Jason Burke

The best of journeys: Justin Marozzi’s monumental trek through the history of the Muslim world

21 September 2019 9:00 am

This impressively clever, careful, and often beautiful book is the best sort of journey. It takes us through 15 cities…

A 15th-century manuscript depicting Saladin as King of Egypt

A new version of Saladin — as silver-tongued diplomat

20 April 2019 9:00 am

I can only remember one page of any of the dozens of Ladybird histories that I read avidly as a…

(Image: Getty)

The scramble for the Middle East: Britain and America fall out

8 September 2018 9:00 am

One of the many pleasures offered by Lords of the Desert, which narrates the rivalry between Britain and the United…

Aerial view of the ‘Salt Pit’, the CIA’s clandestine detention centre north of Kabul, which opened in September 2002. Detainees were kept chained in total darkness, with loud music playing constantly

Do the Americans know who they’re fighting in Afghanistan — or why?

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Early every morning through the spring of 2002, US troops at Bagram airfield on the Shomali plains north of Kabul…