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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The United States and the Middle
East
for showing us how our increasing economic exploitation of
the Middle East only gained us the ire of the people there.

The United States and the Middle East
1914 to 9/11
Lectures by Professor Salim Yaqub

The United States and the Middle East (2003)
24 lectures, 12 hours
The United States and the Middle East at TheGreatCourses.com

At the dawn of World War I, the United States was only a rising power. Our reputation was relatively benign among Middle Easterners, who saw no "imperial ambitions" in our presence and were grateful for the educational and philanthropic services Americans provided. Yet by September 11, 2001, everything had changed. The U.S. had now become a "world colossus so prominent in the political, economic, and cultural life of the Middle East that it was the unquestioned target of those bent on attacking the West for its perceived offenses against Islam."

How and why did this transformation come about? And how did each of the factors that make the Middle East so complex contribute to this transformation?

Placing Today's Headlines in Historical Context

This lecture series is a narrative history of U.S. political involvement in the Middle East from World War I to the present day. Presented from a historian's perspective, it is meant to strengthen your ability to place today's headlines into historical context, evaluate what is most likely to happen next, and understand those oncoming events when they do occur.

Step by step, with attention to the viewpoints and motivations of each nation and leader involved, the course explores, over a 90-year span:

  • growing American involvement in the Middle East
  • the ongoing quest for political independence and self-mastery by Middle Easterners
  • the difficulty the U.S. has experienced in weighing diverse and conflicting objectives in the region, especially as the Cold War against the Soviet Union intensified
  • the increasing antagonism between Americans and Middle Easterners that came to such a shocking culmination on September 11, 2001.

Over and over again, these themes surface, expressed in the actions of characters in a history still being written as we watch. America's presidents from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush. George Kennan. David Ben-Gurion. Gamal Abdel Nasser. Mohammed Shah Pahlavi. Ariel Sharon. Yasser Arafat. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Menachem Begin. Saddam Hussein.

The course ranges across subjects as diverse as the changing realities of the oil economy and the impact of changing policies as a succession of American presidents bring their own ideas and doctrines to the arena of the Middle East.

Dr. Salim Yaqub's background offers a unique opportunity to present the issues of this course from both American and Middle Eastern perspectives (the latter of which are rarely homogeneous and often contentious).

Dr. Yaqub is also the son of an American mother and a Palestinian father. His father taught at the American University in Beirut, and the family lived in the expatriate American community while Dr. Yaqub was a high school student in the 1970s.

When he discusses the epidemic of hostage-taking by Shiite extremists that plagued that community during the Reagan administration, for example, it isn't only from the viewpoint of an academic, but from the experience of someone who personally knew victims of terror.

Professor Salim Yaqub is Assistant Professor of American and International History at the University of Chicago. He received an M.A. at San Francisco State University, and additional Master's Degrees in philosophy and history and a Ph.D. in American history from Yale University. He wrote Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East. His dissertation of this work earned him Yale's John Addison Porter Prize and George Washington Egleston Prize.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: A Meeting of Two Worlds 13: The Yom Kippur War & Kissinger's Diplomacy
2: Wilson & the Breakup of the Ottoman Empire 14: Carter & Camp David
3: The Interwar Period 15: The Iranian Revolution & the Hostage Crisis
4: U.S. & the Middle East During World War II 16: Era of Limits - Energy Crises of the 1970s
5: Origins of the Cold War in the Middle East 17: The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
6: Truman & the Creation of Israel 18: Reagan & the Middle East
7: Eisenhower, the Cold War & the Middle East 19: The First Palestinian Intifada
8: The Suez Crisis & Arab Nationalism 20: The Gulf War
9: Kennedy - Engaging Middle Eastern Nationalis 21: The Rise & Fall of the Oslo Peace Process
10: Johnson - Taking Sides 22: The United States & the Kurds
11: The Six-Day War 23: The United States & Osama bin Laden
12: The Nixon Doctrine & the Middle East 24: September 11 & Its Aftermath


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The United States and the Middle East
1914 to 9/11
Lectures by Professor Professor Salim Yaqub

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The United States and the Middle
East
for showing us how our increasing economic exploitation of
the Middle East only gained us the ire of the people there.