Northern Iraq from 1958 to 1975: a Political Study

11 July, 2012
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Northern Iraq from 1958 to 1975: A Political Study, by Ammar Ali al-Samar

This ACRPS is pleased to announce a recent publication, Northern Iraq from 1958 to 1975: A Political Study, by Syrian scholar Ammar Ali al-Samar (560 pages), an extensive discussion on the political environment of Iraq's northern region beginning in 1958, the year in which Abdelkarim Kassem overturned the country's Hashemite dynasty and began the period of "Republican" rule. The book ends its discussion in 1975, the year of the famous Algiers Agreement, which saw Iraq and Iran settle their border disputes, thereby ending Iranian military support for an armed Kurdish insurrection.

The book presents not only a detailed demographic, geographic, and natural description of the territory of Northern Iraq, but goes on to list the historical developments leading up to the Republican coup of 1958. This discussion forms an apparent part of how the book explains the reasons behind the demise of the Hashemite dynasty in Iraq, and the growth of different political factions that sprung up after 1958, as well as the Nationalist rebellion led by Abdulwahhab al-Shawwaf in Mosul in 1959 and the increasing complexities of the Kurdish question under the rule of Presidents Kassem, Abdulsalam Aref, and Saddam Hussein. The question of Kurdish autonomy is a main theme throughout the book, and the author tackles head-on some of the pressing issues that followed the March 1970 ruling which gave the Kurdish minority self-rule in their enclaves within regions of Iraq that had a Kurdish-majority. In its later chapters, the book tracks the Kurdish question in addition to the issue of other ethnic and religious minorities living in Northern Iraq, including Turkmens and a variety of Christian sects, before ending with the 1974 and 1975 Kurdish uprisings.

Northern Iraq from 1958 to 1975 is going to be a valuable resource for scholars and journalists with an interest in the history of the modern-day state of Iraq, a state that lasted from 1920 until the American occupation of 2003.

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