This was a fascinating book. While not a big reader of World War I histories, I still understand enough to know that this book has greatly added to my knowledge of that war's events in the Middle East. I disagree with the reviewer who states that the book was "..more concerned with the personal relations of various British leaders and officials than what was going on in the Middle East," as it was these personal relations that often determined what the British Empire was going to do in the Middle East.
Most of us believe that the Middle East was not all that important to World War I. How wrong we are. How many of us know that both the British and French governments fell because of mistakes made there? Or how the Allies fell apart after the war due mostly to arguments and intrigues concerning the Middle East? I certainly wasn't aware that the United States had certain responsibilities there after the war, responsibilities we decided not to undertake but still we imposed conditions that led to further turmoil.
This book, as do many others, shows how Winston Churchill was blamed for a disaster that he really had nothing to do with. It also showed that, had an Admiral Nelson or an Admiral Cunningham been in charge of the fleet that tried to force the Dardnelles, Turkey would have been knocked out of the war early on and the history of the world might have been changed. But while Britain had her great Admirals, she also had those who should not have even commanded a tug boat.
Hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved, and those soldiers could have fought else where and changed the history of the war. Speaking of lives, hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in the Middle East after the war was over, generating hate that still impacts the region today.
Anyone with an interest in the Middle East or World War I needs to read this "acclaimed New York Times bestselling account." They may not always agree with the author, but they need to look at so many events and people from his perspective.
The book takes its title from a quote by Field Marshal Earl Wavell, who, as a younger officer, served under General Allenby in the World War I Palestine campaign.
"Ambitious and splendid...and epic tale"- The Wall Street Journal
Interesting, but much more concerned with the personal relations of various British leaders and officials than what was going on in the Middle East.