The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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A&C Black, Aug 1, 2011 - History - 432 pages

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award
Issued in London in 1917, the Balfour Declaration was one of the key documents of the twentieth century. It committed Britain to supporting the establishment in Palestine of "a National Home for the Jewish people," and its reverberations continue to be felt to this day. Now the entire fascinating story of the document is revealed in this impressive work of modern history.
With new material retrieved from historical archives, Jonathan Schneer recounts in dramatic detail the public and private fight for a small strip of land in the Middle East, a battle that started when the Ottoman Empire took Germany's side in World War I. The key players in this conflict are rendered in nuanced and detailed relief: Sharif Hussein, the Arab leader who secretly sought British support; Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist "folks-mensch" who charmed British high society; T. E. Lawrence, the legendary British officer who "set the desert on fire" for the Arabs; and the other generals and prime ministers, soldiers and negotiators, who shed blood and cut deals to grab or give away the precious land.
A book crucial to understanding the Middle East as it is today, "The Balfour Declaration" is a riveting volume about the ancient faiths and timeless treacheries that continue to drive global events.

 

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User Review  - otterley - LibraryThing

A very interesting book, clearly the product of an immense amount of research and written in a generally dispassionate way that is unusual given the emotional resonance of the subject - the path to ... Read full review

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User Review  - douboy50 - LibraryThing

This the best volume I have read on the Middle East in the First World War. The author does a fine job of explaining the relationships and motives between the stakeholders in this critical theater of ... Read full review

Contents

Ottomanism Arabism and SharifHussein
15
First Steps Toward the Arab Revolt
32
CONTENTS
48
The Next Steps
49
The HusseinMcMahon Correspondence
64
The Arab Revolt Begins
87
Prewar British Jews
107
Weizmanns First Steps
124
The Curious Venture ofJ R Pilling
253
Henry Morgenthau and the Deceiving of Chaim Weizmann
263
The Man Who Was Greenmantle
275
The Zaharoff Gambit
289
Climax and Anticlimax
301
The Ascendancy of Chaim Weizmann
303
Lawrence and the Arabs on the Verge
319
The Declaration at Last
333

The Assimilationists
138
The Road Forks
152
Forging the BritishZionist Connection
165
Defining the BritishArab Connection
178
Managing the BritishZionist Connection
192
Sokolow in France and Italy
208
Revelation ofthe SykesPicot Agreement
220
The Road Not Taken
237
British Muslims the AngloOttoman Society and the Disillusioning ofMarmaduke Pickthall
239
The Declaration Endangered
347
Conclusion
363
A Drawing Together of Threads
365
Acknowledgments
377
Notes
379
Bibliography
409
Index
417
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About the author (2011)

Jonathan Schneer was born in New York City. He earned his BA from McGill University and his PhD from Columbia University. He has taught at Boston College and Yale University and is currently the professor of modern British history at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has held numerous fellowships in the US and UK and is the author of five previous books, most recently London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis and The Thames. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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