Author Archives: Priya Satia

About Priya Satia

Priya Satia is associate professor of British history at Stanford University and the author of the prize-winning book Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East (Oxford, 2008). Her second book, Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution, is forthcoming with Penguin Press. Her work has also appeared in Past & Present, American Historical Review, Technology and Culture, Humanity, Annales, History Workshop Journal, and several edited volumes. She has also written for popular media such as the Financial Times, the TLS, The Nation, Slate, and elsewhere. She is now writing a book on poets and Partition.

Guarding The Guardians: Payoffs and Perils

The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire Susan Pedersen Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. xviii + 571 pp. The Guardians is an ambitious work of institutional history with a global reach by a world-class historian at the height of her powers. It is a tour de force. The first comprehensive history of the League of Nations’ mandate system in a half-century, it does not relate events in each mandatory territory but at the international level, when arguments and Continue reading → Continue reading →

Drones: A History From The British Middle East

This article offers a history of drones grounded in the British use of aerial control in the Middle East and Afghanistan before World War II, rather than in the history of technology. Such a history promises a better understanding of the drone strategy’s likelihood of success because it shows how history, memory, and politics have shaped both the use of aerial control and its reception. Specific cultural and political assumptions first underwrote the invention of aerial control in the Middle East and continue to guide the use of drones in the region today. Our focus on remote piloting as the most controversial aspect of drone use has distracted us from these critical continuities with earlier uses of air power. Continue reading →