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Fromkin's book captures, accurately and in an understandable fashion the underlying issues that contribute to the on-going conflicts in the Middle East. No author has done it better than Fromkin other than Thomas Edward Lawrence. For anyone interested in the Middle East this book is a "must read". The contemporary conflicts are the result of a long, complex and sad history. No solution is possible without understanding when, where and why in all began ? Fromkin makes it all so crystal clear.
This is one of those bone wearying books that everyone should read. Want to know why the Mideast is such a mess? Read this book. The author proves his thesis over and over again. I'd like to make it required reading for every politician!
If you want to understand how the Israeli/Arab situation got to where it is today, this is the book that will tell you.
We learned in school about the "sick man of Europe", the Ottoman Empire, but it kept Britain at bay for years, winning ever battle fought against the hapless British. It also shows that had the British Admirals listened to Winston Churchill, instead of giving up in the Dardanelles, there would have been no defeat at Golipoli, because the battle would have been won before they got there.
Anti-Semitism throughout the British, German, and French governments, played a major role in the construction of the Middle East, along with the fear of the Great Russian Army. Complete incompetence, misunderstanding of Jewish and Arab desires, created a situation that neither wanted in the beginning, but were left with as their only choice.
The split between the Arabs and the Turks is never taught in school, but it was, in the end, a major part at the end of the war. However, the Arabs would have chosen to be ruled by Muslim Turks, than Christian British, even if they might have had greater self rule under the British. British anti-Arab beliefs are everywhere. Arab failures could have been prevented by British military leadership. For the most part, Arabs were not war-like people.
The head of State of every country in the Middle East should read this book. If he understood how his country was placed in the position that it is in, maybe it would be possible to fix the problems that the British and French created for them, or at least understand that they are ALL victims of outside forces.
Buy this book!
Wonderfully readable but seriously written, Mr. Fromkin's book tells the story of Near East politics after WWI. How the states in the region were created, the Turkish-Greek struggle for Asia Minor, British and French policies and rivalry, the Saudi rise to power in the Arabian peninsula and even famous Lawrence of Arabia rather unknown postwar role in shaping events in this very complex region. Worth reading indeed and hiding some surprising analysis on issues.
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