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By Priya Satia

On the sunrise of the 20th century, British intelligence brokers started to enterprise in expanding numbers to the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire, a area of an important geopolitical value spanning present-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. They have been drawn by means of the dual ambitions of securing the land path to India and discovering event and spiritualism in a mysterious and historical land. yet those competing wants created a trouble: how have been they to discreetly and patriotically assemble proof in a zone they have been interested in for its mythical inscrutability and through the promise of status and break out from Britain?

during this groundbreaking e-book, Priya Satia tracks the intelligence community's tactical grappling with this challenge and the myriad cultural, institutional, and political results in their methodological offerings in the course of and after the nice warfare. She tells the tale of the way an imperial country in thrall to the cultural notions of equivocal brokers and beset by way of an both captivated and more and more assertive mass democracy invented a totally new form of "covert empire" situated at the world's first brutal aerial surveillance regime in Iraq. Drawing on a wealth of archival sources--from the fictitious to the lately declassified--this ebook explains how Britons reconciled real moral scruples with the particular violence in their center japanese empire. because it vividly demonstrates how imperialism used to be made healthy for an more and more democratic and anti-imperial international, what emerges is a brand new interpretation of the army, cultural, and political legacies of the nice struggle and of the British Empire within the 20th century.

Unpacking the romantic fascination with "Arabia" because the land of espionage, Spies in Arabia offers a stark story of poetic ambition, warfare, terror, and failed redemption--and the prehistory of our current discontents.

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