Saddam Hussein's Iraq

Saddam Hussein's Iraq

by James R. Arnold

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Heather Christensen
Each book in this series presents background on both the dictator and the country he ruled. Basic biographical information about the dictator is included as well as the methods he used-military prowess, political connections, or fear-to gain control. Each author discusses the country's origins, geographical features, and its historical relations with neighboring nations. In describing life for ordinary citizens under the dictator's rule, the authors examine quality of life issues, such as the availability and costs of basic necessities, propaganda, and the use of police or military power to create an atmosphere of fear. In addition to the usual glossary, index, and bibliographic addenda, a helpful "Who's Who" section containing biographical information on important figures can be found at the end of each book. Readers may be surprised to discover the role of foreign countries such as the United States in the circumstances that led to a particular leader's emergence, which is true in Augusto Pinochet's Chile. Childress frequently refers to the political machinations of the United States in its concern over possible communist rule in South American countries like Chile. Arnold instead focuses on the many brutal acts committed or ordered by Saddam Hussein. Students will be able to use these well-researched and well-organized titles for school-related studies. Although it seems unlikely that the book Augusto Pinochet's Chile will attract any but the most devoted biography fans for recreational reading, Saddam Hussein's Iraq might draw readers searching for more information on events leading to the current war in Iraq. The other countries covered in this series are Cambodia,China, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, and Zimbabwe. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
Children's Literature - Monserrat Urena
The text begins by carefully presenting the long and difficult history of Iraq. It explains in the simplest terms possible the impact foreign powers had in the country's politics, and how in turn these events helped shaped the world into which Saddam Hussein was born. His family history is outlined and his family relationships are explored. One cannot help but be shaken by the story of his rise to power and his control over an entire nation. The book also delves into the violent and varied means by which Saddam Hussein dealt with his enemies. Readers learn about his attacks on the Kurdish people and the Ma'dan or Marsh Arabs. This book does a good job of chronicling the rise and fall of this Iraqi leader. It does not reveal all his atrocities in detail but it touches upon them. Yet even in this abbreviated state they are horrifying. This is a very difficult book to read at times, yet it adequately presents its material. Despite its difficult subject matter it would serve as a valid resource for the home or classroom. This book is part of the "Dictatorships" series. Reviewer: Monserrat Urena
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Arnold covers some of the early history of Iraq before focusing on Saddam, who appears from the first as destined for a life of thuggery. Sidebars point out his involvement in murders and assassinations, his "wandering eye," and his cohorts' predilection for torture and chemical weapons. What is missing from this history of a corrupt man and his regime is a sense of objectivity: for example, Saddam "cunningly" deals with coalition powers; he also fails in an assassination attempt due to inexperience, but is later referred to as "an experienced assassin." Additional.-Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dictatorships Series
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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