Pride and Power

A Modern History of Iraq

Johan Franzén

A comprehensive account of Iraq’s modern history, shaped by resistance, struggles for power and fierce national pride.

Bibliographic Details
Pride and Power Hardback
December 2020£75
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The story of Iraq is one of resistance. In this groundbreaking study, Johan Franzén offers a contextual modern history of the country, its creation and its struggle for sovereignty.

Iraq’s contemporary history is a tale of a diverse people thrown together into a nation-state by imperialist statecraft. From the state’s inception as a League of Nations mandate in the 1920s, through wars, coups and revolutions, Iraqis have always resisted foreign domination. But the country, propelled by the quest for power, intense national pride and a zeal for sovereignty, was catapulted along a trajectory of violence. On one side stood imperialism, seeking to control Iraq for its own ends. Facing it, Iraqis of varying nationalist groups tried to rid the country of foreign meddling and steer a course of self-determination.

Pride and Power offers in-depth analysis of the most important events, decisions and processes that led Iraq down this path. Based on extensive research of primary sources, both Iraqi and Western, the book unravels the complexity of Iraq’s political history. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the international relations of the Middle East or in understanding the rich history of Iraq, from its foundation to the present.


Johan Franzén is Senior Lecturer in Middle East History at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of Red Star Over Iraq: Iraqi Communism Before Saddam, also published by Hurst, and has written extensively on Iraqi affairs for many years.


‘Franzén narrates the troubled political history of modern Iraq, with close and detailed analyses of the play of forces, and the role of regional and international powers in the rise and fall of the modern Iraqi state.’ — Sami Zubaida, Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck, University of London, and author of Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East