A review of the relations between the Soviet superpower and one of its junior partners in the Middle East, in which each sought cooperation to advance its own interests but did not shrink from disagreement and conflict when interests clashed. Iraq was never a Soviet satellite. The book may seem overstuffed with detail but it is all relevant to the main themes and also beams a searchlight into insufficiently known areas of policy, such as the Kurdish question and the role of the Iraq Communist Party. The coverage is from 1958 to 1988 and thus barely gets into the Gorbachev era. But the lessons remain valid, indeed are plainer than ever in a period of diminished Soviet influence.
Get the latest book reviews delivered right to your inbox.