A Peace to End All Peace

The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East

Paperback, 643 pages

English language

Published July 21, 2009 by Holt Paperbacks.

OCLC Number:
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5 stars (2 reviews)

David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies drew lines on an empty map that remade the geography and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all seemed possible, he delivers in this sweeping and magisterial book the definitive account of this defining time, showing how the choices narrowed and the Middle East began along a road that led to the conflicts and confusion that continue to this day.

2 editions

More thorough than I wanted

4 stars

This is a fat book about how the allies partitioned the Middle East for their own benefit at the end of World War I.

Its coverage almost exclusively centers on the British. It mentions the aspirations and motivations of the other powers, but that's there mostly to provide context for why the British did what they did. This is probably a flaw in the book. I don't have enough outside knowledge of this subject to know how much that matters. The British Empire was the biggest empire in the world at the time. It makes sense that they would have an out-sized influence upon the outcome.

I chose to read this book because I like to plug holes in my knowledge. Most people are content to go through life with a good understanding of a few things and a vague understanding of everything else. How can you do that, people? …

Review of 'A Peace to End All Peace' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

David Fromkin's a Peace to End All Peace repays reading at least a second time. It is perhaps somewhat old fashioned in its sweeping historical narrative, but it offers a keen analysis of the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and the subsequent disastrous settlement of 1922, seen from a British perspective and centered around the career of Winston Churchill. Largely absent is the perspective of the Arabs caught between the anvil of Ottoman Rule and the hammer of the British invasion. For all that, it provides a fascinating and insightful perspective into the motivations that drove the Allies in their campaign to destroy the the Ottoman Empire and assume control of its Arab provinces.

The exhausted postwar allies, primarily Britain and France, bickered amongst themselves as they carved up the Arab Middle East into arbitrary territories governed by weak puppets. Ironically, it was the champion …


  • Politics and government
  • Foreign relations
  • History