Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 147

BOOK REVIEWS she writes, “are the regular folks who face the worst and make the best of it.” To tell this story, Fawaz focuses each chapter on a specific theme related to the impact of the war on Middle Eastern societies. The first chapter provides a broad overview of the social, political, cultural, and economic situation in the Middle East on the eve of the Great War. The following chapter examines how mobilization and the costs of war waged on many fronts exhausted the Ottoman Empire politically and militarily. The third chapter covers the experience of regular people facing hardships such as unwanted military conscription, migration to escape the war’s devastation, and the great famine caused by the Ottoman hoarding of food supplies and the allied naval blockade. Whereas chapter 3 reveals the experience of many who endured extreme hardships during the war, chapter 4 tells the story of entrepreneurs and profiteers who often benefited from others’ suffering. Fawaz explains that such disparate experiences sharpened class consciousness in many Middle Eastern societies. Chapters 5 and 6 explore the soldier’s experience— first from the Ottoman and then from the British perspective. Fawaz notes that the burden of Ottoman military service fell heavily on rural populations, as 80 percent of Ottoman soldiers were from rural backgrounds and only 11 percent were literate. On the British side, ground forces in the Middle East included large contingents of colonial troops from territories such as India, Egypt, and Australia. More than two hundred thousand Indian troops were deployed to Middle East by 1916—and almost sixty thousand died during the war. Through her exploration of the conflict’s influence on Middle Eastern societies and cultures, Fawaz demonstrates that “World War I was not one Great War but rather a series of local or regional wars.” Fawaz’s investigation pulls back the curtain over the social experience of one of those subconflicts. A Land of Aching Hearts provides an intriguing overview of the relationship between war and society in the Middle East. By casting the First World War as a key moment in which to understand the emergence of the contemporary Middle East, the book will prove useful for scholars and military practitioners alike. Capt. Brian Drohan, U.S. Army, West Point, New York MILITARY REVIEW  November-December 2015 THE DELUGE: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 Adam Tooze, Viking, New York, 2014, 672 pages A dam Tooze writes about the emergence of American power in the midst of World War I. While American military power enabled the Entente Powers, also known as the Allies, to defeat Germany and the Central Powers, its real power was economic and financial—since it was American loans that paid for munitions and food from the United States. Viewed from 1931, Tooze sees that the interwar system of international diplomacy and economics—in which military power was an afterthought—was sustained by American power, which was constrained by the limits set by Congress and public opinion. This emergence was rapid given that the United States was perceived as insignificant both before 1914 and after 1931. This book is a splendid analytic and interpretive narrative that goes beyond Europe and ties together events in East Asia, Asia Minor, Africa, and Latin America, as well as the policies created in response, moving from striking metalworkers in Buenos Aires, to emerging Chinese nationalism and the foreign reactions to it, and to postwar American investment in Australia. After 1916, American economic and financial power could easily be converted into military power when the president and the Congress so chose. The prime example is the Nation’s 1916 decision to build a two-ocean navy. The war left the international system of states and alliances in a shambles, with devastated and radicalizing European societies, and it provided glimpses of the possible futures in the events in Germany, Eastern Europe, and Russia. New countries demanded more influence based on their wartime activities—notably Japan, China, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Woodrow Wilson emerges in this account as an annoying, moralistic advocate of American supremacy. As the various crises between 1916 and 1921 revealed the weakness of British, French, German, Japanese, and Soviet power, Wilson appeared as a tough-minded advocate of American primacy when he believed American vital interests were at stake. The Americans were the key to international stability throughout the period; however, by 1924, and with the American rejection of the League of 141