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am 23. Januar 2015
Fromkin arbeitet ordentlich die Geschehnisse von 1914 bis 1922 im Nahen Osten auf. Dabei erfährt man wenig Neues, bekommt aber einen sehr guten Überblick. Meine Erwartungshaltung wurde jedoch enttäuscht: Das Buch wurde in den Medien (gut - von denen sollte man eh nicht viel erwarten) überbewertet als DAS Werk, welches den Nahostkonflikt erklärt. Der Titel unterstützt diese Suggestion. Fromkin wirft den kleingeistigen britischen Staatsdienern vor, sie hätten Politik ohne Berücksichtigung der religiösen und ethnischen Gegebenheiten betrieben (hier hat er natürlich recht), aber er selbst legt diese nicht detailliert dar, erst auf S. 564 kommt er auf den Kern des Problems ("In the rest of the world European political assumptions are so taken for granted that nobody thinks abount them anymore; but at least one one of these assumptions, the modern belief in secular civil government, is an alien creed in a region most of whose inhabitants, for more than a thousand years, have avowed faith in a Holy Law that governs all of life, including government and politics."). Fromkin beschreibt anekdotisch die willkürlichen Bevölkerungsverschiebungen und Grenzziehungen nach der deutschen Niederlage ("An italien diplomat wrote that 'A common sight at the Peace Conference in Paris was one or other of the world's statesmen, standing before a map and muttering to himself: 'Where is that damn'd ..?' while he sought with extend forefinger for some town or river that he had never heard before"), das erklärt aber nicht die heutigen Probleme. In Asien wurde nicht anders verfahren, und dort haben wir diese Probleme nicht in dem Maße. Erkenntniserweiternd wurde das Buch für mich erst ab S. 515 mit dem Kapiel 58, in welchem die Verhandlungsmentalität der Araber ("In Churchill's eyes, the members of the Arab delegation were not doing what politicians are supposed to do: they were not aiming to reach an agreement-any agreement.") und die Landverteilung in Palästina erörtert werden. Besser wäre aber gewesen, nicht Fromkin zu lesen, sondern die Bücher zu Palästina von Kenneth W. Stein, die Fromkin zitiert.
Fazit: Wer etwas über die tieferen Ursachen des Nahostkonfliktes erfahren will, sollte sich
1.) intensiv mit den religiösen Gegebenheiten der Region befassen
2.) die Entwicklung der Landverteilung und Bevölkerungsbewegungen der letzten 150 Jahre in dieser Region untersuchen.
Beides leistet Fromkins Buch leider nur rudimentär.
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am 30. November 2013
es habe. so schließt David Fromkin, nach dem fall des weströmischen Reiches 1500 Jahre gebraucht, bis sich eine allgemein akzeptierte staatenordnung in Europa herausbildete. nach dem fall des osmanischen Reiches 1917/18 könnte es ähnlich lange dauern. die Friedensordnung von Sykes- Picot-sasonnov ist jedenfalls keine Ordnung, die von den Betroffenen als legitim akzeptiert wird. im Kernbereich des Abkommens - Syrien, Irak, Libanon. Jordanien, Israel und Palästina sind Staaten entstanden, deren existenzrecht alltäglich, innerlich, äußerlich, wechselseitig in Frage steht. warum es so kam, erschließt Fromkin in typisch angelsächsischer erzählkunst mit Spannungsmoment und anekdotenoriginalität.

erstens ist die Ordnung des nahen Ostens entlang der Erfordernisse längst untergegangener Weltreiche definiert.
zweitens: die Handelnden selbst glaubten schlussendlich nicht an die zielführung ihrer Bemühungen. Sir marc Sylkes nahm die Skepsis über das mit seinem Namen verbundene abkommen 1918 mit ins grab.
drittens: die völlige Ignoranz der Akteure gegenüber dem Lokalkolorit, auch der Religion. Lord kitchener meinte, die Einsetzung eines haschemitischen Kalifen könne die Moslems für die alliierte Sache gewinnen.
