Synopses & Reviews
In a white-knuckle thriller, Khidhir Hamza, who spent twenty years developing Iraq's atomic weapon, recounts his life in Saddam Hussein's inner circle and his daring flight to the West.
“Don't tell me about the law. The law is anything I write on a scrap of paper.” —Saddam Hussein
Taking readers into the darkest corners of a regime ruled by a volatile, brutal leader, Dr. Hamza, the only defector who has lived to write a firsthand portrait of Iraq, also presents an unprecedented portrait of Saddam—his drunken rages, his women, his cold-blooded murder of underlings, and his unrivaled power. If pushed to the wall, Saddam will use the bomb that Dr. Hamza helped create.
From the relentless dangers Dr. Hamza endured in Iraq to his harrowing flight across three continents and his first encounter with skeptical CIA agents who turned him away, Saddam's Bombmaker is a true-to-life thriller as rich in danger, intrigue, and personal courage as a well-crafted spy novel.
John Dinges author of Assassination on Embassy Row A true spy adventure that rivals The Great Escape. The story of one man's terrible secret, his conscience, and his drive to avert what would have been one of the century's epic crimes.
William E. Odom The Washington Post Written in an easy journalistic style...not only stranger but frequently bloodier than fiction.
Publishers Weekly, starred review Hamza indicts Iraq under Saddam, painting a detailed and convincing portrait of what it's like to live in a country under a violent dictator. Of the broadest interest to a wide spectrum of readers concerned about the fate of the world in the nuclear age.
Barbara Crossette The New York Times Book Review Gripping and unsettling...the rare account of the life of the privileged in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Garry Clifford Former Washington Bureau chief, People magazine For a nuclear physicist, Khidhir Hamza is a darn good storyteller. He has written an amazing autobiographical account of modern-day Iraq, brimming with tales of bravery and horror. His behind-the-scenes stories of Saddam's nuclear arsenal and evil entourage are riveting. His story is also a human drama told with humor and sophistication that at times reads like Tales of the Arabian Nights.
John Weisman Author of the Rogue Warrior series Saddam's Bombmaker is a wake-up call to the new administration to get serious about the way it deals with Saddam Hussein's dogged attempts to develop nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction. Khidhir Hamza cites chapter and verse to demonstrate the naïveté and ineptitude of America's appalling, blunder-laden Iraq policy over the past decade. This is a truly shocking and frightening book.
David A. Kay Former chief U.N. nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq Dr. Hamza has written that rare combination of a fascinating story that is genuinely important on many levels -- a compelling description of Saddam's twisted quest to dominate the Middle East through gaining nuclear weapons; a tragic description of how this quest coarsened and finally destroyed Iraqi society; and a warning that Saddam still has the capability to unleash a conflict that could engulf the Middle East in another round of war and tragedy. I would urge that this book be required reading for the next American president, because as Dr. Hamza makes clear, as long as Saddam remains in power, he will seek weapons of mass destruction to dominate the Middle East
Paul Leventhal, president Nuclear Control Institute Khidhir Hamza, an architect of Iraq's atom bomb project, has produced the rarest of books on nuclear proliferation -- a real page-turner. This is his breathless firsthand account, written for experts and lay readers alike, on how Saddam terrorized his own scientists, played on the greed of nuclear suppliers, and bamboozled the International Atomic Energy Agency to come within a hair's breadth of building the Bomb. It is a sobering tale that hopefully will permit the world to learn from past mistakes.
About the Author
Khidhir Hamza was educated at MIT and Florida State University before being forced to return to Iraq. He now lives in Virginia.
Table of Contents
2. Roots in the Sand
3. Going Home
4. The Secret
5. The Life of the Party
6. Crunch Time
7. Accidents Will Happen
8. Spies and Lies
9. The Inside Game
10. The Invisible Empire
11. Getting the Goods
12. The Winds of War
14. The Fugitive
15. In from the Cold
Epilogue: End Game
Appendix: Behind the Scenes with the Iraqi Nuclear Bomb