I realize that this blog is supposed to be about writing, and my writing in particular, but I did also say that I could post about anything that struck my fancy at the time, so for this week, I want to touch briefly on a book that everyone should read that might help them understand what is happening, and has been happening, in the Middle East for the last hundred years. It is a book I read while completing my minor work in History for my BS.
The book is “A Peace to End All Peace” by David Fromkin, which tells the story of how World War I started, how the Ottoman Empire got sucked in (when no one expected/wanted it to be), and of how the aftermath of the war lead to the carving up of the Empire. Written as a diplomatic history of the war and its aftermath, this book exposes the hubris and hypocritical behavior of the Western powers as they act both in concert with one another and independently in their own best interests as they establish countries that simply did not exist prior to 1918.
A must read for anyone concerned with foreign policy decisions in the region, Fromkin’s book exposes how the Middle East was set up to fail from the beginning, and why every intervention in the region now is doomed.