Middle East: Danger: Professor at Work


Touring the Middle East under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, Duke Ellington and his band found themselves caught in the middle of a coup in Iraq last week. Fascinated by the goings-on, the Duke promised to compose a new piece, "The Baghdad Rock—and I do mean rocking with rockets, bombs and all."

The Duke might just as well write another piece called the Damascus Reel, for Syria, too, underwent a shakeup, quieter but no less significant. Behind the sudden shuffle of Middle Eastern leaders was a power struggle inside a...

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