Containing Arab Nationalism
5th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, the United States pledged to give increased economic and military aid to receptive Middle Eastern countries and to protect--with U.S. armed forces if necessary--the territorial integrity and political independence of these nations from the threat of "international Communism." Salim Yaqub demonstrates that although the United States officially aimed to protect the Middle East from Soviet encroachment, the Eisenhower Doctrine had the unspoken mission of containing the radical Arab nationalism of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom Eisenhower regarded as an unwitting agent of Soviet expansionism. By offering aid and protection, the Eisenhower administration hoped to convince a majority of Arab governments to side openly with the West in the Cold War, thus isolating Nasser and decreasing the likelihood that the Middle East would fall under Soviet domination.
Employing a wide range of recently declassified Egyptian, British, and American archival sources, Yaqub offers a dynamic and comprehensive account of Eisenhower's efforts to counter Nasserism's appeal throughout the Arab Middle East. Challenging interpretations of U.S.-Arab relations that emphasize cultural antipathies and clashing values, Yaqub instead argues that the political dispute between the United States and the Nasserist movement occurred within a shared moral framework--a pattern that continues to characterize U.S.-Arab controversies today.
About the Author
Salim Yaqub is assistant professor of American and international history at the University of Chicago.