Review: "Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East"

Updated on August 1, 2019
Larry Slawson profile image

Larry Slawson received his Masters Degree at UNC Charlotte. He specializes in Russian and Ukrainian History.

Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East.
Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East. | Source


Throughout historian Salim Yaqub’s book, Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East, the author provides an examination of the policies surrounding the “Eisenhower Doctrine” and its implications for the Middle East during the 1950s. Following the aftermath of the Korean War and the rapid decline of Soviet-American relations, Yaqub’s work describes how the United States sought to limit the expansion of Soviet power through the financial-backing of countries in the Middle East. Yaqub argues that these efforts were undermined, however, by the rise of Arab nationalists and their radical (often unpredictable) nature which threatened to undo American gains in the region. The author asserts that Eisenhower and his administration met this challenge, however, through the diplomatic isolation of regimes in the Middle East (particularly Egypt). Through this strategy, Yaqub argues that the United States was able to effectively contain the threat of Arab nationalism through a “divide and conquer” stratagem that played countries in the Middle East against one another; allowing for a continuation of American dominance in the region, all at the expense (and exploitation) of Arab leaders and their citizens.

Concluding Thoughts

Yaqub’s work incorporates a large amount of primary source materials into his work that includes: American and British embassy records, U.S. State Department files, memoirs and diaries from former ambassadors, as well as reports from meetings with high-ranking Middle Eastern officials. A major highlight of Yaqub’s book is his ability to incorporate documents from both an American and Middle Eastern perspective; thus, giving a balanced and evenhanded analysis of the politics surrounding foreign relations in the early years of the Cold War. However, Yaqub fails to address a number of potential Soviet documents; thus, limiting the persuasiveness of his argument to a degree. This is only a trivial shortcoming though, as Yaqub’s book is both well-written and scholarly in its layout and presentation. The ability of the author to transmute such a massive amount of research and information into a narrative-driven format is also highly impressive as well.

All in all, I give this work 5/5 Stars and highly recommend it to anyone interested in a history of Cold War politics in the Middle East. Both scholars and general audience members can benefit from the contents of this work. Definitely check it out if you get the opportunity! You will not be disappointed!

Questions to Facilitate Group Discussion

1.) What was Yaqub's thesis? What are some of the main arguments that the author makes in this work? Is his argument persuasive? Why or why not?

2.) What type of primary source material does Yaqub rely on in this book? Does this help or hinder his overall argument?

3.) Does Yaqub organize his work in a logical and convincing manner? Why or why not?

4.) What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of this book? How could the author have improved the contents of this work?

5.) Who was the intended audience for this piece? Can scholars and the general public, alike, enjoy the contents of this book?

6.) What did you like most about this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend?

7.) What sort of scholarship is the author building on (or challenging) with this work? Does this book add substantially to existing research and trends within the historical community? Why or why not?

8.) Did you learn anything after reading this book? Were you surprised by any of the facts and figures presented by the author?

Did the United States implement an effective strategy in the Middle East during the Cold War?

See results

Works Cited:

Articles / Books:

Yaqub, Salim. Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Larry Slawson


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)