"A reverent, stirring life of the Arab nationalist, friend of T.E. Lawrence and first monarch of Iraq. Using a host of lost Arab voices in painting the portrait of Faisal I (1885-1933), the author fills a void in scholarship with this nuanced biography of a seminal figure in the shaping of the modern Middle East ... A misunderstood sharif finds a worthy, erudite biographer in Allawi."-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review Kirkus Reviews "Faisal I of Iraq is a sympathetic but by no means uncritical portrait, drawing on all the available sources, in English and Arabic. It is unlikely to be dislodged as the standard treatment for some time to come."-Christopher de Bellaigue, Financial Times -- Christopher de Bellaigue Financial Times "Through his skilful use of Arabic as well as British sources, he portrays Faisal as a convincing multi-dimensional figure...This is the fullest portrait yet of a fascinating figure who played a significant role in the making of the modern Middle East."-The Economist The Economist "[A]n important achievement and fully confirms that King Faisal was an outstanding Arab leader."-Alan Rush, The Spectator -- Alan Rush The Spectator "One of the strengths of Allawi's book is that it ignores received ideas of imperialism and nationalism and shows the links, as well as conflicts, between them...This biography makes a compelling case that Faisal I, a foreign monarch born in the Hejaz, educated in Constantinople, imposed by Britain, was a better rule of Iraq than most Iraqi leaders."-Philip Mansel, Literary Review -- Philip Mansel Literary Review "This tome will hold the interest of both general readers and specialists, and is notable for being the first full-length biography of the monarch written in English."-Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly 'Ali Allawi's Faisal I of Iraq is excellent and indispensable, effectively a history on the making of today's Middle East.'-Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard -- Simon Sebag Montefiore Evening Standard Shortlisted for the 2014 Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize -- Best First Biography Prize Slightly Foxed
About the Author
Ali A. Allawi is research professor, National University of Singapore. He was appointed Iraq's first postwar civilian Minister of Defence in 2004 and in 2005 was appointed Minister of Finance. This is his third book. He lives in London and Baghdad.