More about Iraq

Submitted by AWL on 23 February, 2003 - 10:01

BOOKS

Edward Ellis recommends some reading on Iraq

Saddam Hussein: an American obsession by Patrick and Andrew Cockburn

If you read just one book, it should be this one. A very readable and thorough account of Iraq under Saddam, and the twists and turns of American/CIA policy towards him and the Iraqi and Kurdish opposition. Best account I’ve read of the 1991 uprising, and of the failed anti-Saddam coups in the mid 90s. Very well informed: they seem to have personally interviewed everybody involved.

Iraq Since 1958 by Peter and Marion Farouk-Sluglett

Historical account by the two leading leftist academics on Iraq (Marion is now dead); they were closely involved with the Communist Party-run Campaign Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq in the 80s, and I think might be broadly Stalinist politically, though this account is sharply critical of the Iraq Communist Party. Stops, really, at the 1991 Gulf War. But a good read.

Neighbours not Friends: Iraq and Iran after the Gulf War by Dilip Hiro

Extremely thorough, though rather dryly written. Informative on the opposition.

Republic of Fear by Kenan Makiya

Sounds trashy, but it’s actually a very subtle Marxist analysis of Ba’thism — quite academic and sometimes a bit hard to follow, but very interesting. Makiya is controversial because he supports war against Iraq (and has been personally denounced by Edward Said, for instance). The book was originally published under a pseudonym in the 1980s and has been updated.

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