The Twilight of British Ascendancy in the Middle East: A Case Study of Iraq, 1941-1950

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The Twilight of British Ascendancy in the Middle East: A Case Study of Iraq, 1941-1950

By Daniel Silverfarb
St. Martin's Press, 1994
306 pp. $49.95
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As British and American archives become available to historians of the modern Middle East, a number of good case studies of the 1940s and 1950s are being written. This well-researched monograph focuses on the reassertion of British control in Iraq during World War II, followed by a difficult period of shoring up Iraqi political elites. They had to assert their independence from Britain to win support from nationalists while needing the British connection to sustain its prerogatives. Few surprises here, but the author does suggest that Britain would have protected its imperial interests in the region just as well without air bases in Iraq.