''Beautifully written and deeply researched'' The Observer Upon victory in 1945, Britain still dominated the Middle East. But her motives for wanting to dominate this crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa were changing. Where imperial security control of the route to India had once been paramount, now oil was an increasingly important factor. So, too, was prestige. Ironically, the very end of empire made control of the Middle East precious in itself: on it hung Britains claim to be a great power. Unable to withstand Arab and Jewish nationalism, within a generation the British were gone. But that is not the full story. What ultimately sped Britain on her way was the uncompromising attitude of the United States, which was determined to displace the British in the Middle East. Using newly declassified records and long-forgotten memoirs, including the diaries of a key British spy, James Barr tears up the conventional interpretation of this era in the Middle East, vividly portraying the tensions between London and Washington, and shedding an uncompromising light on the murkier activities of a generation of American and British diehards in the region, from the battle of El Alamein in 1942 to Britains abandonment of Aden in 1967. Reminding us that the Middle East has always served as the arena for great power conflict, this is the tale of an internecine struggle in which Britain would discover that her most formidable rival was the ally she had assumed would be her closest friend. ''Bustles impressively with detail and anecdote'' Sunday Times Consistently fascinating The Spectator ''Barr draws on a rich and varied trove of sources to knit a sequence of dramatic episodes into an elegant whole. Great events march through these pages'' Wall Street Journal
''Riveting and original ... a work enriched by solid scholarship, vivid personal experience, and acute appreciation of the concerns and aspirations of the contending parties in this deeply unequal conflict '' Noam Chomsky The twentieth century for Palestine and the Palestinians has been a century of denial: denial of statehood, denial of nationhood and denial of history. The Hundred Years War on Palestine is Rashid Khalidi''s powerful response. Drawing on his family archives, he reclaims the fundamental right of any people: to narrate their history on their own terms. Beginning in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, Khalidi reveals nascent Palestinian nationalism and the broad recognition by the early Zionists of the colonial nature of their project. These ideas and their echoes defend Nakba - the Palestinian term for the establishment of the state of Israel - the cession of the West Bank and Gaza to Jordan and Egypt, the Six Day War and the occupation. Moving through these critical moments, Khalidi interweaves the voices of journalists, poets and resistance leaders with his own accounts as a child of a UN official and a resident of Beirut during the 1982 seige. The result is a profoundly moving account of a hundred-year-long war of occupation, dispossession and colonialisation.
Shah of Shahs depicts the final years of the Shah in Iran, and is a compelling meditation on the nature of revolution and the devastating results of fear. Here, Kapuscinski describes the tyrannical monarch, who, despite his cruel oppression of the Iranian people, sees himself as the father of a nation, who can turn a backward country into a great power - a vain hope that proves a complete failure. Yet even as Iran becomes a 'behemoth of riches' and as the Shah lives like a European billionaire, its people live in a climate of fear, terrorized by the secret police. Told with intense power and feeling, Kapuscinski portrays the inevitable build-up to revolution - a cataclysmic upheaval that delivered Iran into the rule of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Jeremy Bowen, the BBC''s Middle East Editor, has been covering the region since 1989 and is uniquely placed to explain its complex past and its troubled present. In The Making of the Modern Middle East - in part based on his acclaimed podcast, Our Man in the Middle East - Bowen takes us on a journey across the Middle East and through its history. He meets ordinary men and women on the front line, their leaders, whether brutal or benign, and he explores the power games that have so often wreaked devastation on civilian populations as those leaders, whatever their motives, jostle for political, religious and economic control. With his deep understanding of the political, cultural and religious differences between countries as diverse as Erdogan''s Turkey, Assad''s Syria and Netanyahu''s Israel and his long experience of covering events in the region, Bowen offers readers a gripping and invaluable guide to the modern Middle East, how it came to be and what its future might hold.
Iran often appears in the media as a hostile and difficult country. From the time of the prophet Zoroaster, to the powerful ancient Persian Empires, to the revolution of 1979, the hostage crisis and president Mahmud Ahmadinejad - a controversial figure within as well as outside the country - this guide traces an account of Iran's past.
In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. Against the odds their pact survived the war to form the basis for the post-war division of the region into five new countries Britain and France would rule. The creation of Britain's 'mandates' of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria, made the two powers uneasy neighbours for the following thirty years.
Through a stellar cast of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, A Line in the Sand vividly tells the story of the short but crucial era when Britain and France ruled the Middle East. It explains exactly how the old antagonism between these two powers inflamed the more familiar modern rivalry between the Arabs and the Jews, and ultimately led to war between the British and the French in 1941 and between the Arabs and the Jews in 1948.
In 1946, after many years of intrigue and espionage, Britain finally succeeded in ousting France from Lebanon and Syria, and hoped that, having done so, it would be able to cling on to Palestine. Using newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this overlooked clandestine struggle back to life, and reveals, for the first time, the stunning way in which the French finally got their revenge.
"A remarkable feat of fearless and responsible reporting . . . important, timely, and informative." John le Carre NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF's targeted killing programs.
Turkey is a land torn between East and West, and between its glorious past and a dangerous, unpredictable future. After the violence of an attempted military coup against President Erdogan in 2016, an event which shocked the world, journalist and novelist Kaya Genc travelled around his country on a quest to find the places and people in whom the contrasts of Turkey's rich past meet. As suicide bombers attack Istanbul, and journalists and teachers are imprisoned, he walks the streets of the famous Ottoman neighbourhoods, telling the stories of the ordinary Turks who live among the contradictions and conflicts of Anatolia, one of the world's oldest civilizations. The Lion and the Nightingale presents the spellbinding story of a country whose history has been split between East and West, between violence and beauty - between the roar of the lion and the song of the nightingale.
