A peace to end all peace

Right after Orientalism, I read David Fromkins’ A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East . Fascinating. This detailed work covers everything leading up to, through and right after the First World War, related to the Middle East. Fromkin is a very engaging writer. Even though the book had more historical details than I really needed, I enjoyed the whole thing.

As I read this last fall, I was amazed by the absolute disaster created by the “winners” of the war. There were tons of quotes that could still be applied to today’s precarious situation in the Middle East and the whole book reminded me of the fragility of modern social order. The story this book tells is the kind of story that make you wonder why we even try to make things better. My disillusionment aside, it was a great explanation of part of why things are still so fouled up.

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