Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations, Part One: 1783-1953

Overview


Filiu and David B. draw striking parallels between ancient and contemporary political history in this look at the US–Middle East conflict. The reader is transported to the pirate-choked Mediterranean sea, where Christians and Muslims continue the crusades, only this time on water. As the centuries pass, the traditional victims of the Muslim pirates—the British, French, and Spanish—all become empire-building powers whose sights lie beyond the Mediterranean.

Praise for Best of ...

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Overview


Filiu and David B. draw striking parallels between ancient and contemporary political history in this look at the US–Middle East conflict. The reader is transported to the pirate-choked Mediterranean sea, where Christians and Muslims continue the crusades, only this time on water. As the centuries pass, the traditional victims of the Muslim pirates—the British, French, and Spanish—all become empire-building powers whose sights lie beyond the Mediterranean.

Praise for Best of Enemies:

“David B.’s rubbery, decoratively detailed images of historical figures suggest portraits from centuries-old pottery; his versions of Mohammed Mossadegh and Kermit Roosevelt seem to be players in an ancient legend.” —New York Times

"This complex and unsavory saga is told concisely and vividly, enhanced by David B.’s marvelously inventive pen-and-inks." —Library Journal

Best of Enemies breaks down a complex and morally messy history into a clean and easily absorbed narrative." —Scripps Howard News Service

"Filiu and B. score a hit right out the outset by retelling a segment of the Gilgamesh fable but inserting quotes from George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld in the mouths of the main characters, letting you know that this is not a book that will shy away from offering an opinion." —Robot 6

“B. is one of contemporary comics’ true visionaries, the speaker of a visual language of his own devising.” —Comics Journal

"No single volume can hope to explain the tortured relationship of the U.S. and the Middle East, but Best of Enemies sheds light on this dark ‘friendship’ that might enlighten and, hopefully, inspire change." —BigThink.com

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Lies, greed, imperialism, cruelty, intolerance: the history of U.S. and Middle East relations involves bad behavior on both sides, dating back centuries. In this first of three volumes, professor and former diplomat Filiu (Arab Revolution; Apocalypse in Islam) begins with the murderous aggression of Gilgamesh-as-avatar, cunningly appropriating dialog from speeches of George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld concerning the invasion of Iraq. His focus then moves to 1780s skirmishes with Muslim city-states over maritime piracy, shifting priorities of Christian and Muslim nations over oil and anti-Semitism, and the subsequent ousting by the Americans and the British of Iran's Mohammad Mossadegh, who wanted to nationalize the oil industry. This complex and unsavory saga is told concisely and vividly, enhanced by David B.'s marvelously inventive pen-and-inks, which won an award from the French magazine dBD. VERDICT Showing decisively that neither war nor international diplomacy is a walk in the park, Filiu invites us to consider what choices could be made given these countries' turbulent legacies. While maps, chronologies, additional notes, and resources would have been valuable, this will prove a riveting read to many aficionados, teens and up, of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and others interested in Middle East issues.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906838454
  • Publisher: Metro Media Limited
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean-Pierre Filiu is a world-renowned expert on the Middle East. David B. is an Eisner Award–nominated artist.

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