Decades before 9/11 and the 'Arab Spring', US and Arab elites contended over the future of the Middle East. Through unprecedented research in Arabic and English, Envisioning the Arab Future details how Americans and Arabs - nationalists, Islamists, and communists - disputed the meaning of modernization within a shared set of Cold War-era concepts. Faith in linear progress, the idea that society functioned as a 'system', and a fascination with speed united officials and intellectuals who were otherwise divided by language and politics. This book assesses the regional implications of US power while examining a range of topics that transcends the Arab-Israeli conflict, including travel, communities, gender, oil, agriculture, Iraqi nationalism, Nasser's Arab Socialism, and hijackings in both the United States and the Middle East. By uncovering a shared history of modernization between Arabs and Americans, Envisioning the Arab Future challenges assumptions about a 'clash of civilizations' and profoundly reinterprets the antecedents of today's crises.