Cover image for The bomb in my garden : the secrets of Saddam's nuclear mastermind
The bomb in my garden : the secrets of Saddam's nuclear mastermind
Obeidi, Mahdi, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 242 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
The bomb in my garden -- Early ambitions -- The centrifuge -- Saddam's grip -- Shopping in Europe -- The crash program -- Nuclear hide-and-seek -- The dark years -- The march to war -- The time capsule.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UA853.I72 O24 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Praise for The Bomb in My Garden

"This one book will tell you more about Iraq's quest for weapons of mass destruction than all U.S. intelligence on the subject. It is a fascinating and rare glimpse inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq-and inside a tyrant's mind."
-Fareed Zakaria
author of The Future of Freedom

"The Bomb in My Garden is important and utterly gripping. The old cliché is true-you start reading, and you don't want to stop. Mahdi Obeidi's story makes clear how hard Saddam Hussein tried to develop a nuclear weapon, and the reasons he fell short. It is also unforgettable as a picture of how honorable people tried to cope with a despot's demands. I enthusiastically recommend this book."
-James Fallows
National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

"Obeidi was the key scientist in Saddam's centrifuge program, and he was central when they tried to conceal it. He was already thought to be too friendly to the weapons inspectors, and he showed considerable personal courage in coming forward as he did during very unsettled conditions after the war."
-David Kay
former UN weapons inspector and Head of the Iraqi Survey Group in charge of searching for weapons of mass destruction

Author Notes

Mahdi Obeidi oversaw Saddam's top-secret centrifuge program and later became directorgeneral of Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization. The few remaining components and plans for the uranium-enriching centrifuge that he voluntarily turned over to the United States during the war still represent the largest collection of evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
Kurt Pitzer began the Iraq war embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division and jumped his embed when Baghdad fell. He met Obeidi there and helped him turn his secrets over to the United States. A journalist with more than a decade's experience, he has reported from the Balkans, the Middle East, and Afghanistan for the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and numerous magazines

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This compact and absorbing book reads like a thriller and adds considerably to our knowledge of the Iraq WMD situation. Obeidi was a trained engineer in the Iraqi oil industry, but his brilliant record led to his transfer to the nuclear weapons program. After the bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor by Israel in 1981, he spearheaded the search for a working centrifuge as the best method of enriching fissionable material for a bomb. That work also involved him in a number of situations worthy of James Bond, as he sought classified knowledge and key components all over the world, under surveillance from both Saddam Hussein (and Saddam's son-in-law, the vividly portrayed Hussein Kamel) and foreign intelligence agencies. The author finally buried most of the relevant data, drawings and sample components in his backyard and turned them over to Coalition forces before emigrating to the United States. Pitzer was embedded for U.S. News & World Report with the army's 3rd Infantry, but left them as Baghdad fell, met Obeidi and played a role in the transfer of the documents. Together, they have produced an eloquent tale of a scientist who spent 20 years in a "damned if I do and damned if I don't situation" and survived with family and sanity intact. (Sept. 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

1 The Bomb in My Garden
2 Early Ambitions
3 The Centrifuge
4 Saddam's Grip
5 Shopping in Europe
6 The Crash Program
7 Nuclear Hide-and-Seek
8 The Dark Years
9 The March to War
10 The Time Capsule