All Things Assyrian
New Book on Assyrians in Iraq in the 20th Century

A new book by Professor Sargon Donabed presents a narrative history and analysis of the Assyrian experience in 20th century Iraq.

Who are the Assyrians and what role did they play in shaping modern Iraq? Were they simply bystanders, victims of collateral damage who played a passive role in its history? Furthermore, how have they negotiated their position throughout various periods of Iraq's state-building processes?

This book details a narrative of Iraq in the 20th century and refashions the Assyrian experience as an integral part of Iraq's broader contemporary historiography. It is the first comprehensive account to contextualise a native experience alongside the emerging state. Using primary and secondary data, this book offers a nuanced exploration of the dynamics that have affected and determined the trajectory of the Assyrians' experience in 20th-century Iraq.

Here are some of the reviews:

"Sargon Donabed provides a comprehensive overview of the modern Assyrian story, merging emic and etic perspectives of their struggle to attain sovereignty over the past century and beyond. His work offers both an informative source for Assyrian ethnic history and an alternative reading for Mesopotamian regional history as a whole." -- Nabil Al-Tikriti, University of Mary Washington

"In telling the story of modern Assyrian responses to a history of displacement and exclusion, Sargon Donabed helps us understand them as actors in their own right. He thereby rewrites Iraqi history from the perspective of the marginalized." -- Paul S. Rowe, Trinity Western University

About the Author

Sargon Donabed is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Roger Williams University. He is co-editor of The Assyrian Heritage: Threads of Continuity and Influence (Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012), Religion and the State: Europe and North America in the 17th and 18th centuries (Lexington Books, 2012) and The Assyrians of Eastern Massachusetts (Arcadia Publishing, 2006).

Book Chapters

  1. Integrating the Assyrian Question; A Historiography of Historiography and a Theoretical Framework; Key Sources: Mapping Iraqi Assyrians and Sectarianisation.
  2. Framing the Assyrian Narrative: Late 19th and Early 20th Century; Assyrian Demography: Between Deteriorating Empires and Colonial Expansion; Modern Roots of Inter-Religious Animosity; World War 1; From Versailles 1919 to Lausanne 1923; The Period of the Iraq Levies and the Assyrian Settlement.
  3. Iraq: Buildin a 'Nation'-State; The Patriarch and Temporal Authority; The Massacre at Simele; International Recognition; Road to the Republic.
  4. The Birth of the Republic and an Autonomist Struggle; The 1958 Coup and Renewed Internal Strife; Soriya Massacre of 1969; Demographic Situation.
  5. Enduring Discord: Political Machinations and Border Clearings; A Resumption of Violence; The Border Clearings of 1977 -- 1978.
  6. New Movements and War on the Horizon; Iraq-Iran War; The Calm Before the Storm; Renewed International Interest in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign.
  7. Nation-State Formation, Nation-State Building and Contentious Pluralism; Situating the Assyrian Experience; Agency, Failed Strategies and Transdenominationalism; Simele Revisited; Development and Further Consequences of Urbanisation and Arabisation; State-Sponsored Acculturation.

Book Information:

Reforging a Forgotten History: Iraq and the Assyrians in the 20th Century
Sargon Donabed
Edinburgh University Press Ltd.

ISBN: 9780748686025

ISBN: 9781474412124

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