D. T. Potts is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and History at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. He is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran (2013) and the author of Nomadism in Iran: From Antiquity to the Modern Era (2014), as well as numerous other books and articles in scholarly journals.
The first such work to compare archaeological-nationalistic developments in more than one country, Negotiating for the Past draws on published and archival sources in Arabic, English, French, German, Persian, and Turkish. Those sources reveal how nationalists in Iraq and Iran observed the success of their counterparts in Egypt and Turkey, and were able to hold onto discoveries at legendary sites such as Khorsabad and Persepolis. Retaining artifacts allowed nationalists to build museums and control cultural heritage. As Goode writes, "Going to the national museum became a ritual of citizenship." Western archaeologists became identified (in the eyes of many) as agents of imperialism, thus making their work more difficult, and often necessitating diplomatic intervention. The resulting "negotiations for the past" pulled patrons (such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Lord Carnarvon), archaeologists (James Breasted and Howard Carter), nationalist leaders (Ataturk and Sa'd Zaghlul), and Western officials (Charles Evan Hughes and Lord Curzon) into intractable historical debates with international implications that still resonate today.
Competitive Archaeology in Jordan traces a complex history through the lens of archaeology's power as a modern science to create and give value to spaces, artifacts, peoples, narratives, and academic disciplines. It thus considers the role of archaeology in realizing Jordan's modernity—drawing its map; delineating sacred and secular spaces; validating taxonomies of citizens; justifying legal frameworks and institutions of state; determining logos of the nation for display on stamps, currency, and in museums; and writing history. Framing Jordan's history in this way, Corbett illustrates the manipulation of archaeology by governments, institutions, and individuals to craft narratives, draw borders, and create national identities.
One of the most thought-provoking books ever written about the Middle East, From Beirut to Jerusalem remains vital to our understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world. Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman drew upon his ten years of experience reporting from Lebanon and Israel to write this now-classic work of journalism. In a new afterword, he updates his journey with a fresh discussion of the Arab Awakenings and how they are transforming the area, and a new look at relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and Israelis and Israelis.
Rich with anecdote, history, analysis, and autobiography, From Beirut to Jerusalem will continue to shape how we see the Middle East for many years to come.
"If you're only going to read one book on the Middle East, this is it."--Seymour M. Hersh