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A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East Paperback – Oct 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 635 pages
  • Publisher: Owl Books (NY); 2 Reprint edition (Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805068848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805068849
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The Middle East, as we know it today, emerged from decisions made by the Allies during and after the First World War. This extraordinarily ambitious, vividly written account tells how and why those decisions were made and the devastating effect they had. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Fromkin is Professor of International Relations and Law at Boston University, Massachusetts --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "josa364" on 12 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
A Peace to end all Peace is a comprehensive overview of the firth world war in the Middle East. A war has rarely transformed a region so decisivley as was here the case and to follow the meanders of British Middle East policy up to, during and in the aftermath of the 20th century's first Great War, realizing the effects that haphazard or contradictory decisions have had on a whole region and its inhabitants for the century since is a truly fascinating and higly svary read. David Fromkin choses to focus his study on the person of Winston Churchill but also features characters known to us from polular culture, such as "Lawrence of Arabia" and those famous for behind the scenes-work as Sir Mark Sykes (even though I had yet to realize before reading this book just quite how "behind-the-scenes" it was...).
A recommended read for anyone with a genuine interest in the modern history of the Middle East, of the developments of the First World War or of aspects of foreign policy decision-making.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 8 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback
Who will become the Edward Gibbon of the British Empire? How many volumes will be required to chronicle the expansion and decline of the Anglo-Norman people in their globe-girdling endeavour? How many different nations and cultures came under their domination or control? Will that historian see the first signs of the Empire's decline in its dismemberment of a rival empire - the Ottoman? Britain's last imperial thrusts occurred while it was embroiled in a global war - the "war to end all war". The irony of this title lies in that Britain's expansion into the Middle East resulted in turning an icon of stability into today's cockpit of conflicting interests.
Fromkin, while not the BE's "Gibbon", exquisitely details the last expansionary gasp of Britain's global realm. Opening with the early years of the Twentieth Century, he explains how the outbreak of war in 1914 triggered vast changes in the Middle East. The events on the "Western Front" fade almost into obscurity behind the intrigues to partition the Ottoman Empire. He carefully examines the international competition over what appeared to be useless desert. Nearly every European power sought control of the trade routes into the Far East. Russia, long in quest of the Dardanelles as a route to the Mediterranean and beyond, naturally clashed with the British Empire. France, although Britain's ally, remained a trade competitor.
Although the phrase "Balance of Power" was often used to typify the international situation prior to WWI, the reality was that Britain dominated the seas. Retaining that situation was fundamental to British policy-making. There had already been clashes in Afghanistan, gateway to India from the north.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is undoubtedly the best book that I ever read concerning present day Near and Middle East. Written from a British perspective, it covers the crucial years of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, to include Lawrence of Arabia, the Balfour Declaration and the birth of modern Turkey. Supported by thorough and flawless historical research, including extensive access to previously overlooked archive material, this book has none of the too often simplistic and ideologically prejudged approach of many other texts on the same issues. A must read for all those who have a real interest in the birth of the Arab-Jewish conflict and, more in general, the various Middle East conflicts
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "josa364" on 12 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
A Peace to end all Peace is a comprehensive overview of the firth world war in the Middle East. A war has rarely transformed a region so decisivley as was here the case and to follow the meanders of British Middle East policy up to, during and in the aftermath of the 20th century's first Great War, realizing the effects that haphazard or contradictory decisions have had on a whole region and its inhabitants for the century since is a truly fascinating and higly svary read. David Fromkin choses to focus his study on the person of Winston Churchill but also features characters known to us from polular culture, such as "Lawrence of Arabia" and those famous for behind the scenes-work as Sir Mark Sykes (even though I had yet to realize before reading this book just quite how "behind-the-scenes" it was...).
A recommended read for anyone with a genuine interest in the modern history of the Middle East, of the developments of the First World War or of aspects of foreign policy decision-making.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hbw VINE VOICE on 2 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At times this reads more like a Cold War thriller than a political history. There are enough secret societies, conspiracy theories and shady diplomatic deals here to keep John le Carré in plots for a month of Sundays.

"The Middle East" is a European invention. In 1914, when the story begins, the "Middle Eastern Question", as far as the Allies were concerned, was about how to divide up the lands that lay between French North Africa, Russian Asia and British India, once the decaying Ottoman Empire had breathed its last.

By 1922, when the story ends, only the new Soviet Union still had a taste for empire-building. The former territories of the Sultan had become a series of notionally independent nation states designed to be run by European "advisors". "The Middle Eastern Question" had not been solved: it had just been changed.

David Fromkin suggests that Europe's approach to the Middle East in 1914 should be seen as part of "Great Game" that had dominated foreign policy in the East in the preceding century. It was this view, combined with astonishing official incompetence, that lead Allied politicians to make disastrous misjudgements about the Arab-speaking peoples and the role of Islam in the political life of the region.

I read this book to learn about the background to the current situation in the Middle East. I was not disappointed. It's a complex story and the author does a first rate job of disentangling it, drawing on previously closed official sources.

Written in 1989, this predates the First Gulf War. An unintended, but poignant, consequence is that Fromkin sometimes describes events of 90 years ago in phrases that could easily appear in today's news bulletins.

"A Peace to End All Peace" is an excellent and accessible work of political history.
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