Synopses & Reviews
To the dismay of many in the West, the Gulf War ended with Saddam Hussein still in control, still defiant, and more determined to use any means of striking back. How far did he go? And now that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban has been vanquished and the al Quaeda network scattered, how far should the United States go in pursuit of its war on terrorism? The central question posed in this book is whether a future Iraq without Saddam Hussein will be even more unstable and more problematical to the security of the United States. is an account of the forces--historical, religious, ethnic, and political--that produced Saddam's dictatorship. Forged after World War I from the Mesopotamian provinces of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, Iraq has never had a national identity or a sense of common purpose. Hussein, ruling by terror rather than by persuasion, pitted the various ethnic groups, religious interests, and tribes against one another and in so doing achieved the destruction of Iraq's middle class and civilized society. After he goes, however he goes, the country could be the site of conflict even more vicious than the Balkan wars. Now more than ever, the future of Iraq is of critical importance to America's dealings with the Muslim world, and Sandra Mackey's informed narrative gives us a new understanding of the politics and national character of the country.
"A journalist who has long covered the Middle East, Mackey destroys the myth that toppling Saddam Hussein will solve Iraq's problems and America's. She clearly traces the complex and diverse history of the country from its biblical roots to the present day." Publishers Weekly
"Mackey...has done an admirable job of explaining the myriad social, political, and cultural forces that have shaped the contours of the contemporary Iraqi state and its authoritarian political system." Library Journal
Saddam Hussein is high on America's enemies list--but does an Iraq without him hold the seeds of the next Yugoslavia?
Includes bibliographical references (p. 409-413) and index.
An account of the forces that produced Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, this title reveals Iraq's history and how, ruling by terror, he pitted the various ethnic groups, religious interests and tribes against one another, to result in the destruction of Iraq's middle class and civilized society.
About the Author
Sandra Mackey is a veteran journalist who has written many books on the Middle East, including The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein, The Saudis, and The Iranians. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.