Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict

Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict

by Edwin Black


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New York Times and international bestselling author Edwin Black uncovers Iraq's hidden economy and the companies that profit from its upheaval
Big business and global warfare have long been fiery and symbiotic forces in Iraq. Banking on Baghdad tells the dramatic and tragic history of a land long the center of world commerce-and documents the many ways Iraq's recent history mirrors its tumultuous past. Tracing the involvement of Western governments and militaries, as well as oil, banking, and other corporate interests in Iraq, Black shows that today, just as yesterday, the world needs Iraq's resources-and is always willing to fight and invade in order to acquire and protect them.
While demonstrating that Iraq itself is partially to blame for its current state of turmoil, Black does not shy away from the uncomfortable truth that war and profit have also played an equal part in creating the Iraq we know today. Just as he did in IBM and the Holocaust, Black exposes the hidden associations between leading corporations, war, and oil-such as the astonishing connections between Nazi Germany, Iraq, and the Holocaust.
He exposes the war and race-based profiteering by some of the world's most prestigious corporations, as well as the political and economic ties between the Bush administration and the companies that gain handsomely from its foreign policy. Just as he did in War Against the Weak, Black offers a compelling blend of history and contemporary investigative journalism that spans a century and eschews easy answers for complicated questions.
Edwin Black (Washington, DC) is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust, The Transfer Agreement, and War Against the Weak. His journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, The Village Voice, The Sunday Times (of London), and The Los Angeles Times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780471773498
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/18/2006
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

EDWIN BLACK is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust, The Transfer Agreement, and War Against the Weak. His journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsday, the Village Voice, the Sunday Times (of London), and the Los Angeles Times, as well as in such magazines as American Bar Association Journal, American Lawyer, and Der Spiegel (Germany). Black has won numerous awards for distinguished journalism, including the Carl Sandburg Award, three Rockower Awards, and two awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

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Table of Contents



Notes on Usage.


Chapter 1. Have a Nice Day.

Chapter 2. The Cradle of Commerce.

Chapter 3. Robbing the Cradle.

Chapter 4. The Three Ottoman Provinces.

Chapter 5. The Sick Man.


Chapter 6. Oil.

Chapter 7. The Race to Monopolize.

Chapter 8. Mr. Five Percent.

Chapter 9. Fuel and Fuse.

Chapter 10. Invasion.

Chapter 11. The Proclamation.

Chapter 12. Chaos and Conquest.

Chapter 13. The Undeclared Country.

Chapter 14. Jihad against Britain.

Chapter 15. The Red Line.


Chapter 16. The Nazi Intersection.

Chapter 17. The Price of Prejudice.

Chapter 18. The Three Gulfs.


Major Sources.



An Interview with Edwin Black

Q: Banking on Baghdad again excavates a hidden history and reveals startling corporate relationships, this time encompassing the 7,000-year commercial and political history of Iraq chronicled through a global perspective. Why Iraq and why now?

A: Today, Iraq is once again pressing its thumb on our minds and hearts as we invest our blood and treasury in that troubled land. To investigate why, I needed to go back to the beginning. Iraq or Mesopotamia, as the cradle of civilization, enjoyed a several thousand-year head start on western civilization. What happened to make that land so filled with hatred, victimizing, and victimization? I learned that no one can understand the turbulent Iraq of today unless viewed through the corporate boardrooms and government war rooms of London, Paris, Istanbul, Berlin, and Washington, where Iraq's destiny was invented and determined.

Q: In a word: What is it all about?

A: In two words: oil and location. That is actually three words. But this was my inescapable conclusion in Banking on Baghdad, after leading a thirty-person team of researchers that obtained some 50,000 documents from over one hundred repositories in five countries; this included my own exclusive access to oil company archives. But even that is only part of the complex and tormented history of Iraq, which has been a magnet for commerce, conflict and conquest from Mongols to the Ottomans to the ravages of nature.

Q: You have now written five bestselling, award-winning, and turning-point books, including IBM and the Holocaust. Each thrives on your trademark mix of deeply mined history and investigative journalism. How does Banking on Baghdad fit into this body of work.

A: All of my books must be both timely and timeless. My whole life is dedicated to furthering justice by helping people understand the hidden history that has driven the events that forcefully affects their lives today and tomorrow. Invariably, this revolves around the potent corporate connections below the surface. In Transfer Agreement, I was the first to question the commercial forces at play in the anti-Nazi boycott and Jewish Palestine. In IBM and the Holocaust, I revealed in painful detail the pivotal 12-year alliance between IBM and the Third Reich. In War Against the Weak, I uncovered how corporate philanthropy funded genocide and the pseudo-science of eugenics in both America and Nazi Germany. In Banking on Baghdad, I was struck by how all the bloodshed and anguish the world is now experiencing in Iraq is a mere repeat of what has happened there time and time again -- literally since the beginning of recorded time.

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Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading Banking on Baghdad opened my eyes about the terrible prospects in Iraq, how they developed, where they are going and why our addiction to oil is the linchpin. No wonder Edwin Black chose as his next book Internal Combustion. Banking on Baghdad is another Edwin Black masterpiece that must not be missed by any who care about the Middle East and our involvement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Iraq's present is a painful recapitulation of its past. Certainly it is history not forgotten but repeated none- the-less in sweeping rehearsals across 7,000 years. Edwin Black brings people to life with crisp reality, from our goose bump inspiring contemporaries struggling to keep the peace, like Lt. Col. Chris Hughes, to Genghis Khan, whose only interest was retaliation and retribution which he meted out with gruesome methodical dispatch. Iraq's history is that not only of those who began life there, but often of others who sometimes accidentally and sometimes deliberately became entangled there-- sometimes as a cross roads and sometimes as a destination. Award winning author Edwin Black brings an exacting demand for verified and original source materials -- indisputable facts -- together with the richness, complexity and idiosyncrasies of the major players into a comprehensible and well founded look at what it is that we are doing in Iraq today, within a 7,000 year understanding. Both the scope and detail combined to make this a very special experience. What better way to prepare for thoughtful consideration of our nation's future relations and role in Iraq?