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A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the struggle that shaped the Middle East (Anglais) Relié – 4 août 2011

4.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client

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Revue de presse

'With superb research and telling quotations, Barr has skewered the whole shabby story... The convulsion of that fateful line in the sand are still being felt today - not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world.' --The Times, 29 July 2011

Racy... Barr describes the complexities of Anglo-French intrigues against each other and... he is right to assert that few British readers grasp the ferocity of Anglo-French antagonism in the Levant.' --Sunday Times, 24 July 2011

'superb research and telling quotations' --The Times

`Racy ... Barr describes the complexities of Anglo-French intrigues against each other and -- in 1941 -- outright war in Syria. ... he is right to assert that few British readers grasp the ferocity of Anglo-French antagonism in the Levant' --Sunday Times

`James Barr's history of imperial machinations in the Middle East offers a revelatory slant on the continuing crisis in that area... an outstanding piece of research and a damning take on what stoked current Middle Eastern woes' --Metro

`One of the unexpected responses to reading this masterful study is amazement at the efforts the British and French each put into undermining the other. The people of the region were only too happy to help fuel the rivalry: if a British administrator devised a new plan or wrote a damning description of his French counterpart, the chances are that a copy would arrive in Paris soon after London. Barr gives less attention to this aspect of the rivalry. He has also limited the story in time -- no mention, for instance, of Napoleon and Nelson fighting their way through the region in the 1790s at the beginning of the struggle. Nor, more significant, the fiasco that ensued in 1956 when the two rivals worked in unison in response to Nasser's nationalisation of the Suez Canal. But there is enough here to have even the most jingoistic readers shaking their heads and, in the light of 60 years of conflict that has followed, wondering whether the region would now be more resolved and peaceful had the British and French never been allowed to take control' --The Spectator

`Times Reporter Who Upset The French And Was Repaid With A Bellyful Of Trouble' --The Times

`Barr lays out in detail how between the wars the two countries sought to undermine one another in the Middle East. ...[He] is particularly good at identifying and portraying officials and agents engaged in these tit-for-tat reprisals that blurred the distinction between patriotism and crime. ...Barr devotes some final engrossing chapters to the way the French tried to get their own back on Arabs and British alike by conspiring with the Zionists in the post-1945 turmoil. ...The real moral of this story seems to be that the game of nations has no rules, no winners and no point' --Literary Review

`[A Line In The Sand] researches in meticulous detail an important and definitive period in the history of the Middle East and Palestine, which aroused imperial feuding for the sake of dominion over the East, and which continues to be tangible. The author has expended considerable efforts in research and verification in tracing the threads of the feud between Britain and France... . [He] is peerless in his extensive treatment of the Zionist terrorist campaigns ... [which], at the end of the day, brought about the British debacle in Palestine and resulted in great human or material loss' --Al Quds Magazine

`Lively and entertaining. He has scoured the diplomatic archives of the two powers as well as the private papers of most of the leading officials of the time in search of the telling phrase, and has come up with a rich haul that brings his narrative to life' --Financial Times

The struggle between Britain and France for mastery of the Middle East between 1914 and the late 1940s, is analysed by James Barr in his excellent new book.
It is a complex story of intrigue and skulduggery, which Barr pieces together in a deft, well-written narrative. A journalist by profession, he manages to bring the whole subject alive through a series of well-chosen details and characters --History Today

Présentation de l'éditeur

In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. Against the odds their pact survived the war to form the basis for the post-war division of the region into five new countries Britain and France would rule. The creation of Britain's 'mandates' of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria, made the two powers uneasy neighbours for the following thirty years.
Through a stellar cast of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, A Line in the Sand vividly tells the story of the short but crucial era when Britain and France ruled the Middle East. It explains exactly how the old antagonism between these two powers inflamed the more familiar modern rivalry between the Arabs and the Jews, and ultimately led to war between the British and the French in 1941 and between the Arabs and the Jews in 1948.
In 1946, after many years of intrigue and espionage, Britain finally succeeded in ousting France from Lebanon and Syria, and hoped that, having done so, it would be able to cling on to Palestine. Using newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this overlooked clandestine struggle back to life, and reveals, for the first time, the stunning way in which the French finally got their revenge.

