Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party

Inside an Authoritarian Regime
Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime. Cambridge Univ. 2012. 320p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780521149150. pap. $27.99. INT AFFAIRS
The Ba'ath Party came to power in Iraq in 1968 through Saddam Hussein's military coup and ruled that country until the U.S. invasion of 2003. Like most modern authoritarian regimes, Hussein's government produced and archived documentation of its policies, programs, and general activities. In April 2003, occupation forces captured millions of these documents and thousands of recordings of Hussein and his close Ba'ath Party associates, amounting to a treasure trove of firsthand information about Ba'athist Iraq and the inner workings of the Hussein regime. In this fascinating and highly informative book, Sassoon (adjunct, Ctr. for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown Univ.), an Iraqi-born scholar, relies on the captured documents to provide a first-rate analysis of how Hussein and his associates ruled Iraq. Unlike books on Hussein's Iraq that have relied largely on secondary sources, this one benefits from the author's heavy use of primary material hitherto unavailable.
VERDICT A must-read for both scholars of the contemporary Middle East and readers who wish to gain a broader understanding of how one-party authoritarian regimes exercise control and maintain power.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing