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A Modern History of the Kurds

The division of the Kurdish people among four modern nation states--Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran--and their struggle for national rights have been constant themes of recent Middle East history. The Kurdish lands have been contested territory for many centuries. In this detailed history of the Kurds from the 19th century to the present day, McDowall examines the interplay of old and new aspects of the struggle, the importance of local rivalries within Kurdish society, the enduring authority of certain forms of leadership and the failure of modern states to respond to the challenge of Kurdish nationalism. Drawing extensively on primary sources McDowall's book is useful for all who want a better understanding of the underlying dynamics of the Kurdish question.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Kurdish identity and social formation. Book I The Kurds in the age of tribe and empire 2. Kurdistan before the 19th century 3. Ottoman Kurdistan, 1800-1850 4. Ottoman Kurdistan, 1850-1914 5. The Qajars and the Kurdis 6. Revolution, nationalism and war, 1908-1918 Book II Incorporating the Kurds 7. Redrawing the map: the partition of Ottoman Kurdistan 8. The Kurds, Britain and Iraq 9. Incorporating Turkey's Kurds 10. The Kurds under Reza Shah. BOOK III Ethno-nationalism in Iran 11 Tribe or Ethnicity? The Mahabad Republic 231 12 Iran: Creating a National Movement 249 13 Subjects of the Shi'i Republic 261 BOOK IV Ethno-nationalism in Iraq 14 The Birth of a Nationalist Movement under Hashimite Rule 287 15 The Kurds in Revolutionary Iraq 302 16 The Kurds under the Baath, 1968A-1975 323 17 The Road to Genocide, 1975A-1988 343 18 Uprising and Self-rule 368 BOOK V Ethno-nationalism in Turkey 19 The Kurdish National Revival in Turkey, 1946A-1979 397 20 The PKK and the Mass Movement 420 21 The Kurds in Exile: building the nation 455 Afterword 462 Appendix 1 The Treaty of SA vres 464 Appendix 2 The Kurds of Syria 466 Appendix 3 The Kurds of Lebanon 485 Appendix 4 The Kurds of the Caucasus 490 Index 495

About the Author

David McDowall is a specialist on Middle Eastern affairs and is the author of 'Palestine and Israel: The Uprising and Beyond (I.B.Tauris)'.


'... the best single narrative history of the Kurds ... it certainly belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the Middle East.' - Washington Post Book World

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