Tuesday, February 13, 2007

With Authority

[posted by Callimachus]

Iraq by the books Seriously. Michael Rubin, in Middle East Quarterly, gives capsule reviews of the major literature so far published on the Iraq War, and the sum amounts to a sorting out of sheep from goats as well as a history of the war and its consequences. Most of the books on my shelf on this topic are included in this list, as well as a few I intended to get -- but may change my mind about now.

Many of the most popular books have been deeply flawed. Many authors use their Iraq narrative to promote other agendas, be they related to U.S. domestic politics, U.N. empowerment, or independence for Kurdistan. Other authors have substituted theory for fact or tried to propel their experience into the center of the Iraq policy debate. While time has already relegated much Iraq-related writing to the secondhand shelf or dustbin, several authors have produced works that will make lasting contributions, be they to future generations of war and post-conflict reconstruction planners, or scholars looking more deeply into the fabric of Iraq.

Check it out.