A Short History of Iraq / Edition 2

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Since the war in Iraq in 2003 and the consequent occupation of the country by British and American forces, Iraq has been the object of intense public scrutiny. Amid rising tensions in the Middle East, the importance of understanding the history of this country has only increased.

Although often viewed as an artificial British creation with an inherently fractured society, Iraq has a long and sophisticated history of administrative and economic unity which created a firm basis for cooperation and coexistence within its diverse societies. This unity still makes sense today despite the formidable problems of occupation, feeble state structures and chaos. Going right back to the roots of Islamic institutions in the medieval period, Professor Thabit A.J. Abdullah looks at the interaction of old and new, continuity and change, as manifested in social development, nation-building, the state and political opposition. By placing the country in its historical context, he shows that the current turmoil in Iraq is not simply due to the emergence of pre-existing social, religious and cultural divisions, but to the unravelling or weakening of social ties linked to a number of factors, including Ba'thist totalitarianism, wars, sanctions, and the destructive policies of the American-British occupation.

In this new edition, A Short History of Iraq has been fully revised throughout and now includes a new final chapter covering the seven years since the beginning of the Iraq war. Documenting developments leading to the fall of Saddam and covering recent reform and resistance, this chapter also addresses central questions such as the validity of American intervention and the future of Iraq.

A Short History of Iraq serves as an essential historical guide to this fascinating and largely misunderstood country, as well as providing a searching commentary on an increasingly significant region of the world.

Thabit A. J. Abdullah is Professor of History at York University, Canada. He is the author of Merchants, Mamluks and Murder: The Political Economy of Trade in Eighteenth Century Basra (2001), and Dictatorship, Imperialism and Chaos: Iraq Since 1989 (2006).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405859370
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/3/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thabit A. J. Abdullah is Professor of History at York University, Canada. He is the author of Merchants, Mamluks and Murder: The Political Economy of Trade in Eighteenth Century Basra (2001), and Dictatorship, Imperialism and Chaos: Iraq Since 1989 (2006).

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Table of Contents


Chronology of main events



1 From the Arab conquest to the fall of Baghdad, 636–1258

2 Iraq under Mongol and Turkoman rule, 1258–1534

3 The first three centuries of Ottoman rule, 1534–1831

4 The Tanzimat and Young Turk period, 1831–1918

5 Mandate and Monarchy, 1918–1958

6 The struggle for the Republic, 1958–1979

7 The dictatorship of Saddam Husayn, 1979–2003

8 Iraq Under American Hegemony, 2003-2009


Select bibliography


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