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Spies in Arabia : the Great War and the cultural foundations of Britain's covert empire in the Middle East

Author: Priya Satia
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English
Summary:
"At the dawn of the twentieth century, British intelligence agents began to venture in increasing numbers to the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire, a region of crucial geopolitical importance spanning present-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. They were drawn by the twin objectives of securing the land route to India and finding adventure and spiritualism in a mysterious and ancient land, But these competing  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: (DLC) 2007028405
(OCoLC)154678447
Material Type: Document
Document Type: Book, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Priya Satia
ISBN: 9780199868070 0199868077
OCLC Number: 1084908921
Description: 1 online resource (xiii, 458 pages ): map.
Contents: Introduction --
War and hope. The foundations of covert empire ; The cultural world of the Edwardian agent ; The failure of empiricism and how the agents addressed it ; Cunning in war ; Imperial expiation --
Peace and terror. Official conspiracy theories and the wagers of genius ; Air control ; Covert empire ; Seeing like a democracy --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Priya Satia.

Abstract:

"At the dawn of the twentieth century, British intelligence agents began to venture in increasing numbers to the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire, a region of crucial geopolitical importance spanning present-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. They were drawn by the twin objectives of securing the land route to India and finding adventure and spiritualism in a mysterious and ancient land, But these competing desires created a dilemma: how were they to discreetly and patriotically gather facts in a region they were drawn to for its legendary inscrutability and by the promise of fame and escape from Britain?" "In this groundbreaking book, Priya Satia tracks the intelligence community's tactical grappling with this problem and the myriad cultural, institutional, and political consequences of their methodological choices during and after the Great War, She tells the story of how an imperial state in thrall to the cultural notions of equivocal agents and beset by an equally captivated and increasingly assertive mass democracy invented a wholly new style of "covert empire" centered on the world's first brutal aerial surveillance regime in Iraq, Drawing on a wealth of archival sources - from the fictional to the recently declassified - this book explains how Britons reconciled genuine ethical scruples with the actual violence of their Middle Eastern empire."--Jacket.

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