Understanding Iraq.

Author:Rhodes, Fred
Position:Brief Article - Book Review

Understanding Iraq By William R Polk Published By I B Tauris ISBN 1 84511 123 OPrice 9.99 [pounds sterling] Paperback

A whistle-stop tour from ancient Babylon occupied Baghdad, taking in everything you need to know about the world's troubled hotspot.

To understand Iraq, and the forces at work there, one has to know the country's history. This is self-evident to the point of being a cliche. But 12,000 years of history can be intimidating. In Understanding Iraq one of the worlds most respected Middle East historians provides a highly readable yet intelligent digest, taking the reader on a sweeping tour from the first Sumerian settlements on to the Babylonians, the dramatic advent of Islam, the destructive invasion of the Mongols, centuries of Ottoman rule, into the turbulent 20th century and on to today's experiments in western styles of democracy.

Understanding Iraq helps the reader comprehend this complicated nation, struggling today to reconcile its diversities and contradictions. Polk culminates in a damning indictment of the USA for failing to learn the lessons of the...

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