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The Saddam Tapes
The Inner Workings of a Tyrant's Regime, 1978–2001

$28.99 (P)

  • Date Published: September 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107693487

$ 28.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • During the 2003 war that ended Saddam Hussein’s regime, coalition forces captured thousands of hours of secret recordings of meetings, phone calls, and conferences. Originally prepared by the Institute for Defense Analyses for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, this study presents annotated transcripts of Iraqi audio recordings of meetings between Saddam Hussein and his inner circle. The Saddam Tapes, along with the much larger digital collection of captured records at the National Defense University’s Conflict Records Research Center, will provide researchers with important insights into the inner workings of the regime and, it is hoped, the nature of authoritarian regimes more generally. The collection has implications for a range of historical questions. How did Saddam react to the pressures of his wars? How did he manage the Machiavellian world he created? How did he react to the signals and actions of the international community on matters of war and peace? Was there a difference between the public and the private Saddam on critical matters of state? A close examination of this material in the context of events and other available evidence will address these and other questions.

    • Provides a historically rare opportunity to view events from 'the other side of the hill'
    • Reveals an unvarnished look at totalitarian decision making in action
    • The transcripts from which this book is drawn will deepen, and in many ways challenge, what we thought we knew about Saddam's Iraq
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Too often, Americans have written the histories of their wars without knowing, or even caring much about 'the other side of the hill.' Because of the extraordinary work of Kevin Woods and his colleagues, however, we now know a great deal about Saddam Hussein, America's enemy in one of the last wars of the twentieth century and one of the first of the next century. The SADDAM TAPES provide unique insights into the mind and methods of a cunning dictator and his terrified subordinates; indispensable for anyone who wishes to understand them, and the wars they launched over more than two decades." - Dr. Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

    "Tantalizing! These transcribed, translated, and edited tapes of Saddam's conversations with his top associates invite scrutiny and analysis -- and even some bewilderment. They are indispensable for any study of the dictator, his country, and U.S. foreign policy." - Melvyn Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor, University of Virginia

    "The word 'unique' is overused, but it applies here. Not only have we previously never had records about Saddam Hussein that bring us this close to him, but we don't have records that compare to these for any authoritarian leader. These tapes give us unparalleled insights into how Saddam thought and regime worked. They will be of great interest to students of Iraq, the Arab world, and our recent past." - Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics , Columbia University

    "Step into Saddam’s world. See the universe the way it looked to him—and learn a lot about your own assumptions. "One thing we did right after invading Iraq was to collect as much information about the Saddam Hussein regime as possible. Rarely in history have we had such an opportunity to study the internal workings of such a regime. This volume is the public’s first chance to see the world through Saddam’s eyes. Here we have Saddam in his own words among his own people. "Prior to the war, political leaders had an abysmal understanding of the Saddam. They saw only a deadly cartoonish figure and made costly miscalculations based on ignorance. Saddam was a tyrant, but also a complex human controlling a complex society. He built as well as destroyed. Why? He had a massive misperception of Washington and made massive miscalculations. Why? Getting into his head is a strange experience, but this volume provides a window. Future leaders must learn from this experience. This volume can help save us from future disasters." - Charles Duelfer, Former Head of Iraq Survey Group and author of Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq

    "Historians, political scientists and policy analysts will find a treasure trove of material on Saddam's Iraq in the collection of recorded meetings and conversations involving Saddam (among other documents) now available at the Conflict Records Research Center at NDU. This meticulously edited volume gives us a tantalizing glimpse of the inner workings of the regime, and puts the material published here in context with admirable objectivity and insight." - Phebe Marr, author of The Modern History of Iraq (3rd edition 2011)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107693487
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The United States
    2. The 'Zionist entity'
    3. The Arab world
    4. Qadisiyyah Saddam (the Iran–Iraq War)
    5. The mother of all battles
    6. Special munitions
    7. The embargo and the special commission
    8. Hussein Kamil.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • International Security Affairs
    • State and Society in the Middle East
    • The Iraq War
  • Editors

    Kevin M. Woods, Institute for Defense Analyses
    Kevin M. Woods is a member of the research staff of the Institute for Defense Analyses. His studies on Iraq have been published in Foreign Affairs, Journal of Strategic Studies, and Intelligence and National Security, among others. He has authored and coauthored numerous studies, including Iraqi Perspective Report: Saddam's Senior Leadership on Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006) and The Mother of All Battles: Saddam Hussein's Strategic Plans for the Persian Gulf War (2008). Woods is a retired US Army officer with operational experience in Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 wars. Woods was the recipient of the 1997 J. William Middendorf II Award for Research at the Naval War College and the 2007 Andrew J. Goodpaster Award for Excellence in Research at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

    David D. Palkki, National Defense University
    David D. Palkki is the deputy director and senior researcher at the National Defense University's Conflict Records Research Center. He has authored and coauthored articles and chapters on Iraq that have been accepted for publication in International Security, in Diplomatic History, and by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Palkki is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation, 'Deterring Saddam's Iraq: Theory and Practice', draws heavily on the captured Iraqi records. He previously worked as a contractor at the Institute for Defense Analyses. He is a recipient of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation's Herbert York Fellowship and a National Science Foundation fellowship.

    Mark E. Stout, The Johns Hopkins University
    Mark E. Stout is a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches courses in intelligence and strategic studies. He is also the historian at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. He was previously a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and he has worked for the Department of the Army, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He is the coauthor of three books, including Iraqi Perspective Report: Saddam's Senior Leadership on Operation Iraqi Freedom (2006), First to the Rhine: The 6th Army Group in World War II (2007), and The Terrorist Perspectives Project: Strategic and Operational Views of Al Qaida and Associated Movements (2008). He has published articles in Intelligence and National Security, Studies in Intelligence, Journal of Strategic Studies, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

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