Saturday, October 8, 3 pm: Sean McMeekin, “The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution and the Making of the Modern Middle East”

Ottoman EndgameBetween 1911 and 1922, a series of wars would engulf the Ottoman Empire and its successor states, in which the central conflict, of course, is World War I—a story we think we know well. As Sean McMeekin shows us in this revelatory new history of what he calls the “wars of the Ottoman succession,” we know far less than we think. The Ottoman Endgame brings to light the entire strategic narrative that led to an unstable new order in postwar Middle East—much of which is still felt today.

McMeekin also brilliantly reconceives our inherited Anglo-French understanding of the war’s outcome and the collapse of the empire that followed. He chronicles the emergence of modern Turkey and the carve-up of the rest of the Ottoman Empire offering a new perspective on such issues as the ethno-religious bloodletting and forced population transfers which attended the breakup of empire, the Balfour Declaration, the toppling of the caliphate, and the partition of Iraq and Syria—bringing the contemporary consequences into clear focus.