Viertens formte das britische Empire seine nahostkoalitionen mit sehr fragwürdigen Bündnispartnern und Techniken: feisal-, Abdullah- Hussein, Lawrence von Arabien, waren schwache bis gefährliche Bündnispartner oder Protagonisten. Palästina wurde drei Mächten gleichzeitig versprochen, jeweils aus augenblickserwägungen.

Unter den Hypothesen des Autoren finden sich auch einige extravaganzen. So die These, die balfour-Deklaration Füße auf dem Glauben an eine jüdische weltverschwörung, um die einflussreichen zionistischen Kreise in den Hauptstädten der Mittelmächte zum Umsturz zu bewegen, habe man ein Angebot machen müssen. Unglaublich oder wahr?

die staaten von Sykes/Pilot sind dysfunktional. möglicherweise wird es keine vollen 1500 Jahre dauern, bis sich die alte Welt neu sortiert. es wird Gewinner- und verliererstaaten geben, wie Burgund oder Savoyen. dass die windschiefen Gebäude des Iraks oder syriens diesen Prozess überstehen werden, fällt nach Lektüre dieses Buchs schwer. höchstens als hülle falsch verstandener unverletzlichkeitsdogmen des Völkerrechts haben diese Staaten eine Zukunft. territorial verfasster Zynismus des ersten Weltkriegs.
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am 26. Juli 2000
It's been quite a while since I read a book straight-through, from start to finish, w/o putting it down. Took about three days. Wow. What was the last one like that? "Three Musketeers" perhaps <g>.
I can't evaluate it from the historical science point of view--I'm not smart enough. Perhaps the reviewer below ("colonialism...") is right about some facts being incorrect. But I have to say that my understanding of the Middle East has changed *completely* (it would probably be better to say that I gained an understanding vs. a disconnected mish-mash of opinions, newspaper reports, and facts that that I somehow "knew", but couldn't tell how if my life depended on it.)
I have a custom of ruining books I read by highlighting, dog-ear'ing, writing on pages, and inserting lots of post-its everywhere. So, this time I've used a pack of highlighters on this book! (This method did fail sometimes, 'cause some pages I ended up "painting over" completely. There's absolutely no fluff in there.) The book contains such a huge amount of information--factual of course, but also a lot of analysis, that I *know* I will have to read it again, and probably more than once--at least in order to let the timeline set in. On the first reading I really felt overwhelmed, and I'll let it settle for a while (though I did go back selectively.) Btw, Fromkin's writing style is outstanding, especially for a book that's bound to be difficult because of sheer information volume. It's actually easy to read.
Another good thing is is an insert with a great selection of photos and maps. There's something visual about nearly every personnage talked about wich makes the description come alive in many cases.
The only problem is that even now my copy is close to start falling apart, and it would really be great if they made a hardback (and added more photos and, most importantly, maps.) Well, for maps I recommend to have a copy of Penguin Atlas of European History, it's pretty, colorful, detailed, got quite a bit of complementing text (factual primarily)--it's is a very good companion for Fromkin's "Peace ..." Well, all right...
Oh, no, one more thing--the book contains a 15-page index, a 15-page bibliography (which is separate from reference section, which is about 40 pages long.) I mean, if you'd like to enlarge on what you've read (after taking a vacation <g>, of course) you've got links to about 20 years worth of related reading material there.)
It's an outstanding work.
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am 27. Dezember 2014
David Fromkin's detailed analysis of the multifarious influences that finally led to the Settlement of 1922 is a tour de force in its own right. Some readers may find the exercise to be tedious and heavy going (and a trifle too repetitive in the beginning), but it finds its justification in the deeper understanding it ultimately provides. The post 9/11 developments are only hinted at, and one may wonder at what the author would have made of the most recent tragedy unfolding in the Middle East.
