KC Johnson

February 11: The Depression, World War II & The Middle East (1924-1945)

  • Erez Manela, “Goodwill and Bad: Rethinking US-Egyptian Relations in the Interwar Years,” Middle Eastern Studies, pp. 71-88.
  • Robert Vitalis, “The ‘New Deal’ in Egypt: The Rise of Anglo-American Rivalry,” Diplomatic History, pp. 211-239.
  • Arthur L. Funk, “Negotiating the ‘Deal with Darlan’,” Journal of Contemporary History, pp. 81-117.
  • Klaus-Michael Malmann and Martin Cuppers, “’Elimination of the Jewish National Home in Palestine’: The Einsatzkommando of the Panzer Army Africa 1942,” Yad Vashem Studies, pp. 111-141.
Documents: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1923 missive from State Department objecting to British attempts to consolidate control over Middle Eastern oil, especially in Iraq.


Entry from Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long’s diary in which he notes that President Roosevelt supports his policy of encouraging consulates to “postpone and postpone and postpone” the granting of visas.

October 3, 1940

So when I saw him [FDR] this morning the whole subject of immigration, visas, safety of the United States, procedures to be followed; and all that sort of thing was on the table. I found that he was 100% in accord with my ideas. He said that when Myron Taylor, [the President’s personal representative to the Vatican], had returned from Europe recently the only thing which they discussed outside of Vatican matters was the visa and refugee situation and the manner in which our Consulates were being deprived of a certain amount of discretion by the rulings of the Department…The President expressed himself as in entire accord with the policy which would exclude persons about whom there was any suspicion that they would be inimical too the welfare of the United States no matter who had vouchsafed for them and irrespective of their financial or other standing. I left him with the satisfactory thought that he was wholeheartedly in support of the policy which would resolve in favor of the United States any doubts about admissibility of any individual.

From: “The War Diary of Breckinridge Long”; ed. Fred L. Israel; University of Nebraska Press, 1966.

U.S. response to the Anglo-Soviet occupation of Iran, 1941:

Maps: Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, 1941:

Operation Torch (U.S. invasion of North Africa)

Map: Saudi oil fields, present day

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