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Ouvrage bien structuré et documenté, permettant au lecteur averti mais non spécialiste une meilleure compréhension de la genèse des conflits qui agitent le Proche Orient. Qui a prétendu que l'histoire ne repassait pas les plats ?
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ouvrage remarquablement documenté... malheureusement un peu trop "one-sided " pour ma sensibilité de frenchman. Indispensable pour qui veut tenter de comprendre le Moyen-Orient mais aussi et peut-être davantage encore la longue histoire des relations franco-britanniques...
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the best book I've read about Middle-East issues and their history. It explains the catch22 drama of today ! a must read
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Extremement interessant, ce livre permet de mieux comprendre la situation actuelle au Moyen Orient. Ou l'on voit les tristes consequences des luttes imperialistes.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x925c2ec4) étoiles sur 5 14 commentaires
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b69c00) étoiles sur 5 This well-written and researched book has been spoiled by a ... 20 février 2015
Par Richard Lightbown - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This well-written and researched book has been spoiled by a plethora of petty errors and omissions. This limits its use as an academic source. I did not record all the inaccuracies that I noticed, but the following come to mind:
1) Britain did no ‘seize’ Cyprus in 1878 (p9): it was leased to the British Empire following the Congress of Berlin.
2) Neither did Britain ‘seize’ the Suez Canal (p9): it took out a loan from Rothschild to buy the Egyptian Government’s stock.
3) In his account of the Fashoda Incident of 1898 Barr omits any reference to the Anglo-Egyptian victory under Kitchener at Omdurman earlier in that year when nearly 10,000 Sudanese were killed for the loss of 28 British and 20 Egyptians. It was hardly surprising therefore that the French force of 12 French officers and 150 Senegalese soldiers was ordered to withdraw after Kitchener arrived at Fashoda with 2,500 Sudanese soldiers and five gunboats with Maxim guns and field-guns.
4) The suggestion that Ronald Storrs was responsible for instigating the Hussein-McMahon correspondence (p23) is implausible, although the egotistical Storrs may have claimed this to have been so. Hussein’s son Abdullah had contacted Kitchener in February 1914 when the latter was British Agent and Consul-General in Egypt. Although Kitchener was non-committal, contacts had been maintained. Storrs, who was not fully fluent in Arabic, was more likely to have been responsible for the gaffs in the correspondence, such as the suggestion that Lebanese Christians were not Arabs.
5) Herbert Samuel is similarly credited for the work of others on p32. Samuel was certainly an ardent Zionist, but the real hard graft and intrigue to secure the Balfour Declaration was led by Chaim Weizmann, backed by Walter Rothschild.
6) Barr mentions on p51 that Allenby’s predecessor had twice failed to capture Gaza. In fact the town had been captured during the first Battle of Gaza but Dobell had feared a counter attack and had ordered a withdrawal. The exhausted troops were unable to recapture the town the following day. Barr does not mention that gas and tanks were used during the Second Battle although both were rendered ineffective by the heat and, in the case of the tanks, the sandy conditions. The town was razed by shelling from Australian artillery and the French Navy during the third battle.
7) The account of the riot at Haifa oil refinery is misleading. The Irgun had thrown grenades into a crowd of Arab workers killing six and wounding forty-two. This provoked the attack on Jewish workers in the refinery, for which Ilan Pappé gives different casualty figures (39 killed and 49 wounded). The Jewish Agency publically condemned the Irgun atrocity but secretly authorised the Hagannah to carry out retaliation. This took the form of raids on the villages of Balad al-Shaykh and Hawsha where houses were blown and set on fire and according to Zachary Lockman some 60 were killed, included women and children.
8) The death toll at Deir Yassin (p365) is generally reckoned to be much less than 250, even by scholars critical of the Zionist actions. Barr ought to have mentioned that the village had an agreement with the Hagannah that it would not allow Arab fighters to stay there and in return the Zionists had promised not to attack it. In consequence Haganah forces had not intended to take part in the attack. However Stern Gang and Irgun members had been unable to overcome resistance in the headman’s house (they were more familiar with caching bombs and ambushing soldiers and unarmed civilians) so a nearby Palmach unit was briefly called in to suppress the resistance.
9) The victims of the reprisal massacre on Mt Scopus in Jerusalem (p366) were not all non-combatants (Barr describes them as ‘doctors, nurses and students’). The dead included two members of the Irgun injured at Deir Yassin, and members of the armed escort from the Hagannah.
10) The Altalena which Barr describes on p364 as a 'landing craft' was actually a landing ship, tank (LST) of 4,800 tons.