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am 1. September 1998
For me, this was a hard book to read without context. When I first grabbed it 7 years ago, I put it down after 50 pages. When I picked it up last month after having read more on the history of the region, I could not put it down. For anyone with an interest in Middle Eastern History, the book is fascinating and has some truly "truth is stranger than fiction" nuggets. The events surrounding Turkey's entry into the first world war, the story (myth) of T.E. Laurance, and the Dardenelles fiasco all translate into great stories and when viewed in detail serve to reiterate the idea that history is a chain of blunders rather than any kind of coherent conspiracy.
The author's clear anti-British bias, not undeserved mind you, does detract a little but only because such tales stand best on their own without sarcasm. One thing that was missing, which I like to see in a book like this, is a better indication of the author's credentials or motivations.
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am 9. Januar 1999
The very image of British delegates clustered around outdated maps of Mesopotamia and the Holy Land, muffling curses as they try to pin-point elusive rivers -- with Semitic names they can't even pronounce but which they intend to use as arbitrary borders of the new nations they're delineating -- is just one of the many poignant details Fromkin inserts in this marvelous history of the early 20th century Middle East.
The scope of the work is incredible. Fromkin opens with Churchill as First Lord of the Admirality, then follows the course of events that led to the dramatic showdown with the Ottoman Empire that erupted into the disastrous and devastating Eastern campaign of WWI.
Kitchener, T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Belle, Abd al-Azziz, Sykes, Ben-Gurion, Attaturk, Woodrow Wilson, Emir Feisal, Lloyd George -- are all participants in this dynamic history, and are adroitly described at there best and worst moments. The starry-eyed hopes of the Romantic Arabists opposing the Protestant M.P.s who envisioned the revival of Israel "from Dan to Beersheba"; Hashemite potentates installed as the ruling monarchs of predominantly Shi'ite territories; British officials in India questioning the motives of their counterparts in Cairo, who hoped to revive a "Moslem Caliphate" to serve as a "Mohammaden" buffer zone stretching from the Levant to Afghanistan, all as an elaborate chess move in the perpetual Great Game, waged between Her Majesty's Government and the uncertain forces -- "undoubtedly Jewish" -- influencing the Russian Czar.
The fall of the House of Osman and the rise of the C.U.P.; the End of Imperial Russia and the ascendancy of Lenin; the Maronite Christians in Lebanon and Reza Khan in Iran; French colonialism and Italian belligerency; the shocking slaughter of the Armenians and the Greek catastrophe in Smyrna, are also discussed in this synoptic overview.
David Fromkin helps elucidate the circumstances that led to the bewildering patchwork of cultures, religions and ideologies that constitute the Modern Middle East. Although the book would be easier to follow with a few more detailed maps, it is a beautifully composed and skillfully executed work, and well worth the money.
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am 17. Juli 2000
A Peace to End All Peace is enthralling in its reading and fascinating in scope, but a little bit of reflection after reading it brings to light some flaws. First, the history is somewhat lacking. I came to reading with a good deal of knowledge about it already, but someone without that prior knowledge might be lost. This is to some degree a reflection of Fromkin's scope, 7 or so years over a wide geographic area. Second, this book just wasn't satisfying. I can't really explain it, but I left this book feeling like I needed to know more, that reading those 600 pages had told an incomplete story. Nevertheless, I would rate A Peace to End All Peace to be a good and solid, if unspectacular, book.
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am 12. Dezember 1998
It has been over five years since I finished this book, but I do recall that it is very well written. Far from being dry history, it reads as an intriguing story. As well as being entertained by the cast of characters and the storyline, you will acquire a good deal of historical knowledge which will help you to understand the area today.
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am 30. Dezember 1998
If you have visited the Middle East or are interested in the region, this book makes sense of the whole affair. Written with a nod to mystery/thiller novels, you will not find the book containing a lot of boring drivel concerning the area. On the contrary, from Churchill to the foot soldier, Fromkin keeps you interested
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am 4. Juli 1999
I have recently finished this book. I found it very informative and well-written. I strongly recommend this book to everybody who are interested on middle-east, Arabic and Turkish history. Wothout reading it it is not possible to grasp what is going on today's middle-east.
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