A Line in the Sand : Britain, France and the struggle that shaped the Middle East
by James Barr
Editor: Simon & Schuster Ltd
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In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East among themselves.Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot, a diplomat with a grudge.The agreement they struck, which was designed to relieve the tensions that threatened to engulf Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand of the Mediterranean Sea at the Persian border.North territory of the stark line north to go to France, the lands of the south, Great BritainAgainst winds and tides their pact survived the war and at the base of the post-war period, the division of the region into five new countries, Great Britain and France would be the rule.The creation of the Great Britain “mandates” of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France in Lebanon and Syria, the two neighbouring peoples’ powers for the next thirty years.Through a stellar selection of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including TELawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, Une Ligne dans le Sable vividly tells the story of the short but crucial time when Great Britain and France ruled the Middle East.It explains exactly how the old antagonism between these two powers ignited the most modern and familiar rivalry between Arabs and Jews, and ultimately led to war between the British and French in 1941 and between Arabs and Jews in 1948.In 1946, after many years of intrigue and espionage, Great Britain finally succeeded in expelling France, Lebanon and Syria, and hopes that, having done so, it would be able to cling to Palestine.Using new declassified documents from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this clandestine neglect, a struggle for life, which reveals, for the first time, the astonishing way in which the French finally got their revenge.
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