Red Star Over Iraq: Iraqi Communism Before Saddam

Hardcover | June 21, 2011

byJohan Franzen

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Recent outbursts of sectarian and ethnic violence in Iraq have made many observers question the viability of the state itself. It is said that due to the artificiality of the state and a lack of deep-seated political institutions, Iraqi politics is doomed to endlessly revert back toprimordialism. Political parties are mere facades for the real intention of pursuing ethno-sectarian interests, the argument goes. But the present situation has largely been caused by Saddam Hussein's infamous rule over the past three decades, combined with the plight of international sanctions. Before Saddam's ascent to power in the late 1970s, however, the Iraqi political spectrum was full of political parties operating from ideological platforms. The largest, and arguably most important of these groups, was the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP). The ICP stands out as the only truecross-sectarian party in Iraqi history, drawing support from all of Iraq's diverse communities. From its inception in 1934, it continuously fought the various regimes in power and endeavoured to spread communist ideology throughout Iraq. At times the party achieved considerable success in thisregard, although ultimately never able to seize power. Red Star over Iraq analyses the twists and turns of the ICP from its inception until its ultimate demise as a significant political force at the hands of Saddam in 1979.

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Recent outbursts of sectarian and ethnic violence in Iraq have made many observers question the viability of the state itself. It is said that due to the artificiality of the state and a lack of deep-seated political institutions, Iraqi politics is doomed to endlessly revert back toprimordialism. Political parties are mere facades for ...

Johan Franzenis lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of East Anglia. He holds a PhD in Middle East history from SOAS and has published extensively on the politics and history of the Arab world. He is the author of A Modern History of Iraq (forthcoming with Hurst).
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 5.71 × 8.58 × 0.91 inPublished:June 21, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199327378

ISBN - 13:9780199327379

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