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Banking on Baghdad:
Inside Iraq's 7,000 Year History of
War, Profit and Conflict

By Edwin Black
In BANKING ON BAGHDAD, New York Times and international best-selling author Edwin Black chronicles the dramatic and tragic history of a land long the center of world commerce and conflict. Tracing the involvement of Western governments and militaries, as well as oil, banking, and other corporate interests, Black pinpoints why today, just as throughout modern history, the world needs Iraq's resources-and remains determined to acquire and protect them. BANKING ON BAGHDAD (October 2004; Wiley; $27.95; Cloth) almost painfully documents the many ways Iraq's recent history mirrors its tumultuous past.

Now, with foreign troops once more occupying this "cradle of civilization," BANKING ON BAGHDAD gives readers and historians the opportunity to consider the present and future of Iraq through the lens of its complicated and turbulent history. While demonstrating that Iraq's tribal, religious, and political turmoil has combined to punish the nation, Black does not shy away from the uncomfortable truth that foreign governments-- including that of the United States--have played a defining role in creating the Iraq we know today. As with his other works, IBM and the Holocaust and War Against The Weak, Black shines a harsh light into the dark corners of truth and the answers are revelatory and often eye opening.

Vivid characters bring BANKING ON BAGHDAD to life. Winston Churchill solidly set the course of British petropolitics and military oil dependence on a collision course with Iraq and Iran. C. S. Gulbenkian, the legendary "Mr. Five Percent", through intrigue and high drama created the fabled and secretive Red Line Agreement monopoly, dividing Iraq's fabulous oil wealth between British, American, and French cartels. The Hashemites, from Sharif Hussein and King Faisal, fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia to achieve independence in Syria, but were given Iraq instead; in consequence the Arabs aborted a planned peaceful co-existence with Israel. The Mufti of Jerusalem, in his war against Zionism, using Iraq's oil and strategic location as bait, made an alliance with Hitler during WWII and lead a pro-Reich coup in Baghdad, which was met by a British invasion to oust it. The post-World War II Ba'ath progenitors of Saddam Hussein ravaged Iraq's minorities and paved the way for the recently-deposed tyrant. Full of never-reported details and exclusive information, BANKING ON BAGHDAD is as timely as it is timeless. It promises to shake the reader to his heels with history lessons that are bloody and shockingly relevant today. To understand the current environment in Iraq, it is imperative to understand the history of the region. Nobody presents a more comprehensive and contemporary history of Iraq than Edwin Black. BANKING ON BAGHDAD is sure to become the dominant reference on Iraq.

About the Author
EDWIN BLACK is an award winning, New York Times and international best-selling investigative author of IBM and the Holocaust, The Transfer Agreement, and War Against the Weak. Black's writing has also appeared in numerous newspapers across the United States and Europe, and the world's leading magazines have also carried his work, from Playboy and Reform Judaism to Der Spiegel and L'Express. He is the recipient of numerous awards, and last year won the two highest awards of the American Society of Journalists and Authors: best nonfiction book of 2002 for IBM and the Holocaust, as well as best investigative article of 2002 for his piece on IBM at Auschwitz that appeared in the Village Voice. He has appeared on scores of network TV and radio shows from NBC's "Today Show", CBS's "Morning News", "Dateline", and NPR to England's BBC, Germany's ZDF, and France's TF-1.

For additional information, visit www.bankingonbaghdad.com.

Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict
By Edwin Black
PUB DATE: October 2004
ISBN: 0-471-67186-X

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