Although overshadowed today by the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the plight of the Kurds in northern Iraq drew world attention in the aftermath of the Gulf War. Few people were aware, however, that this was just the latest event in a long history of repression, massacres, and deportations endured by 16 million Kurds living in present-day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Little has been published on the Kurds for the general reader; this book is an updated edition of Chaliand's earlier work of the same title (Zed, 1980). Eight chapters cover the history of the Kurds; the last three chapters deal with the impact of the Gulf War on the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey. While there is definite sympathy for the Kurds in this comprehensive and objective book, there is criticism as well--this is no propaganda tract. This important book is recommended for public and academic libraries as well as specialized Middle East collections.-- Ruth K. Baacke, Whatcom Cty. Lib. System, Bellingham, Wash.
Widespread American recognition of the Kurdish people, an ethnic group comprising more than 15 million inhabitants of the Middle East, had not existed in any real way until the attack of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the publicizing of, among other crimes, his murderous abuses against Kurds in his country. "People" is the update of a 1978 French title, now in its first U.S. edition. This ambitious collection of essays by scholars of Kurdish history, including several who are Kurdish themselves, addresses the intricacies of Kurdish national development and the history of these people as they have emerged from their nomadic societies and interacted with the nations that contain them (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the former USSR). Although much of the writing is clear and accessible to nonscholars, this book condenses too much information in a small scope. It is recommended to libraries with large international history/politics collections.