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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money !, 19 Aug. 2014
By 
sgeoff (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Hardcover)
Exceptionally good book, full of interest from first page to last, whether covering early days of Baghdad's civilisation and greatness or all the blunders, suffering, barbarism and chaos of more recent times. Marozzi is a gifted writer, and provides a vivid and readable history based on impressive research.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A City Ruined By Western Blunders, 17 Jun. 2014
By 
Dr Barry Clayton (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This excellent book comes out at a time when, thanks to Bush and Blair-the latter is still in denial, and continuing to be economical with the truth-the city of Baghdad is once more threatened this time by Sunni militia. As the title suggests, Baghdad is used to blood.

For over 500 years Baghdad was the glittering jewel of the Islamic world; the heart of the Islamic caliphate. While the West was in the Dark Ages, it was home to leading poets, astronomers and physicians.
The author reminds us that the city was :'the pinnacle of intellectual, artistic and technological achievement on earth'.
Many of these achievements were astonishing, for example, calculating the length of the Mediterranean, and pi to 16 decimal places.

Marozzi has written an absorbing history of this fascinating city, one made famous for many in the West by stories from the Arabian Nights. The author has lived in the city for 10 years so knows it intimately. This Arabian tale, unfortunately, has no happy ending.

Founded in 762, Baghdad was predominately a Christian city despite its founder being a Sunni caliph. Soon, however, violence became all too common. A Mongol army destroyed the city in 1258 leaving thousands dead. In 1401, Tamerlane killed some 90,000. A succession of attacks from Muslims led to the massacre of thousands in the 19th century.

In 1919 Iraq was taken over by the British. In 1932 we granted Iraq independence. In 1933 the Iraqi miltary massacred the people of the Simayl, a Christian village, and Jews were slaughtered in 1941 with ' unfathomable cruelty'.
The tyrant Saddam Hussein seized power and committed acts of unspeakable cruelty, acts that the author details.

After his fall in 2003, Marozzi reveals that almost all Jews and Christians have been killed or gone abroad. The city is now a ruin, turned into a fly-blown place ' riven by sectarian bloodshed, its priceless treasures looted or destroyed'.
He ends his book by saying that the 'city of peace' seems often to have been one of blood.
Certainly, war or famine or pestilence seem to have been commonplace in this remarkable city that was once the cultural lodestar of the world and centre of the greatest civilization on earth.

Iran, a nation that fought a bloody 8 year war with Iraq, is now involved again giving support to the Shia government. Ironically, if Iran had not meddled in Iraq some 1,300 years ago Baghdad might never have existed.

There are some excellent maps and a very helpful note on Arabic spellings. There is a fascinating chapter on plagues, and the final chapter dealing with events since 1958 is a gem. The bibliography is comprehensive and the Appendix on the Iraqi security apparatus under Saddam Hussein is illuminating.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully heartbreaking book, 4 Dec. 2014
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Beautiful, captivating, fascinating and tragic. There are moments of joy and cultural explosions in Baghdad's history but they are brief. For what seems like centuries it suffers under the desires of rulers, empires and despots. A most compelling and heart breaking read,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good research., 8 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Hardcover)
I enjoined reading this book specially I am from the same background. Very good research.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Hardcover)
Erudite, scholarly and highly textured. A fascinating read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the product of great industry and intuitive deduction, 6 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Hardcover)
A scholarly but highly readable work, the product of great industry and intuitive deduction.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful Context, 15 July 2014
By 
Andrew Howell "andyhowell3" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a very interesting and useful book to read not least because it shows how ancient patterns of conflict have survived to this day. Peace, for Baghdad, seems to be still a long way off!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Nov. 2014
By 
R.H.L.R Norton (Faringdon, OXON England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Hardcover)
Intere3sting!
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Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood
Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood by Justin Marozzi (Hardcover - 29 May 2014)
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