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A Peace to End All Peace

The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
Narrated by: David de Vries
Length: 23 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)
Regular price: $24.49
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Publisher's Summary

The Middle East has long been a region of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and ambitions. All of these conflicts - including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis and the violent challenges posed by Iraq's competing sects - are rooted in the region's political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed by the Allies after the First World War.

In A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies drew lines on an empty map that remade the geography and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all seemed possible, he delivers in this sweeping and magisterial book the definitive account of this defining time, describing how the choices narrowed and the Middle East began along a road that led to the conflicts and confusion that continue to this day.

A new afterword from Fromkin, written for this edition of the book, includes his invaluable, updated assessment of this region of the world today, and on what this history has to teach us.

©1989 David Fromkin; Afterword copyright 2009 by David Fromkin (P)2018 Tantor

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  • IRP
  • Bedminster New Jersey
  • 02-03-19

Still A Great Book On The Topic

I read this book (paperback) when it was first published in the late 1980's. At the time, I was amazed about how much I learned about the modern Middle East and how World War One, the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the colonial desires of Great Britain influenced the predicament that this region confronts today. Listening to the audio book reinforced my learning experience and I would recommend that others who wish to learn more about the rifts and turmoil that exist in that region today. At the outbreak of the first World War, the entire Middle East (with the exception of Egypt) was controlled by the Ottoman Sultan in Constantinople (now Istanbul). Although the Sultanate was corrupt, the European powers (in particular Great Britain and to a lesser degree France) propped up the "sick man in Europe" for the sole purpose of constraining the influence of Tsarist Russia in that area. Both Britain and France felt that if the empire fell, the Russian navy would gain control of the Dardanelles and eventually have an outlet into the Mediterranean Sea- where it could challenge both powers. This all changed in 1894 (when France struck an alliance with Russia) and 1907 (when the British entered into a treaty with the Russians to end the "Great Game" in Afghanistan and Persia (Iran)). Both Great Britain and France abandoned Turkey and drove the Sultanate into the camp of the Central Powers led by Germany. When war broke out the British did everything in their power to bring down the Sultanate and carve up the empire with France and Russian (Sykes Picot Sazanov Treaty). The books delves into this alliance and also how the Arab Revolt (T.E. Lawrence of Arabia fame) and the Balfour Declaration (in favor of creating a Jewish state under British protection) played into the hands of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who tried to use every means at his disposal to annex key portions of the Middle East to the British Empire. Unfortunately for the region the British were unable to fully carry out their plans but what did they did carry out brought turmoil to the region until the British eventually pulled out of the region following World War II. Professor Fromkin does an excellent job weaving historical information into the personalities who participated in the spectacle (most interesting were Lord Kitchener, Sir Mark Sykes, Winston Churchill Georges Picot on one side and Enver Pasha, Djemal Pasha and Mustafa Kemal on the other side). In my opinion while others have gone on to more fully explain the history (see Eugene Rogan's book on the Fall of the Ottoman Empire, History of the Arabas and Jonathan Schneer on the Balfour Declaration-all available from Audible), this book still remains the seminal book on the subject. While I thought his narration was decent and well spoken, I do not believe that David de Vries was the best narrator for this book and he had many mispronunciations. I believe that Derek Perkins would have been better. Nevertheless I still highly recommend this book to listeners who wish to learn more about the making of the Modern Middle East.

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  • tredican
  • Springfield, MO, United States
  • 02-18-19

the best way to see the birth of the modern mideas

well read and better written. a full look at how the modern mideast came to be.