Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class by Keith David Watenpaugh
In this novel, Keith Watenbo connects the issue of modernity and the formation of the Arab middle class. The book explores the rise of a middle class of liberal professionals,…
Being Modern in the Middle East synopsis
In this novel, Keith Watenbo connects the issue of modernity and the formation of the Arab middleclass. The book explores the rise of a middle class of liberal professionals, white-collar workers, journalists and businessmen during the early decades of the 20th century in the Arab Middle East, the ways in which civil society created its members, new forms of politics, think tanks, and patterns of participation with colonialism. The middle class discussions were largely absent from historical writings on the Middle East. Watenpaugh fills this gap by relying on Arab, Ottoman, British, American and French sources and an eclectic body of theoretical literature.
It appears that within the crucible of the emerging Turkish revolution of 1908, the First World War and the emergence of late European colonialism, the intermittent middle class took shape. It was determined not only by the wealth, professions, property, or levels of education of its members, but also by the way they confirmed their novelty.
Using the ethnically and religiously diverse middle class in the Syrian city of Aleppo, as a starting point, Watenpaugh explores the greatest political and social implications of what modern meaning means in the West in the first half of the 20th century. Being modern in the Middle East, well researched and provoked, makes an important contribution not only to the history of the Middle East but also to the global study of the collective class, collective violence, ideas and revolution..
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