Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography

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9780029170632: Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography

Whatever the outcome for Saddam Hussein of his ill-advised foray into Kuwait, the world will continue to wonder just who Saddam is, or was, and exactly how he ruled. Now, two specialists in Middle East history and politics have combined their expertise to write about the Iraqi dictator. Efraim Karsh and Inari Rautsi present a realistic analysis of Persian Gulf history esential for understanding what is happening now and, likely, in the future/

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From Library Journal:

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent war in the Persian Gulf resulted in a number of quick and shallow analyses of Hussein's "mind." Karsh, an Israeli scholar at King's College in London, and Rautsi of the University of Helsinki have provided a detailed and dispassionate account of Hussein's rise to power and the political milieu in which he thrived. Relying on Western, Soviet, Arab, and Israeli sources, the authors meticulously trace the violent history of modern Iraq and the coming to power of the Ba'th Party. They also explain in depth how Hussein skillfully created "plots" that led to the physical elimination of his actual or imaginary opponents. Notwithstanding his ability to outmaneuver his domestic opponents, Hussein's ambitions to become the undisputed Arab leader led him into two catastrophic foreign ventures--the war against Iran, which ruined Iraq's economy, and his invasion of Kuwait, which resulted in the total destruction of Iraq's military and industrial capacity. This much-needed book is thorough, up-to-date, and highly readable. Recommended for scholars of the modern Middle East as well as informed laypersons. Previewed in "The Gulf War in Print," LJ 3/15/91.--Ed.
- Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, Ala.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"Karsh and Rautsi have set a standard for evidence and analytical rigor that other biographers will be hard-pressed to match. ... Not only do the full documentation and precise style reflect a long investment in research and writing, but the authors have produced a subtle interpretation of Saddam, which casts him as a man forged by his society even as he sought to reforge it."

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