Catalogue


Inventing Iraq : the failure of nation-building and a history denied /
Toby Dodge.
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2003.
description
xix, 260 p. : map.
ISBN
0231131666 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2003.
isbn
0231131666 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
5063885
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Toby Dodge is a senior research fellow at the ESRC Centre for the Study of Globalisation at the University of Warwick, England, and an associate fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-06-01:
Saddam Hussein's brutal legacy combined with the frustrations of the US-led coalition in the wake of another war in Iraq motivate this study of British failures in Iraq after WW I. Social and political conditions that contributed to Britain's inability to create a liberal state in Iraq in the 1920s and 1930s mirror current conditions. Dodge (Univ. of Warwick) examines contemporary and historical experiences from macro to micro perspectives. At the macro level, WW I weakened imperial states while simultaneously allowing the US to influence international policies. At the micro level, the problems of creating a viable state from diverse internal Iraqi interests complicated problems for indigenous leaders, who aspired to break Britain's hold on the former Ottoman territory. Airpower added a new dimension to problems confronting Iraqi and British leaders, offering a way to secure the country's borders while giving British and Iraqi leaders a forceful and conspicuous way to coerce rebellious citizens. The parallels between current conditions in Iraq and those that shaped the interwar years provide valuable insight to a country whose troubles have origins in the flawed policies of an earlier era. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. A. C. Cain United States Air University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Toby Dodge's Inventing Irayis an excellent title for the authoritative work..." -- Roy M. Melbourne, American Diplomacy
A very good piece of work in every respect: extensive research, familiarity and mastery of the secondary literature, well organised and lucid, conceptually sophisticated, with theoretical themes woven into the fabric of the substantive analysis.
"A very good piece of work in every respect: extensive research, familiarity and mastery of the secondary literature, well organised and lucid, conceptually sophisticated, with theoretical themes woven into the fabric of the substantive analysis." -- Sami Zubeida, Birkbeck College, University of London
Most interesting and original, from the point of view of theoretical vigour and empirical richness. Dodge argues against 'transhistorical' or essentialist views of late colonialism and also shows, very convincingly, the multifaceted nature of colonial practice and the often widely divergent views of colonial officials...well written...an exceptionally interesting piece of work.
"Most interesting and original, from the point of view of theoretical vigour and empirical richness. Dodge argues against 'transhistorical' or essentialist views of late colonialism and also shows, very convincingly, the multifaceted nature of colonial practice and the often widely divergent views of colonial officials...well written...an exceptionally interesting piece of work." -- Peter Sluglett, University of Utah
As postwar Iraq struggles forward, Toby Dodge's book has many lessons. Inventing Iraq is primarily a cold-eye analysis of Britain's failures as an occupying power after the first world war.... Dodge's book is a powerful warning to look at countries in their own cultural and historical context.
"As postwar Iraq struggles forward, Toby Dodge's book has many lessons. Inventing Iraq is primarily a cold-eye analysis of Britain's failures as an occupying power after the first world war.... Dodge's book is a powerful warning to look at countries in their own cultural and historical context." -- Jonathan Steele, The Guardian (UK)
"This fine, lucid book is absolutely essential reading for anyone desiring to understand how profoundly history shapes the current disastrous situation in Iraq, and it shows how terrible is the price for ignoring it." -- Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University
Dodge analyzes what he describes as the failure of the British nation-building in the 1920s.... [I]t is not out of place to point out one important implication of his account for the Anglo-American invasion and occupation. It is that there are longstanding limits to the use of high-tech weaponry and air power in effectively ruling a conquered population, even in the task of counterinsurgency.
"Dodge analyzes what he describes as the failure of the British nation-building in the 1920s.... [I]t is not out of place to point out one important implication of his account for the Anglo-American invasion and occupation. It is that there are longstanding limits to the use of high-tech weaponry and air power in effectively ruling a conquered population, even in the task of counterinsurgency." -- Juan Cole, The Nation
Dodge builds a convincing case that, should the Americans continue with prescriptions that bear little relation to where Iraq is now, they risk...denying the Iraqi people "the chance at getting the better life they so richly deserve."
