These two books complement each other. O'Ballance's is primarily a narrative of military operations, done with the competence and style that have marked his descriptions of other recent wars. Khadduri's is a broadly historical, political and legal study of Iraqi-Iranian relations since World War II, setting forth with skill and accuracy the issues which made the war virtually inevitable and so difficult to stop. Because he knows Iraq so well, the Iraqi side of the story carries a bit more weight than the Iranian. Both books went to press before the armistice, but that does not diminish their value.