The book was really good. A good read to understand how the west has juggled sides and ruined the history and the current affairs in the Middle East. America's relations with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan before and after gives a good understanding of how one should be careful of what to believe. Also talks about the ignorance about the history of the ME, among the people and government in America which resulted in perilous consequences as a result.
Hubert
Billed as a good introduction to Western - Middle East affairs, much of the book is repetitive in its main points, and at times the various sections and points that the author tries to make doesn't come together (e.g. how the Palestine question relates to the Iraq War). The strongest sections are earlier in the book in its discussion of British and French imperialist history with regards to the region.

Still, Khalidi is viewed as a strong thinker and writer, if at times somewhat convoluted.

A key
...more
Heidi
This will actually be a very brief review b/c I think the book can stand entirely on its own merits...

First, what's truly great about this book is the fact that anyone could easily comprehend the point(s) he's making (even those who might be unfamiliar with the historical events mentioned)...

Khalidi skillfully explores the intricate nature of Western involvement with the Middle East...I found this book to be both illuminating and very interesting...

Highly recommended...
Tammy
It's not an easy read. It's very academic, and by that I mean it's dense and you can't skim it. I find I'm very comfortable with the academic approach, because I like facts, not opinion, and I'm not bothered by having to establish quiet time so I can read and understand. To be fair, Khalid's point of view comes through, but as he backs it up with solid fact, I'm unbothered. I think this book will appeal to both historians and politicians.
Will
Don't be put off by the title. This book is not a politically slanted diatribe.

I read this for a history class a few years ago and found it to be incredibly informing and enlightening. This book does a great job covering how "the west" has historically interacted with the middle east and how it specifically relates to the United States' problems in this new millennium.
Courtney
A quick and well-researched read detailing the adventures and misadventures of European and US involvement in the Middle East. Khalidi focuses primarily on the growing involvement of the US in that region and shows that the US has overlooked the politics, culture, and history of the region in its bumbling efforts at transformation.
Liz
If this is the first book you've ever picked up about the history of U.S. and Western involvement in the Middle East, read it. If it's not, don't bother. While well-written, Khalidi adds little new information to the picture, and his prescriptions for repairing Iraq and the U.S. reputation abroad lack originality.
Jessica
Oct 08, 2007 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in American foreign policy/Iraq
Rashid Khalidi, the director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia, discusses the United State's quagmire today in the Middle East. What I liked is that he puts today's situation in a historical context, giving a lot of detail of past interventions of Western powers in the Middle East. A good, pretty quick read.
Michael
A bold, sometimes brash, reminder of Western failures in the Middle East. Essentially an argument against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The author reserves special disdain for neoconservative policy and those who formulated it (e.g. Rumsfeld).
ami
I read this for Rashid Khalidi's class and while I don't usually enjoy much of my assigned reading, I really liked this book. Well written and easy to follow, even for people who don't know a lot of the history.
Jarrod
One of those books you should read, but not as interesting as you'd hope. I'm happy to say I read the book before it became a talking point by the McCain campaign.
Chris
Dec 18, 2007 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
It's important to know the history of this conflict, to truly realize how fucked up this whole situation is. US out of iraq!
Andrew
This is a great historical introduction to Western penetration into the Middle East.
David Houlihan
I must point out that while it was interesting, I disagree widely.
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Rashid Khalidi is the author of seven books about the Middle East, including Palestinian Identity, Brokers of Deceit, Resurrecting Empire, The Iron Cage, and Sowing Crisis. His writing on Middle Eastern history and politics has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many journals. For his work on the Middle East, Professor Khalidi has received fellows ...more
More about Rashid Khalidi...
The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East The Origins of Arab Nationalism

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