Historian Catherwood (Churchill's Folly,
2004) first set out to write a concise history of the Middle East before the 9/11 attacks. His objective was to enter into the then-hot and currently even more volatile debate between scholars Bernard Lewis and Edward Said over the origins of East-West tensions. With this book, Catherwood revisits this debate--generally positioning himself alongside Lewis--as part of a broader thesis about the necessity of understanding the inextricability of Western history from its Middle Eastern origins. Much of Catherwood's analysis deals with the consequences of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which he finds to be a root cause of many modern challenges, including Islamic terrorism and the Palestinian conflict, as well as the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. Ultimately, however, Catherwood would have us look even further back to more distant battles, such as the massive defeat of the Byzantines by the Seljuk Turks at Manzikert, for insight into the present. Brendan DriscollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"This compelling volume raises eerie echoes of present day Iraq."