At the beginning of the 20th century, most of the territory that we call the Middle East- including Syria, Iraq, Israel and Turkey- were part of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman alliance w/ Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I provided Britain and France w/ the opportunity to divide the once-great empire into many states based on European imperial ambitions. In this episode Bob and Ben speak w/ Dr. Eugene Rogan to learn more about why the Ottoman Empire was divided, how that process explains a lot about the region today, and how this history can help us make better decisions today.
Dr. Eugene Rogan is Director of the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He is author of The Arabs: A History (Penguin, 2009, 3rd edition 2018), which has been translated in 18 languages and was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Atlantic Monthly. His new book, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920, was published in February 2015.
We'd also like to say a special thanks to the family of Roscoe L. Strickland Jr. for providing the support that brought Dr. Rogan to MTSU for our annual Strickland Scholars Program. For more on the Strickland program, click here. Additional thanks goes to Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk for her work in arranging for MTSU's Strickland Scholars to appear on our podcast.