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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic on Modern Arab History!
This is definitely the classic account of the rise of the Arabic people and the making of the modern Middle East. It covers the critical periods of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, when most of the Arab countries went through radical change from being part of the Ottoman Empire, to being colonized by Western powers, to becoming independent again...
Published on August 9, 2003 by Giant Panda

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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Paperback version missing maps
I've ordered the paperback version for $35.95 and this version seems to be missing some important pieces.
Namely, the maps. Of the 6 maps, only 2 are present, the other 4 are missing.
I contacted Amazon.COM and they sent a replacement paperback. It too was missing the same maps.
Must I spend an extra $100 to get the Hardcover edition just for 4 freaking...
Published on January 23, 2004 by W. Alcaraz


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic on Modern Arab History!, August 9, 2003
By 
Giant Panda (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
This is definitely the classic account of the rise of the Arabic people and the making of the modern Middle East. It covers the critical periods of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, when most of the Arab countries went through radical change from being part of the Ottoman Empire, to being colonized by Western powers, to becoming independent again. Learn about the history of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine, from an Arab perspective. Though written more than half a century ago, this book is indispensable and offers fundamental insights on Middle East affairs, and is packed full of historical facts that withstood the test of time. A primary advantage of this book is the part about Palestine, which was written before the formation of Israel in 1948 and therefore reflects the intricacy and complexity of that crucial first half of the century from a unique perspective. A Palestinian himself, George Antonius is not afraid to put his thoughts on Palestine in the open, describing his vision for coexistence between the Palestinian and the Jewish people in one democratic and constitutional state. The only weakness I find in this book is the author's tendency to give too much credit to the Hashemites, overplaying their role in forming Arab events at the turn of the century, and underplaying their role in collaborating with th British and the Zionists to the detriment of their Arab brethren. Of course some of those secret deals were not known at his time, but he could have been a less forgiving historian.
Still, there still is no comparable text that treats the pre-1940 history of the Arab Middle East in such detail as "The Arab Awakening".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arab Nationalism As Humanism, February 3, 2008
By 
Chimonsho (Turtle Island) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
Though not a key unlocking all Middle Eastern mysteries, "Arab Awakening" effectively traces Arabs' response to the challenges of Western and Ottoman imperialism. Some of the analysis is now superceded, e.g. giving primacy to Lebanese Christians as pioneers of Arabism while downplaying Islamic modernizers. But it holds up remarkably well overall, describing the movement and exposing British double-dealing over Palestine. A Christian Arab and former Foreign Office official, Antonius was perfectly positioned to write this book, though FO ties probably led former colleagues to favor his views. Original research and heartfelt sentiments ensure its classic status, but the revelation is the humane portrayal of all parties involved. This contrasts markedly with the regionwide trend toward confrontation since the 1930s. "Arab Awakening" displays nationalism at its best, a positive force advocating political rights for the excluded (like Zionism at its best). A much-needed study of Antonius's career is S. Boyle, "Betrayal of Palestine."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic on Modern Arab History!, October 19, 2008
By 
Giant Panda (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
This is definitely the classic account of the rise of the Arabic people and the making of the modern Middle East. It covers the critical periods of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, when most of the Arab countries went through radical change from being part of the Ottoman Empire, to being colonized by Western powers, to becoming independent again. Learn about the history of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine, from an Arab perspective. Though written more than half a century ago, this book is indispensable and offers fundamental insights on Middle East affairs, and is packed full of historical facts that withstood the test of time. A primary advantage of this book is the part about Palestine, which was written before the formation of Israel in 1948 and therefore reflects the intricacy and complexity of that crucial first half of the century from a unique perspective. A Palestinian himself, George Antonius is not afraid to put his thoughts on Palestine in the open, describing his vision for coexistence between the Palestinian and the Jewish people in one democratic and constitutional state. The only weakness I find in this book is the author's tendency to give too much credit to the Hashemites, overplaying their role in forming Arab events at the turn of the century, and underplaying their role in collaborating with th British and the Zionists to the detriment of their Arab brethren. Of course some of those secret deals were not known at his time, but he could have been a less forgiving historian.

Still, there still is no comparable text that treats the pre-1940 history of the Arab Middle East in such detail as "The Arab Awakening".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Arab Awakening: The story of the Arab national movement" by George Antinius (1969)., June 22, 2008
The book by G. Antonius "The Arab Awakening: The story of the Arab national movement" is a classical book about al-Nahda epoch of the late 19th - early 20th century. In 1939 American diplomats involved in the Middle East strongly recommended the book to their juniour colleagues for deeper understanding of the region. "The Arab Awakening" is one of the most cited books devoted to the Middle East problems.

G. Antonius was one of the founders of "standard historiography", as well as Colonel T. E. Lawrence, Amin Said, Professor D. G. Hogarth etc. The Antonius' style is beautiful. He was born in Syria, he knew the Middle East very well, and he was acquainted with the main figures of his writing.

I have received the edition of 1969 by Librairie du Liban. Although it is not the first edition of 1938 by Hamish Hamilton Publishers (I had studied it previously preparing my PhD dissertation) I also recommend this book by G. Antonius as those American diplomats in 1939 to everyone who wants to know the Middle East better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Great Book, March 21, 2014
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This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
The Arab Awakening

The Arab Awakening is an excellent presentation of facts illustrating the Arab and British Mind and Mentality before, during, and after WWI in the fight against the Ottoman Empire. The book is a clear manifestation of the great depth and insight of George Antonious in interpreting and analyzing the volatile tactics and strategies of both the British and the Arabs in their revolt against the Ottomans. The only thing that I believe should have been included is the actual letter correspondence between Sir McMahon and the Sharif Hussein. A copy of the original Arabic version of the letters of Sharif Hussein with copies of McMahon’s responses would have been most valuable. The translation of such letters from English to Arabic and vice versa would be evidence that there was no loss of meaning in the messages conveyed. Correct translation of important documents is essential in preserving intended messages. It is a great reference book for academics or people looking into the history and formation of the Arab countries.

