In 1916 two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them.
Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. They drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier, and together remade the map of the Middle East, with Britain's 'mandates' of Palastine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria.
Over the next thity years followed a sordid tale of violence and clandestine political, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.
Using newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr vividly depicts the covert, deadly war of intrigue and espionage between Britain and France to rule the Middle East, and reveals for the first time shocking way in which the French finally got their revenge.