The problem of this sloppy writing is that when Barr gets into original material from his own researches one is unable to to accept it at face value but is also unable to verify it from other sources. This considerably detracts from the value of the work as a source of reference.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91b697e0) étoiles sur 5 thoroughly entertaining review of one of the most tempestuous periods in modern history 27 avril 2014
Par Adam Royale - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
James Barr's enthralling tale is well told and even better researched as it takes us through the tortuous roads of colonial intrigue that finally releases the forces and tensions of the modern Middle East. The book depicts both Britain and France as the midwives of the state of Israel whose rivalries also gives birth to the grotesque and grissly monsters that has become today's Syria, Iraq and of course Palestine. Highly recommended to anyone who would like to understand the political and social dilemmas facing middle eastern politicians and populace would try to work for a lasting peace in the Region. If ever there is an expose of the thoroughly discredited policies of colonial conquest and rule, this book demonstrates it in an understated and thoroughly human way. Highly recommended
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x98f4ed50) étoiles sur 5 Great Book to Know the Present 26 mai 2015
Par Ihab - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I am half way through the book. I am telling this book clear any ambiguity about what was happening in the middle east after the collapse of the Ottoman empire. And also it allowed me to rethink of what is going on currently in the middle east. One important chapter, if you will, summarize the whole conflict "The Pipelines"
HASH(0x92c4ff18) étoiles sur 5 I was looking for a book that could put the ... 22 février 2016
Par Thomas L Parrish - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I was looking for a book that could put the problems in the middle east in some kind of context, "A Line In The Sand" has done that for me. It is clear from the book that there are many factors that lead to this disfunction not the least of all is the rampant imperialism that existed in in the early 20th century.
6 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x91c37630) étoiles sur 5 A Line in the Sand. Britain, France and the Struggle That Shaped the Middle East. James Barr. 28 janvier 2013
Par Raymond Parsons - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I have already got a copy of this book & this edition.I bought a second one for my grandson

This is an excellent but complex account of events that followed the Paris Peace Conference in the Hall of Mirrors, at which the creation of the various countries after WW1 was implemented following the break up of the Ottoman Empire.

The chapters covering the Sykes-Picot agreement are well drafted. The book gets more complicated after that and is heavy going. It is not the best book I have read on the politics of the middle east, but it is still worthwhile.

The USA, Britain, France and all the other countries who invaded the Middle East should read this book. It explains the background and outlines the reasons for all the current wars in Iraq, Israel and the Arab world.

Lawrence of Arabia promised the Arabs their own country after the break up of the Ottoman Empire. They now hate the west because of being betrayed by the outcome of the Treaty of Versailles. We need to address the perceived injustices that have created Al Queda.

Unfortunately, as with Northern Ireland and the Israeli-Palestine conflict the West has tried to enforce their solutions on the Arabs. I fear matters have gone too far with the cascading of conflict down the generations.

I think this may lead to WW 3 with Al Queda.
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