Prologue: power and responsibility. Part 1 British ascendancy: the British in the 19th century; London's architecture of power; nine major cabinet ministers; labelling the Middle East; the Middle East and the 20th century. Part 2 The status quo 1902-1905: London's mood after the Boer War; Balfour at Downing Street; Lansdowne's diplomacy; ending diplomatic isolation; Fleet Street and the Baghdad Railway; Russia's defeat and the entente with France. Part 3 Diplomatic defensives 1905-1911: the Liberals in power, Grey at the Foreign Office; Persia and the Anglo-Russian convention; ignorance of languages and customs; the young Turks; finance, trade, and "The Near East"; Cromer's Egypt. Part 4 Preparing for war 1911-1914: Lloyd George's budgets and Churchill's navy; Turkish defeats; Kitchener in Egypt and beyond railway settlements; Persia and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Whitehall's war against the Turkish Empire; war and censorship. Part 5 Great powerlessness 1914-1916: committees, Asquith, and Lloyd George, Westerner vs. Easterner strategy; Dardanelles and Gallipoli; Salonika and Baghdad; the Arabs and secret diplomacy; general staff opposition to "Side Shows"; Northcliffe's press and cover ups. Part 6 War imperatives 1916-1918: financial dependence on the United States; Lloyd George's manipulation of policy; advancing to Baghdad & Jerusalem; the Balfour declaration and war aims; whither Russia?; crises on the Western and Home Fronts; armistices with Bulgaria and Turkey. Part 7 Mounting demands 1918-1922: Lloyd George's personal diplomacy; Curzon and post-war Persia; a "Devil's Cauldron"; economic and Irish troubles; impatience in Fleet Street and Westminster; Churchill's "Ungrateful Volcano"; facing Egyptian and Turkish nationalism. Epilogue: London's legacy.