Catalogue


Invisible nation : how the Kurds' quest for statehood is shaping Iraq and the Middle East /
Quil Lawrence.
edition
1st U.S. ed.
imprint
New York : Walker & Company, 2008.
description
xvi, 367 p. : ill.
ISBN
9780802716118 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Walker & Company, 2008.
isbn
9780802716118 (alk. paper)
contents note
The prodigal republic (Mr. Talabani goes to Washington) -- The stolen sheath -- Betrayal and holocaust -- Shame and comfort -- Burning down the house -- Waiting for Dubya -- A most convenient foe -- The northern front -- No friends but the Kurds -- Deeds to the promised land -- The believers -- The feast of the sacrifice -- Securing the realm -- Something that does not love a wall -- Visible nation -- Key events in Kurdish Iraqi history.
catalogue key
6404233
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
FromInvisible Nation: Kurdistan has everything the Bush administration promised for Iraq. It's a Muslim state that is prodemocracy, pro-America, and even pro-Israel. So in a dearth of good news, why isn't the United States crowing about this one great achievement in Iraq? Because Kurdistan's success could be catastrophic. Like no event since the 1948 creation of Israel, a declared Kurdish state within the borders of Iraq will unite the entire region in opposition, from the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf...The Kurds understand this better than anyone, and have been willing so far to limit themselves to virtual statehood. No force within Iraq can stop them at the moment, and the forces outside have been kept at bay only by the presence of the American army.
First Chapter
From Invisible Nation:Kurdistan has everything the Bush administration promised for Iraq. It’s a Muslim state that is prodemocracy, pro-America, and even pro-Israel. So in a dearth of good news, why isn’t the United States crowing about this one great achievement in Iraq? Because Kurdistan’s success could be catastrophic. Like no event since the 1948 creation of Israel, a declared Kurdish state within the borders of Iraq will unite the entire region in opposition, from the Black Sea to the Persian Gulf…The Kurds understand this better than anyone, and have been willing so far to limit themselves to virtual statehood. No force within Iraq can stop them at the moment, and the forces outside have been kept at bay only by the presence of the American army.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-12-10:
Numbering 25 million, the Kurds remain the largest ethnic group in the world without its own nation. This is not for want of trying, as British reporter Lawrence writes in this lucid, eye-opening account of the long, brutal struggle that continues despite opposition from Mideastern nations and the U.S. After centuries of oppression under the Turks, the Kurds had a chance at statehood when the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1918. The Middle East was remapped, with the Kurds divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Decades of bloody rebellion were ignored until Saddam Hussein's defeat in the First Gulf War. The Kurds rose again, anticipating U.S. assistance. Only media horror at Hussein's genocidal suppression of their revolt galvanized Western nations into action. When the "no-fly" zone was established in northern Iraq, Baghdad lost its capacity for governing the Kurds. Still fearful of Hussein, the Kurds cooperated eagerly as the U.S. planned a second Iraq invasion, but the Kurds' vision of statehood remains unfulfilled. Readers will close this engrossing but disturbing history with respect for a people that has struggled for millennia and whose difficulties continue to generate headlines. 30 b&w photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2008-02-15:
Ever since the first Gulf War of 1990-91, the Kurdish issue has emerged as a political and strategic fulcrum in Iraq. During the period between 1991 and 2003, the U.S.-imposed no-fly zone in Iraqi Kurdistan allowed the Kurds to develop governing institutions and the components of a civil society away from the suffocating presence of Saddam Hussein's military forces. When the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 and overthrew its government, the Kurdish region of the country was well poised to exert influence in post-Saddam Iraq. The fact that both Jalal Talabani, the current president of Iraq, and Hoshyar Zebari, the country's foreign minister, are Kurds has further enhanced Kurdish political clout in contemporary Iraq. Lawrence (Middle East correspondent, the World) has spent much time in the region and written reports on it for various Western publications. In lively and jargon-free language, with insights gained through experience, he explains the constellation of forces among the 25 million Kurds, the Kurds' relations to the other groups in contemporary Iraq, and their quest for independence. This is a timely and informative book that should be read by all interested in gaining a better understanding of today's Kurdish political developments. