Monday, 3 August 2009

New books for August

Bullets, Bombs and Cups of Tea, Ken Wharton (Helion & Company)
The author’s second oral history of the Northern Ireland troubles told from the perspective of the ordinary British soldiers who were involved in the conflict from 1969 to 1998. It also recalls, for the first time, the stories of the ‘unseen victims’, those who were left at home dreading news of the death of their loved ones.

Civilisations of Ancient Iraq, Benjamin R. Foster & Karen Polinger Foster (Princeton University Press)
The story of ancient Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements 10,000 years ago to the Arab conquest in the 7th century, which traces the rise and fall of successive civilisations in Iraq over the course of millennia, from the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians to the Persians, Seleucids, Parthians and Sassanians.

Iraq: A Political History from Independence to Occupation, Adeed Dawisha (Princeton University Press)
A history of the Iraqi state from its founding in 1921 following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the present day, which reveals how, from the very beginning, Iraq’s ruling elite sought to unify an ethnically diverse and politically explosive society by developing state governance, fostering democratic institutions and forging a national identity.

History of the Mafia, Salvatore Lupo (Columbia University Press)
An account of the Sicilian Mafia from 1860 to the present, which reveals an organisation and mindset dedicated to the preservation of tradition that functions as an alternative to the state, providing its own social and political justice.

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