America's Kingdom

Qahwa Sada has three guest posts about Bob Vitalis' new book, America's Kingdom, which I've just ordered and am very much looking forward to read during the holidays. One is by Vitalis himself, explaining what he was trying to do, which is not so much a history of ARAMCO as much as an intellectual attack on the idea of American exceptionalism and the blind spot Americans have in considering their country as just another imperalist state, not so different from the European imperialist states after all. Unfortunately, the two other contributors -- Toby Jones and Gregory Gause -- love the book, so there's not that much debate. But I guess it means it's really going to be quite an important book for Middle Eastern Studies and the study of American foreign policy and its relationship with the oil industry.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.