A Line in the Sand by James Barr
The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948

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Synopsis

“A provocative history . . . helps us to understand why the Arab spring is so important and valuable.”—David Ignatius, National Interest


In the twentieth century, while fighting a common enemy in Europe, Britain and France were locked in a clandestine struggle for power in the Middle East. From the first agreement to divide the region between them to the birth of Israel, A Line in the Sand is a gripping narrative of the last gasp of imperialism, with tales of unscrupulous double-dealing, cynical manipulation, and all-too-frequent violence that continues to the present day.
 

About James Barr

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James Barr is the author of Setting the Desert on Fire. During the research for A Line in the Sand he was a Visiting Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. He lives in London.
 
Published January 9, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 479 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Line in the Sand

Kirkus Reviews

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Reluctant allies against the Germans, the British and French had to divide the Ottoman spoils, and the agreement essentially “drew a line in the sand” from Acre to Kirkuk, the north falling under French protection and the south to the British.

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of A Line in the Sand: The Anglo...

Publishers Weekly

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Toward the end of WWI, as the Ottoman Empire’s collapse seemed imminent, French and British imperial designs turned to the Mideast.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Line in the Sand: The Anglo...

Christian Science Monitor

Much is always made of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 in which the British and the French secretly connived to split the Middle East like a ripe melon, dividing what is now Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordon, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank between them.

Jan 25 2012 | Read Full Review of A Line in the Sand: The Anglo...

The Jewish Chronicle

Barr quotes the MI5 man as reporting, from top-secret sources, that it was known that "French officials in the Levant have been clandestinely selling arms to the Hagana and we have received recent reports of their intention to stir up strife in Palestine."

Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of A Line in the Sand: The Anglo...

Artswrap

Artswrap - A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle That Shaped the Middle East - James Barr Search this site: Log In / Register ...

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BBC History Magazine

But for a book based on British and French sources and, to be fair, intent on exploring the imperial rivalry as contested in the Middle East, that is surely only natural.

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American Diplomacy

While British soldiers were still fighting and dying to liberate France, the nascent French government, barely six months old, was secretly backing Jewish efforts to kill British soldiers and officials in Palestine.

| Read Full Review of A Line in the Sand: The Anglo...

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