“Nationalism in the Middle East, as has often been noted, is a gift of the West.”1 While concurring with G. E. Von Grunebaum's 1962 observation, Bernard Lewis added that “[t]he ever-fertile continent of Europe had, however, more than one example to offer to its neophytes and disciples.”2 Distinguishing Western European “patriotism” from German “nationalism,” Lewis observed: “Patriotism, most of us agree, is right and good—the love and loyalty that all of us owe to our country. Nationalism, on the other hand, is something rather alien and therefore rather suspect.”3 He keenly discerned that “the first stirrings of the new loyalty in the Middle East took the form of patriotism, not nationalism.”4 But in its later phases, the “new loyalty” took the shape of a nationalism characterized as “romantic, subjective, often illiberal and chauvinistic, contemptuous of legal loyalties, and neglectful of personal freedom.”5 Although these arguments are heavily rhetorical and ideological, Lewis was correct in identifying two distinct modalities of nationalist imagination. But these modalities had more to do with the tropes of nationalism than with an assumed European pedagogy. 6 An exploration of the competing tropes of national imagination allows for the decoupling of nationalism from a political etiology that constitutes Europe as the original home of modernity.7 While recognizing the mimetic or “modular” types of nationalism, 8 a tropological approach allows for the exploration of the inventive vernacular contents of nationalist imagination. Such an approach, according to Hayden White, “centers attention on the turns in a discourse: turns from one level of generalization to another, from one phase of a sequence to another, from a description to an analysis or the reverse, from a figure to a ground or from an event to its context, from the conventions of one genre to those of another within a single discourse, and so on.”9 In a tropological study of nationalism, the focus of inquiry shifts from a schizochronic historiography attending to the belated delivery of “a gift of the West” to the Rest to a decolonized and post-nationalist historiography that explores the contingent and novel deployments of territory, history, language, ethnicity, religion, and culture in the making of a serially continuous and homogeneous polity endowed with competing identities and characteristics.