The best recent survey of the history, politics and international relations of Iraq. The authors, lecturers in British universities, write with a broad knowledge of the country. They seek and obtain objectivity, and that is not inconsistent with a scathing description of Saddam Hussein and his methods of governance. There is still room for further enquiry: for example, while the book gives prominence to the Iraqi Communist Party and its wide public support, it has relatively little to say about the party's connections with Moscow and Soviet-Iraqi relations in general. The main text carries the story only to 1986. A brief "postscript," covering the end of the war with Iran and the events leading to the invasion of Kuwait, is but a bare outline not comparable to the rest of the book.