Dr. Sami G. Banarji
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to write in a spirit of fairness and objectivity, December 24, 2013
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This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
The book's object is to to tell a story and mark its significance. It aims at giving am account of the origins of the Arab awakening, its development and the main obstacles it has had to face under the Ottoman Empire, then under the British and French colonialism. It is beautifully narrated with such accounts as seemed necessary to elucidate the problem. George Antonius is a prophetic scholar in his best when writing this book in 1938 of the responsibility that lay upon humanity to alleviate the suffering of the Jews in Europe, he uttered this warning:"To place the brunt of the burden upon Arab Palestine is a miserable evasion of the duty that lies upon the whole of the civilized world . ...No code of morals can justify the persecution of one people into an attempt to relieve the persecution of another. The cure for the eviction of the Jews from Germany is not to be sought in the eviction of the Arabs from their homeland; and the relief of Jewish distress may not be accomplished at the cost of inflicting a corresponding distress upon innocent and peaceful population." Then George Antonius shows us how the fact that this precisely what Britain and her allies France and the United States allowed to happen in Palestine has created a bitterness and a fear so deeply abiding in Arab hearts, especially the Arabs of Palestine that although the Zionist state (Israel) has come to exist since 1948, the author then in writing this book in 1938 prophesied that even if the Western world supported the creation of a Jewish state by the eviction of the palestinians from their land, "But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession." It is a classic book for those who wanted some elucidation about the origin of the Arab movement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, May 1, 2013
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This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
It is a classic, one of the best books I have ever read. I keep retreading it and quoting it. It is eternal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awakening to the Truth, February 8, 2013
This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
"The Arab Awakening" by George Antonius was, along with "Palestine: The Reality" by Joseph Jeffries one of the first books to effectively make the Arab case against their Anglo-French betrayers and overlords following the First World War. The book was widely admired when it first came out and remains one of the classics in its field. It was read extensively by American diplomatic and consular officials in the Middle East before the Second World War. Antonius demonstrates that the Arabs did, indeed, fight on behalf of the British military campaign in World War One, effectively isolating 20,000 or more Turkish troops in the area of Medina and Mecca, away from Edmund Allenby's main theater of war in Gaza. Whether the Turks diverted the troops because of Arab military prowess or the desire to protect the holy places is really immaterial, as the benefit to the British remained the same. Antonius then details the same campaign of sabotage and ambush north up the Arabian peninsula described by Thomas Edward Lawrence in "Seven Pillars of Wisdom".

After the war, the British and French divided the Arabian peninsula into a patchwork of artificial states, betraying the pledges of Sir Henry MacMahon and selling out Palestine to the Jews. Antonius goes into considerable detail on the famous MacMahon-Hussein correspondence, showing that His Majesty's goverment did indeed deceive in its interpretation of same and then deliberately suppress the correspondence until the time of the Saint James Crown Conference of January-March 1939, when Lord Maugham reluctantly admitted that Arab claims "had more force than hitherto imagined".The various apologetics of Sir Henry, notably that he had made a "mental reservation" regarding Palestine (English "Kol Nidre") are properly dismised as self-serving nonsense that no English judge would seriously consider for a moment. (Indeed, the Arabs retained the opinion of a former Attorney General of the British Mandate, Sir Michael McDonnell, who reached precisely the same conclusion. Sir Henry was bound by what he wrote, not by ex-post facto rationalizations of what he supposedly meant to say.)

Antonius made his case but was subsequently overruled by the 1948 war and the force of events. His book was published at a time when the Department of Near Eastern and Aftrican Affairs was dominated by American officials like Wallace Murray and Loy Henderson, who were very skeptical about Zionist ambitions in the Middle East. Both the State Department and Antonius lost - and the Zionists no longer have to worry aout forgotten opinions. Still, Antonius book is a reminder of the injustice that was done - and that will not disappear. Those who read "The Arab Awakening" will gain great insight into what the media cover up - with good reason.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seventy years old, but still highly relevant today, July 28, 2009
By 
Curious Senior (Fort Myers, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (Paperback)
Written on the eve of World War II, this is a thoughtful, well-researched account of the forces which transformed the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire into the nation states of the Middle East which now exist. It focuses particularly on the promises which the British made to the Arab peoples and on which the latter had relied in deciding to join the fight against the Turks in World War I, in the expectation that success would lead to their independence--promises that were cynical at the time made and ignored in the peace negotiations. Anyone who still thinks the problems in the Middle East began with the creation of Israel in 1948 would profit by reading this book and getting a longer view of the issues which are still with us today.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Replacement Copy received and fine, February 19, 2004
Well,
After notifying the publisher of the missing maps, they rectified the problem. I received a replacement copy from them that was excellent.
Thus, my second review now gives the book 5 stars, to offset the 2 I put in previously.
With all the maps, the book is an excellent and invaluable resource regarding the Middle East.
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The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement
The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement by George Antonius (Paperback - December 1, 1939)
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