Spies and Holy Wars
The Middle East in 20th-Century Crime Fiction
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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1. Crime Fiction as Political Metaphor
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Called “Allah’s Arrow,” Hamir, the ruler of a small sheikhdom on the Red Sea, was educated at Caltech, where he was a brilliant student, but as a foreigner on campus, he felt slighted by the Americans he met. After completing his studies in the United States, he returned to Arabia, and with his self-esteem revitalized,
2. Spies and Holy War: Jihad and World War I
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The story begins during World War I with John Buchan’s novel Greenmantle and the plot to bring down the British Empire: “There is a dry wind blowing through the East,” we read, “and the parched grasses await the spark and the wind is blowing towards the Indian border. . . . ...
3. Holy War and Empire: Fu Manchu in Cairo
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Buchan created the paradigm for spy novels that appeared during the interwar period. With their heroes smiting foes of the British Empire throughout the world, novels could be set anywhere—in essence presaging the thrillers that emerged during the 1960s with the popularity of James Bond. ...
4. The Publishing Explosion and James Bond
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Between 1950 and 1969 more than one hundred ninety-five crime fiction novels about the Middle East were published—almost four times the number of spy novels that appeared from 1916 through 1939 when Buchan’s Greenmantle and Sax Rohmer’s The Mask of Fu Manchu first appeared. Of the titles published before World War II, ...
5. Secular Jihad: International Terrorism and Economic Destabilization
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By the 1980s, almost 600 thrillers and spy novels using the Middle East as a backdrop for action, characterization, or plot material had appeared in the United States either as British imports or as American originals. Suddenly, it seemed that supermarkets, drugstores, bus stations, and airports were inundated ...
6. The American Crusade Against Terror
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In 1975, just before the fall of Saigon, the magazine Soldier of Fortune: The Journal of Professional Adventurers (SOF) appeared on the newsstands. Founded by a former captain in the United States Army Special Forces at a time when many of America’s Vietnam veterans, depressed at the defeat, were returning to an unsympathetic America, ...
7. Jihad, the Apocalypse, and Back Again
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The Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979 sparked a resurgence of novels about religious jihad against the West. By the mid-1980s, authors were once again writing about trouble emanating from Iran and spreading throughout the entire Islamic world. The fear that something “ugly and unprecedented was threatening civilization, ...
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Nonfiction Works Cited and Consulted
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Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 5 tables
Publication Year: 2010