Saddam Hussein

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This biography opens with a rare personal glimpse of Saddam Hussein—he enjoys reading American authors, especially Ernest Hemingway, and watches movies like The Godfather and The Day of the Jackal. But he also has fresh food flown in to him twice a week in spite of the malnutrition that plagues most of his country. Yet for all the unsavory excesses of his personal and political life, the United States supported him during the Iran-Iraq war, when he " tended to be seen as a stabilizer in a region that was volatile." During that war, Hussein was already shelling civilian centers and using chemical weapons against the Kurds. The book covers the background of the Persian Gulf War and the UN inspections, but with the last sentence, the book is already out of date: "President Bush would want to exhaust all other options before deciding on an invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq." There is a good chronology and index; unfortunately the editors missed several typographical errors and the long pages of unbroken text with few interesting photos will discourage many young readers. The "Major World Leaders" series covers a wide range of leaders from Yassir Arafat and Menachem Begin to Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin and Vicente Fox. The opening essay on leadership by noted historian Arthur Schlesinger is intellectually demanding, and unappealingly printed in small type with small margins. It would be valuable primarily for generating discussion or writing projects by very advanced students. 2003, Chelsea House Publishers,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Reed profiles each of the five Saudi kings, beginning with King Abdul Aziz and ending with the current leader, King Fahd. Each man's personality, approach to ruling, and accomplishments are discussed. The book begins with a lengthy discussion of Islam because it is so important in all aspects of Saudi life, and the history of Saudi Arabia before it became a united kingdom under one ruling family. A brief concluding chapter speculates on the future relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Shields depicts the Iraqi leader as the ruthless tyrant he is, drawing upon contemporary publications for his sources. He opens with a chapter on the "liberation" of Kuwait in 1991, then flashes back to Hussein's childhood and early life. His rise to power in Iraq's Ba'ath political party is also covered. Two-thirds of the book is devoted to his reign as the nation's leader. One chapter each is allocated to discussions of Iraq's long, bloody war with Iran, and the Persian Gulf War. The book concludes with Hussein's postwar years, his deceptive dealings with the United States, and the United Nations's attempts at weapons inspections. The last chapter covers developments through spring 2002 with President George W. Bush's pledge to resume weapon inspections and see a "regime change" in Iraq. With developments rapidly changing, this biography will need updating faster than most. Both books are extensively illustrated with captioned, full-color photographs and maps and serve as informative, useful introductions to their subjects.-Edward Sullivan, White Pine School, TN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791085769
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Major World Leaders Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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