Thursday, February 26, 2009

Top ten "eccentric" Middle East books

Patrick Tyler is a journalist and author whose career in newspapers includes 12 years at The Washington Post, and 14 years at The New York Times, where he was chief correspondent from 2002-2004. He anchored The Times coverage of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and established its Baghdad Bureau after the fall of Saddam Hussein. His latest book is A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East--from the Cold War to the War on Terror.

For the Guardian, he named a top ten list of "eccentric" Middle East books -- books that "come at the essential conflict in the region from an obtuse angle, casting surprising light on a situation that often seems all too familiar."

One title on the list:
Ropes of Sand by Wilbur Crane Eveland

An early insider's account of disillusionment, by an American spy that mirrors TE Lawrence's lament about the west's inability to keep its promises to the Arabs. Eveland is an Arabic-speaking intelligence operative who gravitates from the Eisenhower White House to the CIA, where he advises Allen Dulles on coup plotting in Syria and managing the rise of Nasser in Egypt. His narrative stands out as a sincere attempt to understand the failed American seduction of Nasser at a time when Washington wanted desperately to harness his power for the west.
Read about another book on Tyler's list.

--Marshal Zeringue