January 8, 2014

Secret World of U.S. Spies in the Mideast

Frederick Deknatel, The New Republic

The Associated Press

America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East1 is about the moment, from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, when the United States was the region’s upstart, rather than its hegemon. Wilford’s book—a three-part biography of the two Roosevelts and Copeland—underscores the high hopes but ultimate flaws and fallacies in the Americans’ meddling. He focuses on Kim, Archie, and other spies’ patrician, East Coast roots, including their Groton and Harvard upbringings, to explain their sense of entitlement and responsibility. (Copeland described his Beirut counterpart as “a member in good standing of what passes for nobility in America.”) They spoke of a new era even as they fomented anti-democratic coups, coddled military strongmen,...

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TAGGED: Middle East

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