I have loved the earliest Alan Furst pre WWIi novels. This book takes you to those countries through the eyes of a foreign correspondent. The writing is spare but pithy, and his analysis of faults, descriptions of individuals encountered, etc. Have been proven true
He brings in the Mideast history of the war. In a few short paragraphs, written years before the Iraq war, his reporting predicts accurately the behavior of the iraqi's when Baghdad fell.
This is not a long book, but it provides a map to history. I have bought it for friends who also are WWIi novel fans.