Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s by Salim YaqubImperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s by Salim Yaqub

Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s

bySalim Yaqub

Hardcover | August 10, 2016

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In Imperfect Strangers, Salim Yaqub argues that the 1970s were a pivotal decade for U.S.-Arab relations, whether at the upper levels of diplomacy, in street-level interactions, or in the realm of the imagination. In those years, Americans and Arabs came to know each other as never before. With Western Europe’s imperial legacy fading in the Middle East, American commerce and investment spread throughout the Arab world. The United States strengthened its strategic ties to some Arab states, even as it drew closer to Israel. Maneuvering Moscow to the sidelines, Washington placed itself at the center of Arab-Israeli diplomacy. Meanwhile, the rise of international terrorism, the Arab oil embargo and related increases in the price of oil, and expanding immigration from the Middle East forced Americans to pay closer attention to the Arab world.

Yaqub combines insights from diplomatic, political, cultural, and immigration history to chronicle the activities of a wide array of American and Arab actors—political leaders, diplomats, warriors, activists, scholars, businesspeople, novelists, and others. He shows that growing interdependence raised hopes for a broad political accommodation between the two societies. Yet a series of disruptions in the second half of the decade thwarted such prospects. Arabs recoiled from a U.S.-brokered peace process that fortified Israel’s occupation of Arab land. Americans grew increasingly resentful of Arab oil pressures, attitudes dovetailing with broader anti-Muslim sentiments aroused by the Iranian hostage crisis. At the same time, elements of the U.S. intelligentsia became more respectful of Arab perspectives as a newly assertive Arab American community emerged into political life. These patterns left a contradictory legacy of estrangement and accommodation that continued in later decades and remains with us today.

Salim Yaqub is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East.
Title:Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970sFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.39 inPublished:August 10, 2016Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801448832

ISBN - 13:9780801448836

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Table of Contents

1. The Politics of Stalemate: The Nixon Administration and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969–1972
2. A Stirring at the Margins: Arab American Political Activism, 1967–1973
3. From Munich to Boulder: Domestic Antiterrorism and Arab American Communities, 1972–1973
4. Rumors of War—and War: February–October 1973
5. Scuttle Diplomacy: Henry Kissinger and the Middle East Peace Process, 1973–1976
6. Future Shock: The Speculative Mode in American Discourse on the Arab World, 1974–1978
7. Fallen Cedar: The Lebanese Civil War and the United States, 1975–1979
8. Camp David Retreat: Jimmy Carter and Arab-Israeli Diplomacy, 1977–1979
9. Abdul Enterprises: Arab Petrodollars in the United States, 1974–1981 10. The Center Cannot Hold: Americans, Arabs, and the Wider Middle East, 1979–1980

Editorial Reviews

"Imperfect Strangers is a first-rate, highly original, and unquestionably important book. Salim Yaqub brings together consideration of high-level policymaking with analysis of American domestic politics and culture and persuasively argues that the 1970s mark a major—and mostly ignored—turning point in U.S.–Middle Eastern relations." - Mark Atwood Lawrence, University of Texas at Austin, author of Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam