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The Iran–Iraq War 1980–1988 (Essential Histories #20)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The Iran-Iraq War, which ended in August 1988, one month short of its eighth anniversary, was one of the longest, bloodiest and costliest Third World armed conflicts in the twentieth century. Professor Karsh addresses the causes of the Iran-Iraq War, unpacking the objectives of the two belligerents and examining how far objectives were matched by strategy. He assesses the ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 25th 2002 by Osprey Publishing (first published December 1989)
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Jan 20, 2016 AC rated it really liked it
The Osprey Essential Histories series (which I'd never heard of) consists of very small (100 pages) descriptive and analytical accounts, some by quite competent historians, of (mostly) minor and often forgetten wars -- some of which, however, are hardly of small significance.

The Iran-Iraq War was one of those events that I had paid little attention to -- I was in graduate school at the time -- and which I remembered, when I saw this volume, that I knew nothing about apart from those images of Ir
Interesting overview of a very long and hard war. Would have enjoyed more detail in some places but the briefness is to be expected given the publication. Some interesting first hand accounts and interviews were provided (particularly the Kurdish survivor and 2 different Iranian 'Boy Soldiers'). An interesting thought was raised in the form of Iraq's use of gas on both military and civilian targets, the West didnt seem to mind all that much when it benefited them and their aims. I suppose they v ...more
Sham Al-Ghazali
Jul 13, 2013 Sham Al-Ghazali rated it liked it
Really enjoyed reading it, I loved that it has no bias and even mentioned that some historians believe the conflict goes even as deep as the Arab vs Persians conflict which has existed far before the drawing of the nations. Woop.
Chip Hunter
Dec 29, 2016 Chip Hunter rated it liked it
This book does a fine job of explaining the reasons behind the war (bizarre though they were) and the general progression, key moments, and outcomes of the war. Karsh writes clearly and concisely, and this volume would be ideal for any looking for a brief overview of why the war was fought, when/where it was fought, and the political situations around the world during the time of the war. However, if you're expecting the same sort of detailed analyses and in-depth examinations of military decisi ...more
Patrick Sanfilippo
A good overview/intro to the topic

Very to the point and concise as far as the war itself is concerned. Also provides insight into other topic of the war like child soldiers and the persecution of the Kurds. I think a little bit more background information regarding the lead up to the war would have been nice, otherwise a great read.
Declan Waters
Nov 25, 2016 Declan Waters rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Another good edition in the Essential Histories series by Osprey. The Iran-Iraq war clearly can't be covered in 100 pages in full detail but this shows the major movements involved and some of the political and social aspects around the war.

Very interesting indeed.
Feb 15, 2016 Bruinrefugee rated it really liked it
A clear synopsis of a conflict that has on-going ramifications throughout the Middle East
Jan 13, 2011 Steven added it
Good read. Like the quick coverage format by Osprey. Good primer.
More complicated than I supposed after talks with my Iranian pals.
Haitham Ali
Apr 28, 2015 Haitham Ali rated it really liked it
Very interesting book with lots details about the war and what both regimes were thinking at that time.
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Efraim Karsh is director of the Middle East Forum, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, and Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London.

Born and raised in Israel, Mr. Karsh earned his undergraduate degree in Arabic language and literature and modern Middle Eastern history from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his graduate and doctoral degrees in international
More about Efraim Karsh...

Other Books in the Series

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  • The Napoleonic Wars (1): The rise of the Emperor 1805–1807
  • The American Civil War: The War in the East 1861–May 1863
  • The American Civil War: The War in the East 1863-1865
  • The Seven Years' War
  • The French Revolutionary Wars
  • The Korean War
  • The Napoleonic Wars (2): The empires fight back 1808–1812
  • The American Civil War (2): The war in the West 1861–July 1863

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