Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weight of a Mustard Seed.

I can't wait to read this book. In Weight of a Mustard Seed: The Intimate Story of an Iraqi General and his Family during 30 Years of Tyranny, journalist Wendell Steavenson tells the tale of Iraq under Saddam through the story of General Kamel Sachet, a Saddam Hussein loyalist turned dissident and was executed for his betrayal in 1999.

Robert Worth's review in today's NYTimes Book Review points out that these books are most important because, "One of the many sad facets of Iraq’s descent into sectarian warfare has been the loss of a proper reckoning with the recent past. Over the last five years, journalists and Iraqis alike have been too busy chronicling — and surviving — the horrors of the present conflict to spend much time thinking about Saddam Hussein’s murderous quarter-century in power. This is a shame, not just because Iraqis need a chance to rest and confront their history, but also because the violence that erupted after 2003 made limited sense to those who did not live through its prelude."

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