"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Fall of the Ottoman Empire

As I have noted repeatedly already, this year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War and all the associated and consequent catastrophes--from the Armenian genocide and Russian revolution to the collapse of various empires. Next year one of the most consequential of those collapses, with far-reaching consequences for Eastern Christians, will be reviewed anew in Eugene Rogan's forthcoming book, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East (Basic, 2015), 448pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
In The Fall of the Ottomans, Eugene Rogan weaves a captivating account of the First World War in the Middle East. Supplied by Germany with guns and military advisors, the Ottoman Empire entered the war with gusto, taking on the Russians in the Caucasus and the French and British in North Africa and South Asia. Caught off guard by the Ottomans’ innovative tactics and surprisingly effective forces, the Entente armies rapidly lost ground.

As Rogan shows, it was only by exploiting divisions within the Arab world that the Entente powers were able to break the Ottomans and turn the tide of the war. The ensuing treaties laid the groundwork for the modern Middle East: the Ottomans’ Arab holdings were distributed among the French and British victors, whose control over Palestine and Northern Iraq would have disastrous and lasting consequences. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Damascus, The Fall of the Ottomans shows how a European conflict became a global conflagration.

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