Agriculture and Autonomy in the Modern Arab World

with Graham Auman Pitts

hosted by Chris Gratien and Nicholas Danforth

The past years have shown how a period of transformation across the entire Middle East region can result in very different outcomes in different places. In this podcast, we discuss another historical period of transformation in the Middle East--the post-World War II era culminating with the year of 1958--and explore the economic backdrop of these events and their different outcomes in Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt with particular emphasis on agrarian economy and the role of the United States.

Graham Pitts is a PhD candidate at Georgetown University focusing on Middle East environmental history
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see
Nicholas Danforth is a PhD student studying the history of modern Turkey at Georgetown University (see

Citation: "Autonomy and Agriculture in the Modern Arab World," Graham Pitts, Chris Gratien, and Nicholas Danforth, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 78 (November 10, 2012)

Note for the listener: This podcast is based in part on primary source research. It also makes use of publicly available information and draws from the following works below, which are also mentioned during the course of the episode. For the purposes of academic citation, we encourage you to consult these works as well. 

Select Bibliography

Ba’lbakki, Ahmad. al-Zira‘a al-Lubnaniyah wa-tadakhulat al dawlah fi al-ariyaf min al-istiqlal hatta al harb al-ahliyya. Beirut: Editions Meditérranée, 1985.
Batatu, Hanna. The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq: a study of Iraq’s Old Landed and Commercial Classes and of its Communists, Ba‘thists, and Free Officers. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982.
_____. Syria’s Peasantry, the Descendants of its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.  
Farouk-Sluglett, Marion and Peter Sluglett. “The Social Classes and the Origins of the Revolution,” in The Iraqi Revolution of 1958: The Old Social Classes Revisited, Robert A Fernea and Wm. Roger Louis eds. London: IB Taurus, 1991.
Perkins, John H. Geopolitics and the Green Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Provence, Michael. The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism. Austin: the University of Texas, 2005.
Nasr, Salim. “The Crisis of Lebanese Capitalism.” MERIP Reports 73 (1978)
Traboulsi, Fawwaz.  A History of Modern Lebanon. London: Pluto Press, 2007.
Warriner, Doreen. Land Reform and Development in the Middle East: a study of Egypt, Syria and Iraq. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1957.
Wiens, Henry. “The United States Operations Mission in Iraq,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 323, Partnership for Progress: International Technical Co-Operation (May, 1959): 140-149.

Episode Music: Ilham Al Madfai - Mohamad Bouya Mohamad


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