An abridged translation of the first volume of the seminal work on Iraqi social history by Ali al-Wardi, first published in Baghdad in 1969. The first volume of Social Glimpses of Modern Iraqi History is a detailed analysis of Iraqi politics, history, culture and society between the rise of the Ottoman Empire to the demise of the Mamluks in the mid-19th century. Influenced by Ibn Khaldun, William Ogburn and Robert MacIver, al-Wardi argues that the conflict between nomadism and urbanity, culture lag due to change, and the dual personality of the Iraqi individual, all combine to explain the nature of Iraqi society. Al-Wardi also argues that Iraq has always been plagued by sectarianism ever since the introduction of Islam itself, but the violence peaked during the Ottoman-Safavid war that raged for almost three centuries. Iraqis saw these powers not as foreign invaders, but as vanguards of their respective faiths. Al-Wardi focuses on the societal aspect of this turbulent era in Iraqi history. His arguments are informed by sociological theory, archival material and, most interestingly, personal experience and observation.
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The late Ali al-Wardi (author) was a distinguished 20th centuryIraqi sociologist who spent much of his life studying the nature ofIraqi society. Hayder al-Khoei (translator, pictured) is readingPolitics and International Relations in London. He is a Reseacherat the Centre for Academic Shi’a Studies and alsoauthors the Eye Raki blog.
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