A peace to end all peace
The Middle East, as we know it from today’s headlines, emerged from decisions made by the Allies during and after the First World War. In the pages that follow I set out to tell in one volume the wide-ranging story of how and why—and out of what hopes and fears, loves and hatreds, mistakes and misunderstandings—these decisions were made.
Russian and French official accounts of what they were doing in the Middle East at that time were, not unnaturally, works of propaganda; British official accounts—and even the later memoirs of the officials concerned—were untruthful too. British officials who played a major role in the making of these decisions provided a version of events that was, at best, edited and, at worst, fictitious. They sought to hide their meddling in Moslem religious affairs (pages 96—105) and to pretend that they had entered the Middle East as patrons of Arab independence—a cause in which they did not in fact believe. Moreover, the Arab Revolt that formed the centerpiece of their narrative occurred not so ...