Author: Jonathan Steele

Book Review by: Ziad Hafez (**)

Published By: I.B. Tauris, London

Year of publication: 2008

Number of Pages: 294




When leading Western publications post rave reviews of a book about Iraq, it might attract the attention of many. When Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winning economist, says that Jonathan Steele’s book on Iraq, Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq, is ‘a splendid contribution’, that does get my attention. Being a trained economist myself, and an admirer of Sen, his words carry weight with me. In the Middle East, one is usually quite wary of Western books about the Arab world in general, and Iraq in particular. Most such publications are written for self serving purposes. In the case of Iraq, most books written post 9/11 offer some form of rationale for military intervention in Iraq. Such writers have either little experience about the region, its history, its language, and its traditions, or have never even bothered to set foot in the country and take a first hand look at the subject they are studying.

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