I humbly recommend this book as a very detailed yet readable account of the origins of several present-day Middle East nations. It all happened during a crucial four-year window which occured eighty-five years ago. The broad cast of characters hail from Britain, the Ottoman Empire, France, America, Russia, the House of Saud, and various factions of the Zionist movement. My only complaints are that more maps were needed, and the author assumes a fairly detailed understanding of the British government (what's the practical difference between an Admiral and a Sea Lord? what exactly is the role of the Viceroy of India?) Despite these complaints, I found the book a very illuminating introduction to a very complex subject.