Author(s): John Robertson
In this insightful analysis, highly-respected expert John Robertson canvases the entirety of Iraq's rich history, from the seminal advances of its Neolithic inhabitants to the aftermath of the American-led invasion and Iraq today. Grounded in extensive research, this balanced account of a country and its people explores the greatness and grandeur of Iraq's achievements, the brutality and magnificence of its ancient empires, its contributions to the emergence of the world's enduring monotheistic faiths, and the role the great Arab caliphs of Baghdad played in the medieval cultural flowering that contributed so much to the European Renaissance and the eventual rise of the West. Fascinating and thought-provoking, Robertson's work sheds light on a remarkable story of world history, one that has been too often overlooked. Wide-ranging and extensive in approach, it is sure to be greatly appreciated by historians, students and all those with an interest in this diverse and enigmatic country.
"This vivid and fast-paced book is an enjoyable introduction for the general reader, from the beginnings of human civilization to the recent wholesale destruction of Iraq's archaeological heritage... Robertson's focus on pre-modern Iraq effortlessly blends political and military history with the history of ideas, and flows seamlessly into the present era and the terrible predicament in which the cradle of civilization now finds itself." Publishers Weekly "Iraq matters. Iraq has always mattered and John Robertson's compelling account shows exactly why. Deftly steering a path through five millennia and more, he helps us to see how and why the country's past is always up for grabs, interpreted and reinterpreted in the light of contemporary concerns... An essential read for anyone who wants to understand why Iraq is never far from the headlines." -- Eleanor Robson - Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History, University College London "The author superbly weaves ancient and medieval historical and cultural development with Iraq's recent history and current sociopolitical turmoil. VERDICT Few books in English cover Iraq's entire history in such a holistic manner. This highly readable and informative book will be a valuable tool in teaching and research for informed general readers and Middle East specialists." Library Journal "A rare find: an authoritative, highly original history that is simply a delight to read. Anyone who wants to understand the turmoil and potential of modern Iraq should read this book." -- Dr. Barbara N. Porter, Director, The Casco Bay Assyriological Institute; research associate, The Harvard Semitic Museum "It is rare to find a genuinely knowledgeable and expert scholar who can produce a work as accessible and balanced as this volume. Always informative and never overwhelming, this is a volume that truly must be read by anyone interested in the world we find ourselves occupying today." -- Dr. Martha T. Roth - Dean, Humanities Division and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology, University of Chicago
John F. Robertson is Professor of Ancient and Middle Eastern Studies at the Central Michigan University.