A land of aching hearts : the Middle East in the Great War

Fawaz, Leila Tarazi, 1944-

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  • Creator Leila Tarazi Fawaz
  • Format Books
  • Publication Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2014.
  • Physical Details
    • xiv, 384 pages, 14 unnumbered pages of plates ; 25 cm
  • ISBNs 9780674735491, 0674735498
  • OCLC ocn875999970


  • "The Great War of 1914-1918 reshaped the political geography of the Middle East, destroying a centuries-old, multinational empire, while creating the nation-states of today's Middle East. The political aftermath of the war has proven as heavily contested as the military battles that shaped the conflict. After a century of change, however, the social experience of the region's inhabitants during those four trying years has faded into the background. This book illuminates the challenges of the civilians who endured and the soldiers who fought through four calamitous years. It is a story of resilience in the midst of hardship, courage in the face of death, and triumph in the cauldron of battle. In this telling, the First World War is not just a global event, but a personal story running across regions and along fronts. From soldiers encountering new worlds on distant battlefields to civilians staving off hunger at home and refugees escaping persecution abroad, the war profoundly upended the social identities and historical memories of the region. For these reasons, and due to the political settlement that followed, World War I stands as the defining moment that shaped the direction of the Middle East for the next 100 years. This social history testifies to the resourcefulness of the people of the region, in particular those of Greater Syria, investigates their experiences, and serves as a foundation for understanding the Great War's enduring legacy"--Provided by publisher.


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Note on transliteration -- Note on exchange rates -- Introduction: Everyday heroes -- A changing Middle East -- The empire at war -- Living the war -- Entrepreneurs and profiteers -- The soldiering experience -- South Asians in the war -- Cooperation and disaffection -- Epilogue: War memory
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