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Paperback The Reckoning : Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein Book

ISBN: 0393324281

ISBN13: 9780393324280

The Reckoning : Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

To the dismay of many in the West, the Gulf War ended with Saddam Hussein still in control, still defiant, and more determined to use any means of striking back. How far did he go? And now that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban has been vanquished and the al Quaeda network scattered, how far should the United States go in pursuit of its war on terrorism? The central question posed in this book is whether a future Iraq without Saddam Hussein will be even...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Best book I have read about Iraq

Great overview of Iraq's history and racial ethic makeup/tensions. The author has a point of view but does not beat you over the head with it. Great book

The Reckoning

I had read Sandra Mackey's book, "The Saudis" a couple of years ago and found it fascinating and insightfully true. I saw her on C-SPAN talking about this new book, "The Reckoning", and I knew I had to buy it. Waldenbooks let me buy their "store copy" which came in a couple of days earlier than the normal shipment. I read all night long. This book is more historical and concentrates on the early history of the Arab world. I thank Ms. (Professor?) Mackey for researching everything so deeply for those of us who have a very difficult time understanding why or how some peoples of the world behave as they do. I also found many of her observations to be so true. I'm holding on to my copies. Please try to read these books for yourselves and reflect upon how we are all human beings with very unique perspectives on life.

A must-read for American politicians

In The Reckoning, author Sandra Mackey gives us a historical and current view of the nation of Iraq. By doing so, she points out that any attempt at governance will be met with fierce opposition from diverse groups that were, more or less, randomly placed together. The book begins with the creation of the state of Iraq, which I found is not an Iraqi creation. The name is not even an Iraqi creation. From the book, the British organized the areas of Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul into what we know of as Iraq. Every leader since the creation of the state has struggled to build a state where all the different groups think of themselves as Iraqi.Oil made the Iraqi state successful. Saddam Hussein and his party moved in power to benefit from that wealth, but they realized quickly that for them to maintain control, they have to be ruthless. Saddam has a long history of this.After reading this book, the articles I read in the newspaper and the news segments I see on TV make more sense to me. I would highly recommend reading this book. This is a very enlightening read.

The consequences of war with Iraq

The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein by Sandra MackeyThis book provides an extremely important ability to understand the dynamics of Iraq, especially related to a war with consequences not limited to Iraq, but to the whole Middle East and may escalate beyond. The authors states "the road to Baghdad must lead through Jerusalem". Because the writing is so good, this is a very readable book.The scholarship on the history of the region and Islam, and the development of the post WWI state is essential to the understanding of Iraq and the role of Saddam Hussein. The author traces this history and brings it to the present dilemma. This book chronicles Saddam Hussein's well orchestrated control over his country from the time of his accession to today in light of the various ethnic and religious groups and his strong tribal/military strengths. Control was achieved using techniques of a modern state; economic controls, environmental manipulation, genocide, and removal of the dissenting press and religious leaders resulting in lost of an educated population and alternatives for government.The last chapter is provocative and terrifying. The author makes the case that removing Hussein will not alone solve the major issues, and may escalate the Arab/Israel conflict with the developed world losing essential oil supplies and potentially the elimination of Israel. The case is made that solutions on Palestine must be part of the Iraq policy. One can debate what that policy should be, but the author suggests that the U.S. has behaved at best as naïve and at worst as manipulative and destructive to the Arab world. The book shows that the U.S. must look beyond the elimination of Hussein to the larger view of the consequences and methods to ensure stability in the region. She questions if a large U.S. (UN) military force in Iraq would ensure oil production, minimize the conflict with Israel, and eventually produce a democratic nation representing the major ethnic religious groups. The author shows that even with a very large police action, these goals may be nearly impossible. To the world, the only U.S. interest is the strategically important oil and the cruelty of Hussein, who wants to have the military power to protect his position. Without the oil, the brutality would be a minor U.S. concern as it was in the Congo. The book provides a excellent launching pad for the discussion on the long term goals in the region.

Timely book on Iraq

With an attack on Saddam likely quite soon and with a new Iraq emerging from the ashes of his ruthless regime, this book is well worth everyone's attention. Lots of history, lots of analysis on the various elements and subelements of the Iraq political culture. Well written. My only criticism is that the author is a bit too gloomy about the future. I think by the year 2010, Iraq will be a model regime for the entire region.
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