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A fine journalistic account of the personalities that animate the northern third of the country. They are all canny operators. Lawrence tells the story of Gen. Jay Garner's meeting with Jalal Talabani in 1991, when the latter (now president of the Republic of Iraq) was a guerilla scampering through the mountains to avoid Saddam. Shocked by Talabani's awareness of the war in areas well beyond his redoubt, Garner asked him his intelligence sources. Talabani showed Garner a room of electronics, as fancy as the general's own, and said he talked with John Major twice a day. This is the enigma of the Kurdish leadership in miniature: they are hardier than mountain goats and slicker than lobbyists. Lawrence's book captures both registers, as well as many in between."Graeme Wood , The Atlantic"Extensively researched and footnoted, yet readable and often engaging, "Invisible Nation" guides the reader through the "luckless history" of the Kurds."Matthew B. Stannard, San Francisco Chronicle "Stimulating history of the single Iraqi ethnic group that doesn't want American troops to leave Iraq...A disturbing account that prompts new admiration for a people whose age-old toil for a homeland will continue after the United States withdraws from the region."Kirkus"Lucid, eye-opening account...Readers will close this engrossing but disturbing history with respect for a people that has struggled for millennia and whose difficulties continue to generate headlines."Publishers Weekly"In lively and jargon-free language, with insights gained through experience, he explains the constellation of forces among the 25 million Kurds, the Kurds' relations to the other groups in contemporary Iraq, and their quest for independence. This is a timely and informative book that should be read by all interested in gaining a better understanding of today's Kurdish political developments."Library Journal"Interviewing people from all walks of life, from hitchhikers to Kurds now leading the Iraqi government, such as President Jalal Talabani, Lawrence touches on their concerns, very long and bitter memories, and hopes for the future."Booklist"Quil Lawrence has written an engaging, revelatory book about America's accidental success in Iraqthe development of a stable, secure and reasonably democratic Kurdish region in the country's north. Drawing on his intimate, on-the-ground knowledge of Kurdistan, Lawrence exposes us to the little-known history of the Kurdish people, their epic struggle for survival and self-governance, and their crucial role in the new Iraq. A fascinating and compelling tale, it's a valuable addition to the bookself for anyone who cares about what's happening in Iraq."Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author ofImperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone"The quest for Kurdish statehood is, in part, a story of unintended consequences, a sweeping narrative that Quil Lawrence masterfully charts with insight, authority and, perhaps most important, compassion. His book is a story not only of Kurdistan, but of Iraq, of the Middle East and of the future. To understand any of those, this book is essential.Invisible Nationstands as one of the most important works to emerge from a war that, five years in, remains as unpredictable as when it first started, a point that Lawrence makes abundantly clear."Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize winner and author ofNight Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War"In this dramatic narrative,
"A fine journalistic account of the personalities that animate the northern third of the country. They are all canny operators. Lawrence tells the story of Gen. Jay Garner''s meeting with Jalal Talabani in 1991, when the latter (now president of the Republic of Iraq) was a guerilla scampering through the mountains to avoid Saddam. Shocked by Talabani''s awareness of the war in areas well beyond his redoubt, Garner asked him his intelligence sources. Talabani showed Garner a room of electronics, as fancy as the general''s own, and said he talked with John Major twice a day. This is the enigma of the Kurdish leadership in miniature: they are hardier than mountain goats and slicker than lobbyists. Lawrence''s book captures both registers, as well as many in between." Graeme Wood , The Atlantic "Extensively researched and footnoted, yet readable and often engaging, "Invisible Nation" guides the reader through the "luckless history" of the Kurds." Matthew B. Stannard , San Francisco Chronicle "Stimulating history of the single Iraqi ethnic group that doesn't want American troops to leave Iraq...A disturbing account that prompts new admiration for a people whose age-old toil for a homeland will continue after the United States withdraws from the region." Kirkus "Lucid, eye-opening account...Readers will close this engrossing but disturbing history with respect for a people that has struggled for millennia and whose difficulties continue to generate headlines." Publishers Weekly "In lively and jargon-free language, with insights gained through experience, he