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Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  228 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Time magazine listed him as one of its "100 People Who Shape Our World." Newsweek featured him on its cover under the headline "How Al-Sadr May Control U.S. Fate in Iraq." Paul Bremer denounced him as a "Bolshevik Islamist" and ordered that he be captured "dead or alive." Who is Muqtada al-Sadr, and why is he so vital to the future of Iraq and, arguably, the entire Middle ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Scribner (first published 2008)
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May 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any one wishing to understand Iraq better
Muqtada is a well write and informative book. The title is a bite missing leading. The book covers the history of the Shia in Iraq, the rise of the al-Sadr family and also Muqtada’s rise in recent years. Cockburn explores the complexities of the issue and refutes the idea that if the US had taken out Muqtada in the early months of the occupation his party and the Mehdi Army would have gone away. This is a worthy read for any one wishing to understand Iraq today and the reason everything went so ...more
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to understand iraq today
Shelves: middle-east
Cockburn is one of the few journalists writing on Iraq that is doing a good job of it. The first half of this book lays out the context for Muqtada'a rise to the top of the Shia resistance in Iraq, starting with the death of Imam Ali up to the horrid repression of the Shia under Saddam. Cockburn clearly lays out the context for Muqtada's ability to become the leader of millions of Shia underclass and the most formidable opponent to the U.S. regime. His reporting is even handed and detailed, whic ...more
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The name sake of this book is not introduced until over halfway through the book. Before this, we are treated to the context in which the Shia--primarily the poor Shia--found themselves at the end of Saddam's rule. Particularly relevant is the history of martyrs the Shia revere and the recent history of Shi'ism in Iraq. This book should be read by anyone professing to have current knowledge of Iraq.

Currently, there are three main Shia factions in the Iraqi government:

-The SIIC was formerly the
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a valuable book if you want to understand the religious context behind the political struggle in Iraq today. Violent circumstances forged the personality of the "firebrand cleric" and precipitated his rise to leadership of the major grassroots political movement in Iraq. Muqtada has personally experienced what Iraqi citizens as a whole and Shiites in particular have gone through. It is not fun reading. I don't think we have no idea what we have done, what we are doing, or what we have go ...more
Saddam fell in 2003. World witnessed the fall in shock and awe as US bombed Iraq. "The US liberated Iraq from Saddam's atrocity"

Did they? Is it the complete truth? What was on US agenda when they went for him? How much is known what happened to Iraq post that? How many of us know the rise of ISIS began from Al Qaeda of Iraq. That US worked hand in hand with Saddam to fight against Iran? That US provided the exact locations of the enemy to Saddam so that he can use chemical weapons, the very rea
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A balanced and readable account of the machinations of Shi'ism in Iraq. Although framed around Muqtadah al-Sadr, the volume provides an overview of not only the history of modern Shi'ism in Iraq, but also provides an insights on how this different strand of Islam operates in the lives of the Shi'a faithful. Since there are a lot of misconceptions about Shi'ism amongst Sunni Muslims, this book offers not only a detailed glimpse of what's going on inside post-invasion Iraq, but an introduction to ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east
This book is both an invaluable work about Iraq, and kind of a mess. It's a mess because so little information can be obtained directly about Muqtada. Cockburn has done a good job of pulling together what can be gotten, though he ends up with a book that's more about the history of Shiite Iraq than a bio of Muqtada. The story is far from ended, and it seems to hit a brick wall in the last chapter, but some of that is simply because there's no end to the story yet.

I learned a LOT about Shiite his
Muhammad Ahmad
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Cockburn, one of UK's finest journalists who has covered Iraq for nearly three decades, follows on his earlier account of Iraq since the US-UK invasion, "The Occupation", with an immensely important new book. "Muqtada" provides much needed background on of the most important political players in Iraq today who, more than any other, is in a position to determine whether Iraq can survive as a national unit. As Cockburn reveals, far from being the catspaw of Iran that the Western mainstream ...more
Yonis Gure
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely is reportage and coverage on the Middle East contextualized. Thus, it is incumbent upon journalists like Cockburn and Fisk to help put this ever-changing and complex region in its proper historical context for the laymen to understand. “Muqtada”, by Patrick Cockburn, is less a biography about the most important man to have emerged during the U.S-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, and more about the complexities of Shia politics in the country and how this came to shape Muqtada’s movemen ...more
Tariq Mahmood
Very informative book ability the politocal and religious situation in Iraq from the invasion of Kuwait till the American attack in 2003. I had never really digested the It is mind boggling that the great nation of United States which was seething in anger after the terrorist attack on 9/11 and commanded so much sympathy as a result of the human carnage on its innocent citizens, could be the instigator of not one but two completely needless and vicious atomic bomb attacks on Japanese cities teem ...more
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Patrick Oliver Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent.

He has written four books on Iraq's recent history. He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006 and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009.
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“The new post-Saddam Iraq had no secular heros.” 0 likes
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