The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq

The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq

A Study of Iraq's Old Landed and Commercial Classes and of its Communists, Ba'thists and Free Officers

N/A June 2004 Paperback 1283pp Over 40 black & white illustrations

About the Book

This comparative study analyses the traditional elite of Iraq and their successors – the Communists, the Ba’thists and Free Officers – in terms of social and economic relationships in each area of the country. The author draws on secret government documents and interviews with key figures, both in power and in prison, to produce an engrossing story of political struggle and change.

About the Author

Hanna Batatu was born in 1926 in Jerusalem. He immigrated to the United States in 1948, receiving his PhD from Harvard University in 1960. Apart from research fellowships at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton, Batatu held two major teaching appointments: at the American University of Beirut (1962–81), and at Georgetown University (1982–94), where he was named Professor Emeritus upon retirement. He died in 2000.


‘A landmark in Middle Eastern historical study … it will be imitated, confronted, argued about, banned – and perhaps even burned – as no other book written on the region in the recent period.’
Roger Owen, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

‘By far the best book written on the social and political history of modern Iraq.’
Ahmad Dallal, Stanford University

‘An indispensable foundation for any thoughts regarding the creation of a new Iraqi political order.’
L. Bushkoff, Christian Science Monitor