"Dodge builds a convincing case that, should the Americans continue with prescriptions that bear little relation to where Iraq is now, they risk...denying the Iraqi people "the chance at getting the better life they so richly deserve."" -- Martin Bunton, International Journal
Dodge examines contemporary and historical experiences from macro to micro perspectives.... The parallels between current conditions in Iraq and those that shaped the interwar years provide valuable insight to a country whose troubles have origins in the flawed policies of an earlier era.... Recommended.
"Dodge examines contemporary and historical experiences from macro to micro perspectives.... The parallels between current conditions in Iraq and those that shaped the interwar years provide valuable insight to a country whose troubles have origins in the flawed policies of an earlier era.... Recommended." -- "Choice"
Toby Dodge's Inventing Iray is an excellent title for the authoritative work...
"Toby Dodge's Inventing Iray is an excellent title for the authoritative work..." -- Roy M. Melbourne, American Diplomacy
"Toby Dodge of Britain's Warwick University -- and author of Inventing Iraq, a superb recent book on the mandate -- points out the ways in which coalition authorities today are making the same mistakes as the British did 80 years ago." -- Michael Elliott, Time Magazine
This book is essential for an understanding of Iraqi history and the challenges that we are facing there today.
"This book is essential for an understanding of Iraqi history and the challenges that we are facing there today. " -- Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
This fine, lucid book is absolutely essential reading for anyone desiring to understand how profoundly history shapes the current disastrous situation in Iraq, and it shows how terrible is the price for ignoring it.
Toby Dodge of Britain's Warwick University -- and author of Inventing Iraq, a superb recent book on the mandate -- points out the ways in which coalition authorities today are making the same mistakes as the British did 80 years ago.
"Toby Dodge correctly depicts Iraq as a failed state arising from failed British policies and administrations early in the twentieth century...The audience for such commentary is wide." -- Roger Adelson, American Historical Review
"The best of the policy provocative studies is Toby Dodge's book, Inventing Iraq... Dodge argues that the creation of the state of Iraq under a mandate system represented a break with traditional territorial imperialism and signaled the beginning of the end of British international dominance." -- Judith S. Yaphe, Middle East Journal
Toby Dodge correctly depicts Iraq as a failed state arising from failed British policies and administrations early in the twentieth century...The audience for such commentary is wide.
"Toby Dodge correctly depicts Iraq as a failed state arising from failed British policies and administrations early in the twentieth century...The audience for such commentary is wide." -- Roger Adelson, "American Historical Review"
"[Dodge] offers compelling analogies and pointed commentary on how the United States might still be able to avoid repetition of some of the U.K.'s more serious mistakes.... Dodge recognizes that much of what is happening in Iraq today is the result of past events, and thus less amenable to after-the-fact corrective action." -- Edward L. Peck, Middle East Policy
For Dodge, the Americans running things in Baghdad have learned little from the British experience in Iraq. This book ought to be required reading for them.
"For Dodge, the Americans running things in Baghdad have learned little from the British experience in Iraq. This book ought to be required reading for them." -- Mike Schuster, NPR, "All Things Considered"
Inventing Iraq is a timely book with important implications for today's foreign policy and international development communities.
" "Inventing Iraq" is a timely book with important implications for today's foreign policy and international development communities." -- Derick W. Brinkerhoff, "Public Administration"
" Inventing Iraqis a timely book with important implications for today's foreign policy and international development communities." -- Derick W. Brinkerhoff, Public Administration
"It is a good book, and it is timely."
The best of the policy provocative studies is Toby Dodge's book, Inventing Iraq... Dodge argues that the creation of the state of Iraq under a mandate system represented a break with traditional territorial imperialism and signaled the beginning of the end of British international dominance.
