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Spies in ArabiaThe Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East$
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Priya Satia

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331417

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331417.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Spies in Arabia

Priya Satia (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The introduction provides an overview of the historical questions at stake in the book: the relationship between culture and how a state sees; the relationship between colonial violence and metropolitan culture; between orientalism and colonial administration; the distinction between covert empire versus indirect rule; the place of the world war in the story; the place of paranoid politics in British history. It explains the uniqueness of British intelligence–gathering in the Middle East as compared to other regions and the usefulness of this subject in understanding the workings of modern empire more generally. Finally, it explains the author's methodology and the periodization of the book with reference to both British and Middle Eastern history and defines key terms.

Keywords:   state, orientalism, violence, colonialism, covert empire, paranoid politics, Middle East, Arabia, intelligence, social investigation

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