An account of the forces, historical, religious, ethnic and political, that produced Saddam Hussein's dictatorship of Iraq. The country was forged after World War I from the Mesopotamian region of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, and its people have never had a national identity or a sense of common purpose. Hussein, ruling by terror, pitted the various ethnic groups, religious interests and tribes against one another, and in doing so achieved the destruction of Iraq's middle class and civilized society. After he goes, the country could be the site of conflict even more vicious than the Balkan wars.
WW Norton & Co
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