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Preview — The Berlin-Baghdad Express by Sean McMeekin
The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power
The modern Middle East was forged in the crucible of the First World War, but few know the full story of how war actually came to the region. As Sean McMeekin reveals in this startling reinterpretation of the war, it was neither the British nor the French but rather a small clique of Germans and Turks who thrust the Islamic world into the conflict for their own political,...more
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In retrospect,Turkey’s entry into the war proved to be its undoing. While both the Allies and the Central...more
Reading the last two chapters and epilogue are a bit like finding a fly in the soup, after you've eaten most of the soup. McMeekin's views on the meaning of jihad in Islam and the origins of anti-semitism in the...more
Lawrence's own post-war bitterness at the dismissal of Arab nationalist aspirations (though tainted by his own cynical actions in fomenting those hopes even knowing that Britain and Fra...more
The problem is in the tone of the book which is pretty shrill in a "them vs us" kind that kept me "rewriting" passages from this book in my head in a what-if history where America stayed neutral and Germany crushed France and forced England t...more
I'm somewhat derailed by the epilogue on Zionism however, rather the same feeling as with Tony Judts Postwar's Holocaust Epilogue. It kind of arrives from nowhere after a book largely bypassing the Yishuv (more or less fairly, as a very minor factor in a book that stretches from Lib...more
I'm glad I slogged through the first third of the book though. Because after a while, I got in the groove and it started making sense. After reading this, I feel much more enlighted about why the middle east is the way it is. It was also another testament as to what a knucklehead...more
The author then does a terrific job drawing out the consequences of this attempt at mass jihad which are still active today.
Anyway, I definitely recommend this book!
However, it opened so many new doors for me and helped me to understand a lot of things a little better.
Excellent. Well worth the effort.