Captivating, timely historical novel chronicles unseen battles of WWI in Ottoman Palestine, breathing life into legends and holding up a mirror to current conflict in the Middle East

SAN FRANCISCO– In the summer of 1914, 16-year-old Evan Sinclair leaves home to join the Great War for Civilization. Little does he know that, despite the war raging in Europe, the true source of conflict will emerge in Ottoman Palestine, since it’s from Jerusalem where the German Kaiser dreams to rule as Holy Roman Emperor. Filled with such historical figures as Gertrude Bell, T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, Faisal bin Hussein and Chaim Weizmann, “Wages of Empire” follows Evan through the killing fields of the Western Front where he will help turn the tide of a war that is just beginning, and become part of a story that never ends.

“Masterful storytelling will keep you furiously turning the pages of this compelling historical WWI novel. A winner!” –Andrew Kaplan, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Blue Madagascar and the Homeland Novels

“Michael Cooper masterfully captures the time and geopolitical intrigue around the onset of WWI. The characters, historical and fictional, come to life on the page as the storyline drives relentlessly forward. Bravo!” – Matt Coyle, bestselling author of the Rick Cahill novels and Anthony, Lefty, and Shamus awards-winner

“Wages of Empire”

Michael J. Cooper | Nov. 30, 2023 | Koehler Books | Historical Fiction | Ebook, 9798888241875, $7.99
Paperback, 9798888241868, $22.95 | Hardcover, 9798888241882, $30.95

About the Author

Michael J. Cooper emigrated to Israel in 1966 and lived in Jerusalem during the last year the city was divided between Israel and Jordan. He graduated from Tel Aviv University Medical School, and after a 40-year career as a pediatric cardiologist in Northern California, he continues to do volunteer missions

serving Palestinian children who lack access to care. His historical fiction novels include “Foxes in the Vineyard,” set in 1948 Jerusalem, which won the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest grand prize and “The Rabbi’s Knight,” set in the Holy Land in 1290. “Wages of Empire” won the 2022 CIBA Rossetti Award for YA fiction along with first- place honors for the 2022 CIBA Hemingway award for wartime historical fiction. He lives in Northern California with his wife and a spoiled-rotten cat. Three adult children occasionally drop by. Learn more at

In an interview, Michael J. Cooper can discuss:

  • His unique perspective as someone who lived in Jerusalem during the city’s division between Israel and Jordan
  • How the city’s history continues to shape current events in the region.
  • The long-standing Israel-Palestine conflict, drawing on his firsthand experience in the region and historical knowledge, as well as complex factors that have contributed to the conflict’s persistence.
  • Personal anecdotes and experiences of living in Jerusalem during the city’s division
  • The consequences and impact of Jerusalem’s unification in 1967, as well as the subsequent events that have unfolded in the city and the wider region
  • The involvement of international actors, such as the United Nations, the United States and regional powers, in the Israel-Palestine conflict and their influence on its dynamics
  • How to encourage dialogue, empathy, and understanding among people from different backgrounds regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict, emphasizing the importance of seeking common ground.
  • Potential solutions or strategies for achieving peace in the region, drawing from historical context and current events
  • The book’s classic hero story of a young man coming of age at a pivotal moment in history and risking everything to play a role in the unfolding of history
  • The non-Eurocentric view of WWI with dynamic fictional and historical non-European characters generating strong cross-cultural and universal appeal to a wide range of people with strong crossover appeal to the YA market.

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