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The Enforcer

Stephen Sackur, 20 August 1992

Deterring Democracy 
by Noam Chomsky.
Vintage, 453 pp., £7.99, April 1992, 0 09 913501 9
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Illusions of Triumph: An Arab View of the Gulf War 
by Mohamed Heikal.
HarperCollins, 350 pp., £16.99, April 1992, 0 00 255014 8
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The Imperial Temptation 
by Robert Tucker and David Hendrickson.
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 240 pp., $22.50, June 1992, 0 87609 118 4
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... Given the weight of this evidence – referred to by Chomsky, but surprisingly ignored by Heikal and Tucker and Hendrickson – it is surely reasonable to assume that had Saddam decided against a precipitate invasion of Kuwait, US support would even now be oiling the wheels of his – soon to be nuclear-capable – war machine. And given that previous ...

Eden and Suez

David Gilmour, 18 December 1986

Anthony Eden 
by Robert Rhodes James.
Weidenfeld, 665 pp., £16.95, October 1986, 0 297 78989 9
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Descent to Suez: Diaries 1951-56 
by Evelyn Shuckburgh, edited by John Charmley.
Weidenfeld, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 297 78993 7
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Cutting the Lion’s Tail: Suez through Egyptian Eyes 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 242 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 233 97967 0
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The Suez Affair 
by Hugh Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 255 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 297 78953 8
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... book provides a far more balanced account of Suez than Rhodes James’s last two hundred pages, Mohamed Heikal identifies Eden’s initial folly as his insistence on the Baghdad Pact. Britain’s effort to convince the Arabs that their main enemies were the Russians was as flat-footed and incomprehensible as the American attempt thirty years later ...


Malise Ruthven, 18 February 1982

Covering Islam 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 224 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 7100 0840 6
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Heart-Beguiling Araby 
by Kathryn Tidrick.
Cambridge, 224 pp., £12.50, July 1981, 0 521 23483 2
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Inside the Iranian Revolution 
by John Stempel.
Indiana, 336 pp., £10.50, December 1981, 0 253 14200 8
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The Return of the Ayatollah 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 218 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 233 97404 0
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by David Hirst and Irene Beeson.
Faber, 384 pp., £11.50, December 1981, 0 571 11690 6
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... of President Nasser and for more than two decades the Arab world’s best-known journalist, Mohamed Heikal is well-placed to act as a sympathetic but objective observer of Iran, free from the taint of ‘orientalism’. Readers of Sphinx and Commissar and The Road to Ramadan will expect a highly professional and very readable effort. ...

Poor Khaled

Robert Fisk, 3 December 1992

... of the two Americans primarily responsible for the overthrow of the legal Prime Minister of Iran, Mohamed Mussadeq. Visiting the Gulf as head of the US Central Command in 1989, he claims to admire the Arab way of life, hunting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in the Emirates, even dressing up in Kuwaiti robes for ...

A History of Disappointment

Avi Shlaim, 22 June 2000

The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation’s Odyssey 
by Fouad Ajami.
Pantheon, 368 pp., $14, July 1999, 0 375 70474 4
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... tatbi, is equated with tatwi (domestication) and peace, salam, dismissed as surrender, istislam. Mohamed Heikal, a former editor of al-Ahram and a keeper of the Nasserite flame, argued that just as the 1950s and 1960s had been an ‘Egyptian era’ of nationalism and political struggle, and the 1970s and 1980s a ‘Saudi era’ of wealth and ...

America and Israel

Ian Gilmour, 18 February 1982

The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East 
by Mahmoud Riad.
Quartet, 365 pp., £11.95, October 1981, 0 7043 2297 8
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Palestinian Self-Determination 
by Hassan Bin Talal.
Quartet, 138 pp., £6.95, July 1981, 0 7043 2312 5
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This Year in Jerusalem 
by Kenneth Cragg.
Darton, Longman and Todd, 192 pp., £5.95, February 1982, 0 232 51524 7
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... it is impossible to imagine Begin locking up Israel’s leading journalist as Sadat locked up Mohamed Heikal shortly before he was himself assassinated – Begin is not domestically dangerous to Israelis: but he presents a very real threat to his neighbours. Each of them is selective in his fundamentalism. Gaddafi flirts with the atheistic ...

Nothing he hasn’t done, nowhere he hasn’t been

Adam Shatz: Claude Lanzmann, 5 April 2012

The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir 
by Claude Lanzmann, translated by Frank Wynne.
Atlantic, 528 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 1 84887 360 5
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... pages long, featuring contributions by both Arab and Israeli writers. At the invitation of Mohamed Heikal, the editor of al-Ahram and a confidant of Nasser, the Family travelled to Cairo. As Lanzmann recalls, Nasser, a ‘tall, timid man who impressed by his soft voice and dark, handsome eyes’, looked him in the eye, ‘addressing himself to me ...

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