My rating: 5 of 5 stars
James Barr’s A Line in the Sand: The Anglo-French Struggle for the Middle East, 1914-1948 is great book for those who are interested in how we came to where we are today in the Middle East. A Line in the Sand is a tale of the competition between Great Britain and France to control the Middle East, from World War I to the birth of Israel. It’s a story of deviousness, betrayal, and violence on all sides and one that neither Britain or France comes away from favorably. Barr’s writing is captivating and objective; while one could develop the idea that he’s sympathetic toward Britain, by the end I didn’t feel sympathy for either. Furthermore, after reading this book you understand why there is no trust in the Middle East; there’s no reason for trust. This is a must read book for understanding the current state of affairs all over the Middle East and the predicament that we in the West have gotten ourselves into.