Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind

Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind

by Mahdi Obeidi
     
 

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Obeidi, the former director-general of Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization under Saddam Hussein, was involved in Iraq's quest for a nuclear bomb beginning in the late 1970s. In this memoir, he tells his story of his work in the program, describing how the efforts came to a halt after the first Gulf War, and how he watched as the U.S. used… See more details below

Overview

Obeidi, the former director-general of Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization under Saddam Hussein, was involved in Iraq's quest for a nuclear bomb beginning in the late 1970s. In this memoir, he tells his story of his work in the program, describing how the efforts came to a halt after the first Gulf War, and how he watched as the U.S. used allegations he knew were false to justify the invasion of his country. In many parts, the story is as much personal as professional as he worries about the fate of his family in difficult times. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Jacob Heilbrunn
[Obeidi's] memoir is not an instructive guide to Iraq's quest for the bomb. It is an indispensable one. Expertly organized and packed with telling vignettes, it is never less than riveting. Not a member of Hussein's camarilla but in close contact with it, Obeidi draws on his experiences to depict a regime that became the premier consumer of its own propaganda.
— The New York Times
Michael Dobbs
The result offers insights into how a determined dictator, backed by sufficient resources, can come within reach of acquiring the world's most horrific weapons. It is a tale of cruelty and ruthlessness on the part of Hussein but also of naivet� and greed on the part of Western scientists who enabled Iraq to take shortcuts toward becoming a nuclear power.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
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) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
* “…explosive…” (The Independent Magazine, Saturday 5th November 2005)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471679653
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
618,108
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.48(h) x 0.92(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"This one book will tell you more about Iraq's quest for weapons of mass destruction than all US 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 U.N. weapons inspector and Head of the Iraqi Survey Group in charge of searching for weapons of mass destruction

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