Contested Lands - A History of the Middle East since the First World War

T. G. Fraser


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Haus Publishing
15 August 2021
ISBN: 9781913368241
288 pages

From the publisher

Until the First World War, the Ottoman Empire had dominated the Middle East for four centuries. But its collapse, coupled with the subsequent clash of European imperial policies, unleashed a surge in political feeling among the people as they vied for national self-determination. Over the century that followed, the region has become almost synonymous with unrest and conflict. Why? In an accessible survey of the last century, Contested Lands tells the story of the Middle East: what happened, why, and what it all means today. With a focus on the many conflicts in the region over the last one hundred years, T. G. Fraser analyses the fault lines of the tension: the damaging legacies of imperialism; the creation of the State of Israel; the competition between secular, autocratic rulers and emerging democratic and theocratic forces; and the rise - and fall - of Arab Nationalism in the face of fraying regional alliances and the Islamic revival. Against this backdrop comes the twenty-first century, marked first by the tragedy of 9/11, then the 'Arab Spring' and the ongoing Syria's civil war. And in the midst of it all, complex social and economic change have transformed the region. In Contested Lands, T. G. Fraser untangles the threads of history in the Middle East and, in doing so, weaves a detailed and insightful picture of a troubled region and why its heritage remains important today.