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Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies -
By focusing on the actions and motivations of the British Colonial administrators -- in codifying laws and defining the national culture -- Massad provides an excellent analysis of state construction in the colonial realm. For this reason, his work is poised for use by scholars and teachers in a number of fields far beyond Jordanian and Middle Eastern studies... Massad beautifully expands the breadth of Jordanian studies by examining issues thus far neglected in all studies of the country... In a classroom setting... the thematic organizational structure means that students do not have to know very much about Jordanian history to be able to understand the main points. The chapters on the role of gender, law, and the military in nationalist construction can be read easily as case studies of national identity throughout the region and the world. A search of any Web engine will show how very popular this book has become for a range of disciplines and class types... As many scholars and teachers have discovered already, the book provides questions and answers about nationalism that few writers have posed before.