Weaving together a mixture of memoir, interview and his own autobiography, Genc takes the reader on a contemporary journey through the contradictory soul of the Turkish nation.
Marc David Baer''s The Ottomans is a scintillating and brilliantly panoramic account of the history of the Ottoman empire , from its genesis to its dissolution. Baer provides a clear and engaging account of the dynastic and high politics of the empire , whilst also surveying the Ottoman world''s social, cultural, intellectual and economic development. What emerges is an Ottoman Empire that was a direct product of and an active participant in both European and global history. It challenges and transforms how we think of ''East'' and ''West,'' ''Enlightenment,'' and ''modernity,'' and directly confronts the horrors as well as the achievements of Ottoman rule.>
The Great Kings of Persia ruled over the largest Empire of antiquity, stretching from Libya to the Steppes of Asia, and from Ethiopia to Pakistan. At the heart of the Empire was the fabled palace-city of Persepolis where the Achaemenid monarchs held court in unparalleled grandeur. From here, Cyrus the Great, Darius, Xerxes, and their heirs passed laws, raised armies, and governed their multicultural Empire of enormous diversity. The Achaemenids, however, were one of the great dysfunctional families of history. Brothers fought brothers for power, wives and concubines plotted to promote their sons to the throne, and eunuchs and courtiers vied for influence and prestige. Our understanding of the Persian Empire has traditionally come from the histories of Greek writers such as Herodotus - and as such, over many centuries, our perspective has been skewed by ancient political and cultural agendas. Professor Llewellyn-Jones, however, calls upon original Achaemenid sources, including inscriptions, art, and recent archaeological discoveries in Iran, to create an authentic ''Persian Version'' of this remarkable first great empire of antiquity - the Age of the Great Kings.
In this text, Friedman reaches deep into the traumatic and complex recent history of the conflicts in the Middle East. For this edition, Friedman has added a further two chapters that bring the book up to 1995 and the unfolding and stalling of the Middle Eastern peace process.
Superbly researched and enormously entertaining .. one of the outstanding books of the year' The Times An epic story of empire-building and bloody conflict, this ground-breaking biography of one of history's most venerated military and religious heroes opens a window on the Islamic and Christian worlds' complex relationship.
When Saladin recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, returning the Holy City to Islamic rule for the first time in almost ninety years, he sent shockwaves throughout Christian Europe and the Muslim Near East that reverberate today.
It was the culmination of a supremely exciting life, fraught with challenges and contradictions but blessed occasionally with marvellous good fortune. Born into a significant Kurdish family in northern Iraq, Saladin shot to power in faraway Egypt thanks to the tutelage of his uncle. Over two decades, this warrior and diplomat fought under the banner of jihad, but at the same time worked tirelessly to build an immense dynastic empire that stretched from North Africa to Western Iraq. Gathering together a turbulent and diverse coalition he was able to capture Jerusalem, only to trigger the Third Crusade and face his greatest adversary, King Richard the Lionheart.
Drawing on a rich blend of Arabic and European sources, this is a comprehensive account of both the man and the legend to which he gave birth, describing vividly the relentless action of his life and then tracing its aftermath through culture and politics all the way to the present day. It reveals the personal qualities that explain his enduring reputation as a man of faith, generosity, mercy and justice, even while showing him to be capable of mistakes, self-interest and cruelty. After Saladin's death, it goes on to explain how in the West this Sunni Muslim became famed for his charm and chivalric virtue, while across much of the Islamic world he stands as one of history's greatest heroes, an inspiration to be admired and emulated.
The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin shows how this one man's life takes us beyond the crude stereotypes of the 'Clash of Civilisations' even while his legacy helps explain them: an intimate portrait of a towering figure of world history that is thrillingly relevant today.
THE THIRD EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER, REVISED AND UPDATED 'A rich, galloping narrative that spans the Arab world...outstanding, gripping and exuberant...full of flamboyant character sketches, witty asides and magisterial scholarship, that explains much of what we need to know about the world today' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Anyone who seeks to understand why the Islamic world bears a grudge against the West should read The Arabs' Sir Alaistair Horne Starting with the Ottoman conquests in the sixteenth century, this landmark book follows the story of the Arabs through the era of European imperialism and the Superpower rivalries of the Cold War, to the present age of unipolar American power. Drawing on the writings and eyewitness accounts of those who lived through the tumultuous years of Arab history, The Arabs balances different voices - politicians, intellectuals, students, men and women, poets and novelists, famous, infamous and the completely unknown - to give a rich, complex sense of life over nearly five centuries. Rogan's book is remarkable for its geographical sweep, covering the Arab world from North Africa through the Arabian Peninsula, and for the depth in which it explores every facet of modern Arab history. Charting the evolution of Arab identity from Ottomanism to Arabism to Islamism, it covers themes including the conflict between national independence and foreign domination, the Arab-Israeli struggle and the peace process, Abdel Nasser and the rise of Arab Nationalism, the political and economic power of oil and the conflict between secular and Islamic values. This multilayered, fascinating and definitive work is the essential guide to understanding the history of the modern Arab world - and its future.