Wages of Empire



In the summer of 1914, sixteen-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 Kaiser Wilhelm II dreams to rule as Holy Roman Emperor. 

Wages of Empire

by Michael J. Cooper

Genre: YA Historical WWI Fiction

Grand prize winner - 2022 CIBA Dante Rossetti Award for YA fiction
First place honors - 2022 CIBA Hemingway Award for wartime fiction
#1 Amazon Best Seller—Jan 2024—Historical World War I Fiction

In the summer of 1914, sixteen-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

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

A beautifully written tale...exhibits seamless research in illuminating unforgettable historical and fictional characters...a tour de force!” –Professor Ronit Meroz, Dept of Jewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

This superb historical novel is a must read...directly relates to issues we face today.” –Rizek Abusharr – Emeritus Director General of Jerusalem International YMCA

Cooper has made this period of history come alive. It is a treat to read.” –Rabbi David Zisenwine, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Education, Tel Aviv University

A Young Indiana Jones–style adventure.” –KIRKUS reviews

Story is gripping and the characters that he describes come alive through his skillful writing. I couldn’t put it down!” –Rabbi Gordon Freeman, Ph.D., Rabbi Emeritus, B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek, CA

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Michael J Cooper writes historical mysteries set in the Holy Land at major turning points of history—all the while subtly promoting the notions of coexistence and peace. His books have won multiple awards and include; Foxes in the Vineyard (winner of the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest Grand Prize), set in 1948 Jerusalem, The Rabbi’s Knight (finalist for the CIBA 2014 Chaucer Award for historical fiction) set at the twilight of the Crusades in 1290, and his current novel, Wages of Empire set at the start of WWI in 1914 and winner of the CIBA 2022 Grand Prize for young adult fiction as well as the Hemingway first prize for wartime historical fiction. A sequel of Wages of Empire, Crossroads of Empire, will be published in the fall of 2024, and the unpublished manuscript has already won first prize honors in the 2023 CIBA Hemingway wartime historical fiction category.

A native of Berkeley, California, Cooper absconded to Israel after high school and spent the next eleven years studying and working there. He lived in Jerusalem during the last year the city was divided between Israel and Jordan, studied at Hebrew University, and graduated from Tel Aviv University Medical School. He returned to the US to specialize in pediatric cardiology, and after 40 years of practice, he continues to return to the Middle East for biannual volunteer missions serving Palestinian children who lack access to care. Otherwise, he lives in Northern California with his wife and a spoiled-rotten cat. Three adult children occasionally drop by.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon giftcard,

Audiobook of Wages of Empire,

Sneak Peak of Crossroads of Empire

1 winner each!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Has to be the King of England surely.

  2. This looks like a fantastic read. Thanks for sharing and hosting this tour.

  3. I'm not very up to date with the main figures from WWI. Somehow that one always seems to be glossed over in favor of WWII. The book is extremely intriguing. I didn't realize that was the goal of the Kaiser.

  4. I enjoy historical fiction. This story sounds really interesting.


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