"The best of the policy provocative studies is Toby Dodge's book, Inventing Iraq ... Dodge argues that the creation of the state of Iraq under a mandate system represented a break with traditional territorial imperialism and signaled the beginning of the end of British international dominance." -- Judith S. Yaphe, Middle East Journal
"Dodge examines contemporary and historical experiences from macro to micro perspectives.... The parallels between current conditions in Iraq and those that shaped the interwar years provide valuable insight to a country whose troubles have origins in the flawed policies of an earlier era.... Recommended." -- Choice
[Dodge] offers compelling analogies and pointed commentary on how the United States might still be able to avoid repetition of some of the U.K.'s more serious mistakes.... Dodge recognizes that much of what is happening in Iraq today is the result of past events, and thus less amenable to after-the-fact corrective action.
"As postwar Iraq struggles forward, Toby Dodge's book has many lessons. Inventing Iraqis primarily a cold-eye analysis of Britain's failures as an occupying power after the first world war.... Dodge's book is a powerful warning to look at countries in their own cultural and historical context." -- Jonathan Steele, The Guardian (UK)
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2004
Guardian UK, March 2004
Choice, June 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
If we think there is a fast solution to changing the governance of Iraq, warned U.S. Marine General Anthony Zinni in the months before the United States and Britain invaded Iraq, "then we don't understand history." Never has the old line about those who fail to understand the past being condemned to repeat it seemed more urgently relevant than in Iraq today, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the Iraqi people, the Middle East region, and the world. Examining the construction of the modern state of Iraq under the auspices of the British empire -- the first attempt by a Western power to remake Mesopotamia in its own image -- renowned Iraq expert Toby Dodge uncovers a series of shocking parallels between the policies of a declining British empire and those of the current American administration. Between 1920 and 1932, Britain endeavored unsuccessfully to create a modern democratic state from three former provinces of the Ottoman Empire, which it had conquered and occupied during the First World War. Caught between the conflicting imperatives of controlling a region of great strategic importance (Iraq straddled the land and air route between British India and the Mediterranean) and reconstituting international order through the liberal ideal of modern state sovereignty under the League of Nations Mandate system, British administrators undertook an extremely difficult task. To compound matters, they did so without the benefit of detailed information about the people and society they sought to remake. Blinded by potent cultural stereotypes and subject to mounting pressures from home, these administrators found themselves increasingly dependent on a mediating class of shaikhs to whom they transferred considerable power and on whom they relied for the maintenance of order. When order broke down, as it routinely did, the British turned to the airplane. (This was Winston Churchill's lasting contribution to the British enterprise in Iraq: the concerted use of air power -- of what would in a later context be called "shock and awe" -- to terrorize and subdue dissident factions of the Iraqi people.) Ultimately, Dodge shows, the state the British created held all the seeds of a violent, corrupt, and relentlessly oppressive future for the Iraqi people, one that has continued to unfold. Like the British empire eight decades before, the United States and Britain have taken upon themselves today the grand task of transforming Iraq and, by extension, the political landscape of the Middle East. Dodge contends that this effort can succeed only with a combination of experienced local knowledge, significant deployment of financial and human resources, and resolute staying power. Already, he suggests, ominous signs point to a repetition of the sequence of events that led to the long nightmare of Saddam Hussein's murderous tyranny.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Understanding the Mandate in Iraqp. 1
The Mandate System, the End of Imperialism, and the Birth of the Iraqi Statep. 5
Corruption, Fragmentation, and Despotism: British Visions of Ottoman Iraqp. 43
Rural and Urban: The Divided Social Imagination of Late Colonialismp. 63
Using the Shaikhs: The Rational Imposition of a Romantic Figurep. 83
The Social Meaning of Land: State, Shaikh, and Peasantp. 101
The Imposition of Order: Social Perception and the "Despotic" Power of Airplanesp. 131
Conclusion: Iraq's Past And Possible Iraqi Futuresp. 157
Notesp. 173
Bibliographyp. 227
Acknowledgmentsp. 249
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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