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New publication Aline Schläpfer: Iraqi History in Trouble. Talib al-Naqib and ‘Abd al-Mushin al-Sa‘dun

Book cover in arabic

With whom does history feel empathy? The philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote that “the answer is inevitable: with the victor. All leaders are the heirs of those who conquered before them.

Consequently, empathy with the victor invariably benefits the rulers.” In fact, official histories often remember those who succeeded, but not those who almost succeeded: neither those who almost became king, nor those who almost achieved national independence. This book is an invitation to rethink Iraq’s contemporary history from the perspective of historical exclusion, and through the study of two controversial figures: Sayyid Talib al-Naqib (1860s-1929), a defeated candidate for the throne of Iraq, and the Prime Minister ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Sa‘dun (1879-1929), who committed suicide less than three years before the country’s official independence.

Author: Aline Schlaepfer, University of Basel

Translation and preface: Mahmoud al-Qaysi (University of Baghdad)

Baghdad, Dar Adnan, 2024