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 the history of Iraq? And how have they negotiated their position throughout various periods of Iraq's state-building processes? This book details the narrative and history of Iraq in the 20th century and reinserts the Assyrian experience as an integral part of Iraq's broader contemporary historiography. It is the first comprehensive account to contextualize this native people's experience alongside the developmental processes of the modern Iraqi 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. ; Traces the dynamic history of Iraq in the 20th century and reinserts the modern remnants of these peoples into its day-to-day concerns. ; Table of Contents; List of Figures; List of Tables; Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction; The Assyrians; A New Approach to Meaning; Moving Forward with Purpose; Chapter Analysis; 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; Ṣoriya 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; Conclusion; Glossary; Appendix A: Village Data; Appendix B: Bibliography; Appendix C: Documents Concerning Cultural and Political Organisations.
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In telling the story of modern Assyrian responses to a history of tragedy, Sargon Donabed helps us understand them as actors in their own right. He thereby rewrites Iraqi history from the perspective of the oppressed. No longer may we ignore the plight of this misunderstood minority.
- Paul S. Rowe, Trinity Western University
Sargon George Donabed is Associate Professor of History at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. 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).