Kingmakers: The Invention of The Modern Middle East


Kingmakers is the story of how the modern Middle East came to be, told through the lives of the Britons and Americans who shaped it. Some are famous (Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell); others infamous.

Meyer (editor emeritus, World Policy Journal) and Brysac (a former documentary producer at CBS News) explore the history of the Middle East through the biographies of Westerners who have played significant roles in its political development. Among the people profiled in individual chapters: Evelyn Baring, the British consul-general of Egypt from 1883 to 1907; Frederick Lugard, Governor-General of Nigeria who had served in the Afghan War of 1879-1880 and the Sudan campaign of 1884-1885; Mark Sykes, the British politician forever associated with the Sykes-Picot Agreement; A.T. Wilson, the British colonial administrator of Mesopotamia (Iraq) during and after World War I; Gertrude Bell, the British colonial administrator credited with inciting the Arab revolt against the Ottomans and with creating the Hashemite dynasty of Iraq and Jordan; Lawrence of Arabia, who worked with Bell on both of those tasks; Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA agent principally involved in overthrowing Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh and installing the Shah in 1953; and Paul Wolfowitz, who helped engineer the US invasion and occupation of Iraq while working under Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.


The Battles that count aren’t the one for Gold Medals .

The struggles within you, the invisible, inevitable, battles inside all of us_that’s where its at.

Jesse Owens, four times Olympic gold medalist (1913-1980)


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