Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Fall Of The Ottomans: The Great War In The Middle East

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review of Eugene Rogan's The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East for the Washington Times.

For obvious reasons, most English-language books published on the Great War of 1914-1918 are Eurocentric, focused on the grinding trench warfare of the Western Front. Even the occasional glances eastward seldom got beyond the Gallipoli campaign, and even these accounts stressed the role of Australian and New Zealander troops, not the Middle Eastern armies.

Now comes an absolutely magnificent account of the war from the viewpoint of the Ottoman Empire, which sided with Germany during the conflict and suffered a crushing defeat that turned much of the Middle East into British and French colonial satraps. Eugene Rogan, a British scholar now teaching at Oxford, lived in the Middle East for years. Importantly, he had the linguistic ability to do research in Turkish and other archives seldom visited by Western historians.

His account is geopolitical and military writing at its best — taut, anecdotal and extraordinarily researched. A tangled story, to be sure, one that both commands and rewards the reader’s attention.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:



  1. I am intrigued enough to seek out and read this one. And I am reminded of Santayana's famous aphorism: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." So, why wouldn't we read and study history? I wish more of our so-called leaders understood Santana's warning.