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  • Recent Publications
  • Alison Cavicchio, Alexandra Gordon, Evan Norris, and Anne Willborn


Iran and the CIA: The Fall of Mosaddeq Revisited, by Darioush Bayandor. London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010. 247 pages. $33.

History scholars often agree that in 1953 the American and British intelligence forces masterminded the downfall of Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mosaddeq. Darioush Bayandor presents a different take on the story. After studying the opposition that the controversial leader drew from many sides, he concludes that internal pressure was the actual instrumental force in driving the reformist Prime Minister from power. He argues that the secret plot was a failure, and only incidentally set off the string of events that led to the uprising against Mosaddeq. (AG)

The United States and Iran: Different Values and Attitudes toward Nature, by Maryam Y. Yekta Steininger. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2010. 127 pages. $27.

This book examines the religion and literature of the Iranian people, their attitudes toward work, family, and western culture, and how these attitudes differ from those held by Americans. Using interviews with American scholars who lived and worked in Iran before the 1979 Revolution, Maryam Y. Yekta Steininger describes the differences between Iranians and Americans: the former take great pride in their art and literary works; the latter in their democracy and scientific and technological achievements. Although Yekta devotes pages to conflicting perspectives on cultural values and nature, she ends the book by suggesting ways that Americans and Iranians might arrive at mutual understanding and respect. (EN)


Iraq at a Distance: What Anthropologists Can Teach Us About the War, ed. by Antonius C. G. M. Robben. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. 186 pages. $39.95.

According to Antonius Robben, who edited Iraq at a Distance, the War on Terror has reterritorialized the world into security zones, danger zones, and war zones, and has had an unintended consequence on anthropologists, who can no longer travel unimpeded to field sites around the globe. Using Iraq as a model, six anthropologists show that ethnography, even at a distance, can analyze the war in Iraq, its effects on women's rights, the ethnic and religious partitioning of Iraq, and the loss of [End Page 179] popular support for the US-led war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. Above all, Robben and others intend to demonstrate the importance of using ethnography and anthropology in war-torn societies. (EN)

Palestine and Palestinians

Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between, by Laila El-Haddad. Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2010. 442 pages. $24.95.

Laila El-Haddad's book is a modern and eye-opening look into the life of a Palestinian mother and reporter dealing with the difficulty of living outside of and traveling to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). According to El-Haddad, Gaza Mom is "a story about mothering, homeland, identity — and survival." Using an engaging blog format, she takes the reader through the cycle of trips into and out of Gaza. El-Haddad explores the politics of the conflict over Palestine, as well as the constant difficulty of explaining to her son who is barring them from freely entering Gaza, and why. Gaza Mom is divided into four parts, I: Gaza Life as Israel (Partially) Withdraws, Part II: Elections—and Punishing the Electorate, Part III: Palestinian Democracy and Unity under Assault, and Part IV: New Avenues for Activism. The sections span from 2004 to 2010, detailing the confusion and difficulty of the Palestinian existence and experience. Despite the struggles, Laila El-Haddad emphasizes the resiliency of Palestinians around the world and the shared hope that their homeland will one day be free. (AC)

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom: Saudi Arabia and the Challenge of the Twenty-first Century, ed. by Joshua Craze and Mark Huband. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. 323 pages. $50.

This volume is a compilation of articles drawn from, the leading English language web site addressing contemporary issues in Saudi Arabia. The essays, organized into four categories, represent multiple viewpoints on domestic Saudi politics, regional political affairs, minority issues and women's rights, and cultural and religious life in Saudi Arabia. These articles provide much-needed context to frame...


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