Why did I love this book?
This immense book, which in reality is three books in one, is what first attracted me to Iraqi communism. I had long been interested in the history of the Communist movement, but none of the many books I had read on the topic had ever dealt with Communism in the Arab world. Batatu’s book was a revelation. It is a tour de force of the history of Iraqi social movements of the early twentieth century. Despite many detours along the way, Batatu masterfully tells a gripping narrative of the disparate groups who ended up in the Iraqi state that was created after World War I and how they made sense of this new reality.