A Peace to End All Peace (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Syrian and Israeli troops occupy Lebanese territory. Israel claims the entire west bank of the Jordan River. Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Greece and Turkey, eye each other suspiciously. Muslim states in the Soviet Union agitate for independence, as do the Kurds in Iraq and Iran. Soviet and Western-backed troops fight for control of Afghanistan. Anyone seeking to understand these issues that fill the front pages of today’s newspapers should read A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East 1914-1922 (chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the Best Books of 1989), for it describes the settlement of 1922 that led to the current conflicts in the Middle East.
Most of the book focuses on British activity in the region during and after World War I, and David Fromkin rightly links those twentieth century developments to the “Great Game” of the 1800’s, in which England sought to safeguard India, the jewel in its imperial crown, by controlling land and sea routes to the Asian subcontinent. England’s chief opponents in this game were Russia and France, its major ally the moribund Ottoman Empire. Although in Europe in World War I these roles were reversed, in the Middle East the situation was more ambiguous, as England continued its efforts to maintain the hegemony in the region. The settlement that followed the war would please no one. England’s allies felt cheated of plunder; native populations believed that their...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
Booklist. LXXXV, August, 1989, p.1929.
Books. III, May, 1989, p.21.
Kirkus Reviews. LVII, June 15, 1989, p.892.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. February 4, 1990, p.15.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIV, August 27, 1989, p.3.
The Wall Street Journal. August 23, 1989, p. A9.
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