“This is the first volume to present the modern history of Iraq through reference to a wide variety of primary source documents that allow the reader to obtain a unique view of Iraqi politics and society. There are very few works on the Middle East that offer the type of perspective Dr. Holden presents in this compendium of source materials.”—Eric Davis, Rutgers University
Previously published histories and primary source collections on the Iraqi experience tend to be topically focused or dedicated to presenting a top-down approach. By contrast, Stacy Holden’s A Documentary History of Modern Iraq gives voice to ordinary Iraqis, clarifying the experience of the Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Jews, and women over the past century.
Through varied documents ranging from short stories to treaties, political speeches to memoirs, and newspaper articles to book excerpts, the work synthesizes previously marginalized perspectives of minorities and women with the voices of the political elite to provide an integrated picture of political change from the Ottoman Empire in 1903 to the end of the second Bush administration in 2008. Covering a broad range of topics, this bottom-up approach allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the lives of everyday Iraqis as they navigate regime shifts from the British to the Hashemite monarchy, the political upheaval of the Persian Gulf wars, and beyond. Brief introductions to each excerpt provide context and suggest questions for classroom discussion.
This collection offers raw history, untainted and unfiltered by modern political framework and thought, representing a refreshing new approach to the study of Iraq.
Stacy E. Holden, associate professor of history at Purdue University, is the author of The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco.