The Ba'th Party came to power in 1968 and remained for thirty-five
years, until the 2003 US invasion. Under the leadership of Saddam
Hussein, who became president of Iraq in 1979, a powerful
authoritarian regime was created based on a system of violence and
an extraordinary surveillance network, as well as reward schemes
and incentives for supporters of the party. The true horrors of
this regime have been exposed for the first time through a massive
archive of government documents captured by the United States after
the fall of Saddam Hussein. It is these documents that form the
basis of this extraordinarily revealing book and that have been
translated and analyzed by Joseph Sassoon, an Iraqi-born scholar
and seasoned commentator on the Middle East. They uncover the
secrets of the innermost workings of Hussein's Revolutionary
Command Council, how the party was structured, how it operated via
its network of informers and how the system of rewards functioned.
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