Re: Planning to join in on the discussion?
I've just started Fromkin, the latest in a series of books I've been reading in an attempt to get a handle on the deeper issues and history of the Middle East and how they inform current policies of all sides.
Latest reads include Bernard Lewis's "From Babel to Dragomans," and from the other side of the Orientalism debate, Edward Said's "Orientalism."
Also reread Yergin's "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power." His history of oil politics in the region seems especially relevant: the realization by the British, French, and Russians of the necessity of securing stable (!) oil supplies (since oil began replacing coal in the world's navies during the course of WWI) meant negotiating (Allied) control of oil fields as part of the post-war map. This, of course, led to all sorts of political and competitive entanglements with Mid East governments in the years immediately following the war. We continue to reap that harvest.
A similar line of inquiry could be the commercialization of empire, as oil companies became partners in the foreign policies of Europe (and eventually the US). [in the threads about the decline of empire]
I've enjoyed reading the posts. I found you by Googling "Wyndham Deedes."
As I get further into Fromkin, your discussions will be a welcome companion.