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What the British Did : Two Centuries in the Middle East (Hardcover) (Peter Mangold)
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The Middle East has for nearly a hundred years been one of the most conflicted regions in the world. Why? What—or who—caused it to be so? Peter Mangold here shows that the British are at least partly responsible for today's troubles. It was the British who established the rule of law in the Gulf, helped facilitate the rise of Ibn Sa'ud and Saudi Arabia and created the Sheikhdoms of the Gulf. It was the British who fired up the Arab Revolt of 1916, which put the Hashemites on the political map and it was the British who, following World War I, created two new states—Iraq and Transjordan, with no regard for the tribal organisation and dynamics of the region. The declaration of a British foreign secretary, Sir Arthur Balfour, eventually led to the creation of Israel and the never ending Arab-Israeli Crisis. And it was British interventions in the domestic affairs of Egypt, Iraq and Iran which strongly affected—and in the latter case hindered—political development. In tracing the history of Britain's relationship with the Middle East from the Napoleonic Wars to the present day, Peter Mangold reveals how Britain's influence in the Middle East sowed the seeds for today's discontent.