American orientalism douglas little thesis

Not only is this a listing of US policies, but in addition an extensive record of quotations from US officials and a more limited one from their Israeli and Arab counterpartswritten with a flowing hand by the author that makes it easy to read and digest.

A common thread connecting many of them is the enquiry into the foundations of US policies toward the Islamic Middle East particularly in the latter part of the twentieth century and up to the present times.

american orientalism definition

This cultural and policy history would seemingly, based off of the points above, make for a solid and well done book. Undoubtedly no one who knows the history of US policies in the Middle East can believe there are simple answers to the question of what motivates those political decisions.

This helped to create a cultural stereotype of the Muslim population as fanatic and incapable of orderly running a state government, which shaped the US foreign policy toward that region as well.

He has combined broad reading and research with sober judgment to help readers understand the pattern of American Middle East policy.

american orientalism douglas little pdf

It is remarkable how much of the inside story [Little] has been able to obtain. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks a wave of historical and scientific works were published. Bush through to the presidency of Barack Obama until the year Little pursues the point that Islamophobia in the United States has "deep historical roots" 13 and that "the Green Threat that dominates so much of the discourse about There are criticisms, heavy ones I might say, which I direct towards this book, but as far as a tremendous amount of information about US policy, I believe there are probably few other ones of such scope and depth.

Nonetheless, he is adept at showing some of the pathologies of the Middle East.

American orientalism definition

At times, the book fails to properly explain what it is discussing. On the one hand, there is the complex, often contradictory nature of US objectives in the Middle East as well as domestic limitations on US foreign policy. A project by many respectable scholars involved a website devoted to the American values where they posted several essays in trying to answer that question. Others have tended to stress how ideology has affected the American officials' engagement with this part of the world. This cultural and policy history would seemingly, based off of the points above, make for a solid and well done book. He concludes that a peculiar blend of arrogance and ignorance has led American officials to overestimate their ability to shape events in the Middle East from through the present day, and that it has been a driving force behind the Iraq war. And yet in the end, for a book which preached overcoming boundaries and divisions, it never succeeded in integrating the two. Perhaps this comes from chagrin on my part, for when I started it, my hopes were lifted by the excellent cultural history it held. After documenting the persistence of "orientalist" stereotypes in American popular culture, Little examines oil, Israel, and other aspects of U. On the other, there are the inner contradictions of Middle Eastern regimes and the sharp resentment that US actions have given rise to among local populations. Reading it, it leaves the reader grasping for what the link was. After documenting the persistence of "orientalist" stereotypes in American popular culture, Little examines oil, Israel, and other aspects of U. According to Little, two major developments contributed to the changing attitude of the American public towards Jews.
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A Review of American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East Since