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A History of Iraq

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  150 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
To understand Iraq, Charles Tripp's history is the book to read. Since its first appearance in 2000, it has become a classic in the field of Middle East studies, read and admired by students, soldiers, policymakers and journalists. The book is now updated to include the recent American invasion, the fall and capture of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent descent into civil ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Cambridge University Press (first published 2000)
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Christin Lee
Jan 29, 2014 Christin Lee rated it it was amazing
I took a year long break from this book to read about/research other things. I wish I hadn't. This is a remarkable overview of the twentieth century in Iraq, and necessary reading for anyone with a silver of curiosity about the Middle East or the roots, implementation and legacy of the US invasion.

There is so much I didn't know, and of course it's challenging toward the end to read about the relentless violence, destruction and failure--by all parties. But what can you do? Confront your ignoran
Kristoffer Meinert
Jan 28, 2013 Kristoffer Meinert rated it it was amazing
Absolutely phenomenal and comprehensive view of Iraq's history. Necessary must-read for anyone who wishes to understand present-day Iraq.
Joseph Stieb
May 22, 2016 Joseph Stieb rated it really liked it
Shelves: iraq
This book is a mix of incredible scholarly knowledge, an excellent argument, and a somewhat stiff writing style and narrow topical range. Tripp surveys Iraqi history since the Ottoman Empire with a heavy focus on the Hashemite and Republican periods. The level of detail, however, is somewhat mind numbing: there are so many people with very similar names, and Tripp doesn't go into much of the biographical detail that normally helps me sort through complex stories with lots of characters. He also ...more
David Stephens
May 03, 2013 David Stephens rated it liked it
Shelves: foreign-affairs
One of the most difficult aspects of writing history books must be deciding how much detail to include. If the author doesn't go into enough depth, readers can be deprived of substantive information. If the author includes too much, the reading can become burdensome. Charles Tripp's A History of Iraq falls more into the latter camp. While it provides many important details, such as the names and motivations of many Iraqi leaders, the tenets of the Baathist Party, and UN resolutions aimed at ...more
Ed Callahan
Sep 24, 2013 Ed Callahan rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-history
Tripp's book is well-researched, detailed, and powerfully argues that modern Iraq can only be understood in terms of the patron-client relations, state sponsored organized violence, and religious, tribal, and ethnic tensions which have played powerful roles in Iraq's history. Tripp avoids hasty generalizations, but this causes him to discuss the material in levels of detail which sometimes become "too detailed." On the other hand, Tripp has sought to avoid burying the story in so many details ...more
Iqan Alkhassaf
Mar 18, 2013 Iqan Alkhassaf rated it really liked it
The book is a condensed history of modern Iraq, highlighting the major events within the past 150 years, tracing the roots of struggle from the three Ottoman provinces which Iraq encompassed to the post-2003 Iraq. Compared to most other countries, Iraq appears to be far more volatile, involving a fairly large number of attempted coups d'etat (variable in their success) and a troubled history of social and religious agitation. The book is clearly not an exhaustive chronicle of Iraq. It's merely ...more
Steven Peterson
Feb 18, 2010 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a number of works that address the history of Iraq as this ought to have informed American policy there after 9-11: Toby Dodge's Inventing Iraq and Liam Anderson's and Gareth Stansfield's The Future of Iraq and Christopher Catherwood's Churchill's Folly come to mind. This is another in this excellent set of works.

Tripp traces Iraqi history--and its implications--from its status as three provinces in the Ottoman Empire (Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul), the British Mandate (covered so well b
Mar 30, 2013 Dennis rated it liked it
Very useful and informative read. I wont lie and say it was a fun read but you will learn a lot about what makes the Iraqi nation tick.
Elizabeth Blount
May 04, 2009 Elizabeth Blount rated it really liked it
Read this book for school, and enjoyed it. Very good summary on the history of Iraq and the Iraqi people.
Jonathan Mckay
Dec 08, 2011 Jonathan Mckay rated it liked it
Suggested reading for Iraq familiarization for working at the U.S. Embassy. Interesting, but I quickly realized it had nothing to do with my job in Baghdad so didn't finish it. Too bad.
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