Elizabeth F. Thompson is a leading historian of the modern Middle East and Mohamed S. Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace at American University's School of International Service. She is the author of two previous books, Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon, winner of two national book prizes, and Justice Interrupted: The Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Middle East, published by Harvard University Press.
Elizabeth Thompson, in a sweeping and magisterial argument, demonstrates that the perpetual hand-wringing in London, Paris and Washington over the lack of democracy in the Arab World is sort of like Jack the Ripper complaining about the high murder rate. Breath-taking in its moral clarity. * Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan * Harnessing meticulous research to careful analysis; moving among international diplomacy, personal interactions, and local politics, Thompson expertly argues that after World War I, the fate of Ottoman Arab lands was not merely contested but that radically different outcomes for independence, constitutional government, and liberal arrangements were very live possibilities, far more so than is generally remembered. * Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University * A bold and important book. Through brilliant scholarship and engaging prose, Thompson pieces together the Arab constitutional order that European imperialism shattered in the aftermath of World War I. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand a century of conflict in the modern Middle East. * Eugene Rogan, author of THE FALL OF THE OTTOMANS * Elizabeth F. Thompson has brilliantly recreated this fateful turning point in twentieth century Middle Eastern history. I thought I knew this story well. But the new details she reveals in this riveting account often left me open-mouthed. * James Barr, author of A LINE IN THE SAND *