Synopses & Reviews
A lucid and provocative analysis of the legacy of the Cold War in the Middle East
From “the foremost U.S. historian of the modern Middle East” [L.A. Times] comes a powerful argument that the global conflicts now playing out explosively in the Middle East were significantly shaped by the Cold War era, and that any successful peace process must begin with a thorough understanding of this historical foundation.
In his new book, Rashid Khalidi dissects the crucial dynamics of power in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union as it played out in the Middle East, compellingly arguing that the intense rivalry between the U.S. and the USSR in the region set the stage for the tragic conflicts that have followed in its long wake.
Understanding the powerful and lingering aftereffects of the Cold War requires going back in time and reassessing that conflict. The perceived Soviet threat was the pretext for the establishment of U.S. military bases and for the development of a vastly enhanced American international intelligence network, for example. The strategies the United States adopted in the Cold War have, in fact, led directly to its prevailing policies and to the “hot” wars it is waging in the Middle East today. Khalidi argues that, without a critical analysis of the legacy of the Cold War in the current political climate of the Middle East, the cycle will continue onward, without hope of a lasting peace.
"Khalidi is arguably the foremost U.S. historian of the modern Middle East." Warren I. Cohen, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Khalidi is arguably the foremost U.S. historian of the modern Middle East."
Warren I. Cohen, Los Angeles Times Book Review Praise for Resurrecting Empire "With a deep knowledge of the Middle East and a felicitous literary style, Khalidi . . . examines the history of U.S. involvement in the area against the backdrop of European colonialism and shows why an assertion of our good intentions has little meaning for peoples who have known two centuries of foreign occupation and domination."
Ronald Steel, the Nation "Mr. Kahlidi's book will certainly be useful to all those outside the region who are engaged in the difficult yet crucial task of devising ways to help foster change in the Middle East."
Ivo H. Daalder, New York Times Praise for The Iron Cage "In a refreshing contrast to the yammering bazaar of complaint and allegation that has dominated American public discussion of the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001, The Iron Cage is a patient and eloquent work, ranging over the whole of modern Palestinian history from World War I to the death of Yasser Arafat. Reorienting the Palestinian narrative around the attitudes and tactics of the Palestinians themselves, Khalidi lends a remarkable illumination to a story so wearily familiar it is often hard to believe anything new can be found within."
Jonathan Shainin, Salon "The author of numerous critically acclaimed works including Resurrecting Empire, Rashid Khalidi is a historian's historian. The Iron Cage is his most accomplished effort to date. Charting the history of the Palestinian struggle to achieve statehood (and the forces which have historically conspired against it), the book is as much a study of what brought Israel into existence as it is a depiction of the tragedy that continues to define Palestinian existence today. Magisterial in scope, meticulous in its attention to detail, and decidedly dispassionate in its analysis, The Iron Cage is destined to be a benchmark of its genre."
Joel Schalit, Tikkun "In his new book The Iron Cage Rashid Khalidi uses history to provide a clear-eyed view of the region and assess the prospects for peace….He strives successfully for even-handedness.…He's fair to both sides, and in particular, he's knowledgeable not only about Palestinian history but about what he has called 'tragic Jewish history.'"
Anthony Lewis, author of Gideon's Trumpet and Make No Law
From "the foremost U.S. historian of the modern Middle East" ("L.A. Times") comes a powerful argument that the global conflicts now playing out explosively in the Middle East were significantly shaped by the Cold War era.
About the Author
Rashid Khalidi, author of six books about the Middle EastSowing Crisis, The Iron Cage, Resurrecting Empire, Origins of Arab Nationalism, Under Siege, and the award-winning Palestinian Identityis the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies. He has written more than eighty articles on Middle Eastern 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.