Faisal I of Iraq22 Jan 2018
In February Yale University Press published Visiting Professor Ali AllawiÔÇÖs detailed biography, Faisal I of Iraq. This revisionist history of modern IraqÔÇÖs first king (r. 1921-33) is the first to give a proper evaluation of FaisalÔÇÖs contributions to Middle Eastern history. It is the first contemporary biography of a figure who had played a seminal role in the founding of the state of Iraq and the making of the modern Middle East, Allawi hopes that his book will provide ÔÇÿa better understanding of the fall of the Ottoman empire, World War I and the establishment of the modern Arab states of the Middle EastÔÇÖ. Allawi rejects the conventional portrayal of Faisal as a British puppet, and sees him as a statesman and nation-builder. He argues that Faisal was the real maker of modern Iraq and portrays him as a convincing multi-dimensional figure, although he became more autocratic towards the end of his reign.