Worldmaking in the Long Great War: How Local and Colonial Struggles Shaped the Modern Middle East (Paperback)

Worldmaking in the Long Great War: How Local and Colonial Struggles Shaped the Modern Middle East By Jonathan Wyrtzen Cover Image
Available to SHIP now; STORE PICKUP in 7-10 days


Winner, 2023 Robert L. Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder Best Book Award, International History and Politics Section, American Political Science Association

Honorable Mention, 2023 Barrington Moore Award, Comparative and Historical Sociology Section, American Sociological Association

Honorable Mention, 2023 Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations, Historical International Relations Section, International Studies Association

It is widely believed that the political problems of the Middle East date back to the era of World War I, when European colonial powers unilaterally imposed artificial borders on the post-Ottoman world in postwar agreements. This book offers a new account of how the Great War unmade and then remade the political order of the region. Ranging from Morocco to Iran and spanning the eve of the Great War into the 1930s, it demonstrates that the modern Middle East was shaped through complex and violent power struggles among local and international actors.

Jonathan Wyrtzen shows how the cataclysm of the war opened new possibilities for both European and local actors to reimagine post-Ottoman futures. After the 1914-1918 phase of the war, violent conflicts between competing political visions continued across the region. In these extended struggles, the greater Middle East was reforged. Wyrtzen emphasizes the intersections of local and colonial projects and the entwined processes through which states were made, identities transformed, and boundaries drawn. This book's vast scope encompasses successful state-building projects such as the Turkish Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as short-lived political units--including the Rif Republic in Morocco, the Sanusi state in eastern Libya, a Greater Syria, and attempted Kurdish states--that nonetheless left traces on the map of the region. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Worldmaking in the Long Great War retells the origin story of the modern Middle East.

About the Author

Jonathan Wyrtzen is associate professor of sociology, history, and international affairs at Yale University. He is the author of Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity (2015).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780231186292
ISBN-10: 0231186290
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: August 9th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English