The Arab War by Gertrude Bell

    Now that the Bush Administration is fully entangled into the local politics of every Iraqi city, be it Kurdish, Sunni or Shiite, it is imperative to read The Arab War. Written in 1917 by Gertrude Bell, a prime architect, if not the mother of the modern state of Iraq, it details the complexity of the relations among the many tribes and cities of Mesopotamia. In her words:

    "We shall be wise to eschew any experiments tending to rush them (the tribes of Iraq) into highly specialized institutions—a policy which could commend itself only to those who are never wearied by words that signify nothing." 

    Download - The Arab War

    Of special interest to our visitors is Chapter Four of The Arab War, Gertrude Bell's account of meeting King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud during his visit to Basra in November of 1916. Click here to read Chapter Four in its entirety.