Faisal I of Iraq and the making of the modern Middle East

Anne McElvoy explores the roads not taken with the historian Richard Evans. Counterfactual history began as an Enlightenment parlour game and has become a serious academic pursuit, but Evans argues against endless speculation as to what might have been. The final meeting between Lawrence of Arabia and Faisal I of Iraq was an anti-climax which belied their history. The biographers of these two leaders, Scott Anderson and the former Iraqi politician Ali Allawi, place these men at the centre of the making of the modern Middle East. The writer Malu Halasa offers an alternative view of the violent events in Syria as she curates a book of political posters, comic strips, blogs and plays.

Producer: Katy Hickman.

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43 minutes

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Mon 24 Mar 2014 21:30

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson is a war correspondent.


Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East is published by Atlantic Books.


Lawrence in Arabia

Ali A Allawi

Ali A Allawi is a research professor at the National University of Singapore and a former Iraqi politician.


Faisal I of Iraq is published by Yale University Press.


Ali Allawi

Richard J Evans

Richard J Evans is Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University.


Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History is published by Little, Brown.


Richard J Evans

Malu Halasa

Malu Halasa is an editor and writer.


Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, co-edited with Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud, will be published in June by Saqi Books.


Syria Speaks


Role Contributor
PresenterAnne McElvoy
Interviewed GuestRichard Evans
Interviewed GuestMalu Halasa
Interviewed GuestScott Anderson
Interviewed GuestAli Allawi
ProducerKaty Hickman

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