Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American memoir of Teaching and Travel in Iraq, 1924-1947

Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American memoir of Teaching and Travel in Iraq, 1924-1947

by Ida Donges Staudt


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815609940
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publication date: 05/15/2012
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Oona Frawley is a lecturer in the Department of English at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is the author of Irish Pastoral: Nostalgia in Twentieth-Century Irish Literature and the editor of Memory Ireland Volume I: History and Modernity, A New and Complex Sensations, New Dubliners, and Selected Essays of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Editor's Foreword xi

Editor's Acknowledgments xxi

Preface xxiii

1 Arriving in Baghdad, 1924 1

2 An Educational Adventure 14

3 School of Life 27

4 Significant Occasions 32

5 Yesterday and Today; in Baghdad 42

6 Gardens, Houses, and Feasts 54

7 Weddings 68

8 Little Journeys about the City 81

9 Baghdad from the Tigris 96

10 To Basrah on the Tigris 107

11 Visiting the Shiah Holy Cities 121

12 In the Land of the Kurds 133

13 Exploring Scenic Iraq 148

14 The Bedouin Tribes 157

15 The Uprooted Assyrians 169

16 Iraq's Great Statesman 174

17 And So They Passed 182

18 The Magic Horse and the Magic Carpet 195

19 The Story of Oil 207

20 A Nazi-Inspired Revolt, 1941 218

21 Changing and Changeless Baghdad 230

Glossary 243

Works Cited 247

Index 249

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Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American memoir of Teaching and Travel in Iraq, 1924-1947 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DubaiReader1 More than 1 year ago
Fascinating. This book swept me back in time to an Iraq that no longer exists, a time of elegance, a time when teachers could meet with heads of state in the opulence of the Embassy. Ida and Calvin Staudt arrived in Baghdad in 1924. They had been employed to start up an American school for boys, where children from all types of background would mix together, learn to accept each other, speak English and follow an American curiculum. In turn, Ida and Calvin were invited into the parents' homes, sampling the profuse Iranian hospitality and meeting people from all walks of life. They lived in Baghdad for 23 years, until sadly, regime changes necessitated their departure from a land that they loved with all their hearts. During this time they educated hundreds of boys (and a few girls) and instilled them with a profound respect for each other. Ida Staudt's journal has been reproduced by her son, with only minor clarifications. She tells of her time in Iraq, travels to remote parts of the country, the people she met and the things she saw. History and politics are explained in context, often as the couple lived through events. The country has a wealth of archaeology and historical buildings and the Staudts were fortunate to visit many fascinating sites on thier journeys. This is a unique window in time and my only complaint would be an over emphasis on how the author and her husband were able to visit such important people, yet also get on with the lower classes, a bit too much 'blowing their own trumpet'. In spite of this, it is a book that I will enjoy re-reading. It is such a shame that it is not more widely known.