The current conflicts in the Middle East are present-day manifestations of geopolitical dynamics that have been active in the historical process from its beginning.
In 108 maps and drawings, The Eastern Question looks at these dynamics through a geopolitical lens with a scope of three millennia, from the days of the Persians and Alexander the Great to today's headlines. The drawings are historical political cartoons; the maps ground the reader in the geography of time and place. In the 19th century, the term the 'Eastern Question' referred to the problem posed by the impending dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the fall of which in the second decade of the 20th engendered the modern 'muddle' of the Middle East in the 21st. In a larger sense, the East has always been a question for the West, for the simple reason that's where the trouble comes from: Huns, Goths, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, Russians, Soviets--to now a less well-defined, 'non-linear,' and 'asymmetric' trouble. As the West declines relatively and the East rises, seemingly new questions are asked that are in fact old ones.
Ted Danforth is a letterpress printer and author with a degree in history from Hamilton College. He was the principal of Bembo Typographic Company in New York City until 2005; and he served on the Board of the American Academy of Poets for ten years. He was the publisher and printer of Sea Cliff Press in New York City. He has delivered lectures on history and typography. The Eastern Question grew out of those series of lectures. He divides his time between Stonington, CT and Townshend, VT.
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