Blogs > Liberty and Power > Inventing Iraq & How to Buy the Book

Apr 29, 2004 7:24 am

Inventing Iraq & How to Buy the Book

Of the many books I have read of late on Iraq, I believe the best is Toby Dodge's, Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation Building and a History Denied (NY: Columbia UP, 2003).

Dodge begins with the British efforts late in WWI and continuing into the era of the League of Nations Mandate System afterwards, to create a nation in the area we now call Iraq. It is a story of trial and error, starts and stops. What strikes one, however, is that the Brits learned from their mistakes and appreciating the rising nationalism, made forward progress, despite everything.

In contrast, the US, that is George Bush, his Neocon advisors, and shifting list of Proconsuls, seem Hell Bent (Bush might say"Heaven Bent"), on denying all of that, and making matters worse. Whatever Nation Building will be done, apparently, will occur after Iraq has been leveled into a sort of tabula raza.

I do not intend this as a book review, but urge you to purchase this small book and read it.

As someone who taught on the Internet for six years and maintained his own web site, I have been surprised at the ignorance and ineptitude of many people at learning how to buy books through the Internet.

Probably the most obvious way is to go to a convenient link to That may not, however, be the least expensive way to buy a book, although Amazon does sometimes have the best new or used book price. Unless you want to write a review to bolster the ranking of some book at Amazon, which you can also do without purchasing it there, I suggest you try, a consortium of some 40,000 book sellers, which includes Amazon as well. It offers the best comparison of prices on new and used books.

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