Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Spies in Arabia
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East

Priya Satia


This book offers a cultural history of British intelligence–gathering in the Middle East in the era of World War One and its consequences in British literary and political culture and military and state practice. Culture mattered especially in this intelligence endeavor because of British agents' orientalist preconceptions of “Arabia” as an inscrutable, romantic space offering adventure and spiritualism. They developed an intelligence epistemology grounded in intuition, elevating as “experts” those claiming an innate “genius” for understanding the region, regardless of empirical knowledge. Thi ... More

Keywords: intelligence, espionage, spies, air power, airpower, colonial violence, the state, imperialism, Britain, Middle East, First World War, Great War, World War One I, orientalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195331417
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331417.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Priya Satia, author
Stanford University
Author Webpage