A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle that Shaped the Middle East by James Barr - review by David Pryce-Jones

David Pryce-Jones

Troubles in the Levant

A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle that Shaped the Middle East

By

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It is plain sailing to condemn the policies of Britain and France in the days when they controlled the Middle East, and A Line in the Sand does so with gusto. The charge is that the two imperial powers engaged in a consuming rivalry that ended in disaster for all concerned.

Moreover things didn’t have to turn out like that. Once upon a time, the British occupied Egypt and gladly let the French have Morocco as a counterweight. The Entente Cordiale and alliance against Germany in the First World War marked a genuine convergence of interests. Anticipating spoils at the

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