Superpower defeated by its urge to rule the world

Persian Fire, by Tom Holland, Little Brown, €25.10.

22nd October, 2005

Persian Fire, by Tom Holland, Little Brown, €25.10.

George Bush once referred to the war on Iraq as a ‘crusade'.

The gaffe played into the hands of Osama bin Laden. But does the East-West fault-line date from the Crusades, or had it older roots? In Persian Fire, Tom Holland suggests a more ancient origin for the rift. The antagonism dates, he thinks, from the Persian attack on Greece, half a millennium before the birth...

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