Cover image for Saddam Hussein : a political biography
Saddam Hussein : a political biography
Karsh, Efraim.
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Publication Information:
New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1991.
Physical Description:
v, 307 pages ; 25 cm
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DS79.66.H87 K37 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Authors Efraim Karsh and Inari Rautsi, experts on Middle East history and politics, have combined their expertise to write what is largely considered the definitive work of one of the world's most reviled and notorious figures. Drawing on a wealth of Iraqi, Arab, Western and Israeli sources, including interviews with people who have had close contact with Saddam Hussein throughout his career, the authors trace the meteoric transformation of an ardent nationalist and obscure Ba'th party member into an absolute dictator. Skillfully interweaving a realistic analysis of Gulf politics and history, and now including a new introduction and epilogue, this authoritative biography is essential for understanding the mind of a modern tyrant.

Author Notes

Efraim Karsh is professor and head of Mediterranean studies at King's College, University of London, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the London Times. He has appeared on Nightline, Larry King, and NPR's All Things Considered
Inari Rautsi is a scholar of Middle Eastern history and politics

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent war in the Persian Gulf resulted in a number of quick and shallow analyses of Hussein's ``mind.'' Karsh, an Israeli scholar at King's College in London, and Rautsi of the University of Helsinki have provided a detailed and dispassionate account of Hussein's rise to power and the political milieu in which he thrived. Relying on Western, Soviet, Arab, and Israeli sources, the authors meticulously trace the violent history of modern Iraq and the coming to power of the Ba'th Party. They also explain in depth how Hussein skillfully created ``plots'' that led to the physical elimination of his actual or imaginary opponents. Notwithstanding his ability to outmaneuver his domestic opponents, Hussein's ambitions to become the undisputed Arab leader led him into two catastrophic foreign ventures--the war against Iran, which ruined Iraq's economy, and his invasion of Kuwait, which resulted in the total destruction of Iraq's military and industrial capacity. This much-needed book is thorough, up-to-date, and highly readable. Recommended for scholars of the modern Middle East as well as informed laypersons. Previewed in ``The Gulf War in Print,'' LJ 3/15/91.--Ed.-- Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, Ala. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Introduction: The Man and His Worldp. 1
1 The Making of a Ba'thistp. 6
2 Second Among Equalsp. 31
3 The Ruthless Pragmatistp. 57
4 The Strong Man of Baghdadp. 85
5 President at Lastp. 110
6 Deciding on Warp. 135
7 Confronting the Ayatollahp. 150
8 The Rule of Fearp. 176
9 The Road to Kuwaitp. 194
10 Against the Worldp. 217
11 The "Mother of All Battles"p. 244
12 Survival in Defeatp. 267
Epiloguep. 286
Notesp. 294
Select Bibliographyp. 314
Indexp. 318