Book Review: Churchill's Folly

I don't do a lot of real book reviews, because I do a lot of my "reading" on my iPod. However, when I heard about Churchill's Folly:How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq by Christopher Catherwood and heard the author interviewed, I was intrigued.

Now, up front I'll state that I don't read a lot of history (although that's starting to change), but I've read so many political books this season that I wanted to sink my teeth into something that wasn't about Kerry/Bush/the current Iraq war/Halliburton/etc.

In short, this book is an excellent read and contains a lot of information that I think is essential to having any understanding of what is going on in modern-day Iraq as well as the rest of the Middle East.

The book is based on papers and telegrams from Churchill and the people he was working with after World War I, when he presided over the group that split up the Middle East after the Ottoman Empire fell.

Sadly, this book has also taught me that my education was sorely lacking where it regards World War I as a whole and the Middle East as a region. I've always been acutely aware that our educational system focuses history (including "world history") on the America's and Europe, especially where it regards the times AD. However, this cemented my feeling that if I'm going to make any comments whatsoever on other parts of the world, I need to do more education of this kind before I try to figure them out.