explains the constellation of forces among the 25 million Kurds, the Kurds'' relations to the other groups in contemporary Iraq, and their quest for independence. This is a timely and informative book that should be read by all interested in gaining a better understanding of today''s Kurdish political developments." Library Journal "Interviewing people from all walks of life, from hitchhikers to Kurds now leading the Iraqi government, such as President Jalal Talabani, Lawrence touches on their concerns, very long and bitter memories, and hopes for the future." Booklist "Quil Lawrence has written an engaging, revelatory book about America''s accidental success in Iraqthe development of a stable, secure and reasonably democratic Kurdish region in the country''s north. Drawing on his intimate, on-the-ground knowledge of Kurdistan, Lawrence exposes us to the little-known history of the Kurdish people, their epic struggle for survival and self-governance, and their crucial role in the new Iraq. A fascinating and compelling tale, it''s a valuable addition to the bookself for anyone who cares about what''s happening in Iraq." Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq''s Green Zone "The quest for Kurdish statehood is, in part, a story of unintended consequences, a sweeping narrative that Quil Lawrence masterfully charts with insight, authority and, perhaps most important, compassion. His book is a story not only of Kurdistan, but of Iraq, of the Middle East and of the future. To understand any of those, this book is essential. Invisible Nationstands as one of the most important works to emerge from a war that, five years in, remains as unpredictable as when it first started, a point that Lawrence makes abundantly clear." Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War "In this dramatic narrative, Quil Lawrence has untwined one of the most tangled histories of the Middle East and made it comprehensible. Invisible Nationis a riveting account of Iraq''s Kurds and their essential role in the reshaping of modern Iraq. For anyone wishing to understand how the Kurds'' quest for nationhood plays into the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq, this book is a must-read." Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Lifeand The Fall of Baghdad
"Stimulating history of the single Iraqi ethnic group that doesn't want American troops to leave Iraq...A disturbing account that prompts new admiration for a people whose age-old toil for a homeland will continue after the United States withdraws from the region."-Kirkus
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, December 2007
Library Journal, February 2008
Booklist, March 2008
New York Times Book Review, April 2008
Globe & Mail, May 2008
New York Times Book Review, August 2008
Reference & Research Book News, August 2008
Globe & Mail, November 2008
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
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
Long Description
The American invasion of Iraq has been a success - for the Kurds. Kurdistan is an invisible nation, and the Kurds the largest ethnic group on Earth without a homeland, comprising some 25 million moderate Sunni Muslims living in the area around the borders of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Through a history dating back to biblical times, they have endured persecution and betrayal, surviving only through stubborn compromise with greater powers. They have always desired their own state, and now, accidentally, the United States may have helped them take a huge step toward that goal. As Quil Lawrence relates in his fascinating and timely study of the Iraqi Kurds, while their ambition and determination grow apace, their future will be largely dependent on whether America values a budding democracy in the region, or decides to yet again sacrifice the Kurds in the name of political expediency. Either way, the Kurdish north may well prove to be the defining battleground in Iraq, as the country struggles to hold itself together. At this extraordinary moment in the saga of Kurdistan, informed by his deep knowledge of the people and region, Lawrence's intimate and unflinching portrait of the Kurds and their heretofore quixotic quest offers a vital and original lens through which to contemplate the future of Iraq and the surrounding Middle East.
Table of Contents
Mapsp. viii
Acronymsp. xi
Cast of Charactersp. xiii
Prologue: The Prodigal Republic (Mr. Talabani Goes to Washington)p. 1
The Stolen Sheathp. 8
Betrayal and Holocaustp. 23
Shame and Comfortp. 42
Burning Down the Housep. 63
Carnival in Limbop. 88
A Most Convenient Foep. 111
The Northern Frontp. 132
No Friends but the Kurdsp. 160
Deeds to the Promised Landp. 182
The Believersp. 202
The Feast of the Sacrificep. 231
Securing the Realmp. 244
Something That Does Not Love a Wallp. 271
Conclusion: Visible Nationp. 307
Key Events in Iraqi Kurdish Historyp. 323
Notesp. 333
Selected Bibliographyp. 351
Acknowledgmentsp. 355
Indexp. 357
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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