Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Weight of a Mustard Seed

The Weight of a Mustard Seed, by Wendell Steavenson, is a book about Iraq, but it is not your typical war/journalist horror story. The book traces the life of a former Iraqi general during the Iran-Iraq war named Kamel Sachet. Through years of meticulous research and interviews Steavenson puts together a unique portrait of a man, who also happened to be a ruthless general and served as one of Saddam’s military stooges during the 1980s, who inflicted torture and worse on many a civilian. The Weight of a Mustard Seed sheds light on the times before the US invasions in Iraq, the realities of this country and the countless fighting, devastation and suffering that the Iraqi people have endured. Her interviews with Sachet’s family, friends and associates allow the reader to grasp a more profound psychological portrait of how people deal with war, death and dictatorship, particularly how average citizens, doctors, lawyers, etc. can enter into brutal circumstances and the real price of loyalty. It’s certainly not a romantic book but it is real and insightful, and definitely worth a read.

1 comment:

Starman said...

As bad as Saddam was, the Iraqi people were better off under him them since. Here's a blog from an Iraqi woman: http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
It's very interesting reading, especially if you go back to the beginning of the 'war'!