Tripp offers a lucid, digestible overview of contemporary Iraq's byzantine political power structure. Placing the evolution of the modern Iraqi state firmly into historical context, the author analyzes the roots of Islamic law, the negative effects of British imperialism, the controversial Haahemite monarchy, the fledgling republic, and, finally, the emergence of the militant Ba'th Party and the subsequent dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Also included are cogent examinations of social, cultural, and economic traditions that have contributed to the development of regionally aggressive and rabidly anti-Western policies. This insightful investigation of an often bewildering Middle Eastern nation should be considered for purchase by all public libraries interested in building a comprehensive collection of national histories of the region. Margaret FlanaganCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"Tripp offers a very readable account that presents the many different political figures, the ebb and flow of central government relations with Kurds and Shi'ites, and the ongoing regional and international coverage." Foreign Affairs
"...a well-written and well-researched overview of Iraq's history...the book's perspective and interpretation are new and interesting...the volume in hand not only provides firstrate material for exploring Iraq's past and its future, but also a plausible account of how the state got where it is." The Middle East Journal