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Comment: An ex-library book, with library markings, features, and stamps. Has protective plastic cover. Pages are free from notes, underlining or highlighting. Ships fast from Amazon's warehouse. Denali Books was invited to a sale that included some library books that were in extraordinary condition. This is one of those books. The plastic cover shows shelf wear but once in your library, if you remove it, you will have a very nice cover. There is a label on the bottom outside binding edge and a stamp at the top of the first inside page, a security sticker on the back inside cover, and a upc label (covered) on the top right corner of the back cover. The pages are like new. Enjoy.
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A Line in the Sand: The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948 Hardcover – January 9, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • A Line in the Sand: The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948
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  • A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
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  • The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An outstanding, revealing, and disturbing glimpse behind the closed doors of power politics. — Booklist

Lively and entertaining. . . . [Barr] has thrown some light on hitherto unexplored corners. — Financial Times

Starred review. Barr’s extensive archival research, evocative historical vignettes, and a superb sense of narrative pacing produce a first-rate work. — Publishers Weekly

Combines the narrative pace of a spy novel with meticulous archival research. — Eugene Rogan, author of The Arabs: A History

About the Author

James Barr is the author of Setting the Desert on Fire. During the research for A Line in the Sand he was a Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He lives in London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393070654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393070651
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an essential read for anyone trying to understand the modern middle east and the central conflict there between what is now the State of Israel and the Arabs of the region. For anyone familiar with the history of the relationship between the British Mandatory government and the Palestinian Jewish community - deteriorating from its high point following the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which promised a national homeland in Palestine for the Jewish people, to the open warfare of 1946/7 - this book provides a much broader context for understanding the shifts and turns in British policy over that period. Like many of the arbitrary borders established by colonial powers, the line in the book's title - defining the unquiet border between Israel and Lebanon - is still very much relevant today.

The author tells the story of two "Great Powers" - Britain and France - both of whom acted - in the grand tradition of 19th century colonialism - solely in the interest of perpetuating their own influence in the area. The problem was that, by the time that this story begins - toward the end of the World War 1 - the 19th century was history; there was a new spirit abroad, championed by the American President Woodrow Wilson, which demanded respect for the aspirations of local peoples to self-determination. Great Britain and France thus had to modify their imperialist goals - or at least cloak them - by seeking "mandates" from the newborn League of Nations, which authorised them to exercise so-called protective power over various parts of the now defunct Ottoman empire until such time as these territories were judged to be competent to rule themselves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent account by James Barr of the history of thirty four years of French and British competition for control of the Middle East.

He starts us at the logical point in late 1915 when Sir Mark Sykes proposed to the British prime minister how they might resolve the conflict with the French about the lands of the Ottoman Empire before it strained a fragile alliance with France. In conjunction with a French diplomat, Georges Picot, a line was determined that would give French control in the north and British control in the south. Keep in mind that France and England are engaged on the European continent in a devasting war against Germany, and yet their long standing mistrust manifests itself in this region.

It appears that every faction, and every player is represented in this book. It is very complex to understand the alliances that were created and the problems they in turn created in the region, but the author does a good job of it. There were times in reading the book that I thought of a pack of dogs fighting, one turning against the other in a violent fury that was devastating for all.

This book also gives the reader a clear understanding of how the Balfour Declaration became a huge problem for the British and the region. Balfour wanted to encourage a home land for the Jews, and Palestine was the chosen area. While, at first blush it appears admirable, the British bungled this and helped to create the tension that still pervades this area today. While Churchill as Colonial Secretary was busy trying to convince the Arabs that the inclusion of the Jews would bring prosperity and happiness to all, the Arabs became more and more hostile as more immigrants arrived.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a student and teacher of 19th and 20th century Middle Eastern history, was anticipating this extraordinary study of the times. It is, for me, one of the definitive books of the period. One cannot understand the lack of trust, the skepticism, that Arabs feel towards the West if one does not understand this period. The promises made to the Arabs in 1915 to get them to rise up against the Ottoman Empire, and then the Sykes-Picot secret agreement in 1916 that broke the promise made in 1915, coupled with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, laid the foundation for the lack of trust that is so pervasive today. This is a "must read" for anyone who wants to understand the Middle East of today.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is not exactly fast reading but it is very interesting and provides a lot of details and background on events that have affected current situations in the Middle East. Frankly, had no idea of how arbitrary border decisions were etc
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having served with both the Saudi Air Force and the Turkish Air Force, I remember how much they distrusted the British and the French. After finishing Barr's book, I now understand why they still feel that way. I hope this book can help the US understand how the arrogance and ignorance of the two leading colonial powers helped create the Middle Eastern problems that we face today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The vibrant writting of A Line in the Sand grabs you from the very pretty beggining up to the last word. The disclosing of events occured during and in the aftermath of the Great War is made with an easy logic making the reader easily understand how and why things happened. If anyone wants to understand and create a solid criteria obout the Middle East building and finnally evaluate why today we do have the present situation this book is a MUST.
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