Over thirteen centuries, Baghdad has enjoyed both cultural and commercial pre-eminence, boasting artistic and intellectual sophistication and an economy once the envy of the world. It was here, in the time of the Caliphs, that the Thousand and One Nights were set. Yet it has also been a city of great hardships, beset by epidemics, famines, floods, and numerous foreign invasions which have brought terrible bloodshed. This is the history of its storytellers and its tyrants, of its philosophers and conquerors.
Here, in the first new history of Baghdad in nearly 80 years, Justin Marozzi brings to life the whole tumultuous history of what was once the greatest capital on earth.
BAGHDAD will be published on 29th May 2014 by Allen Lane (Penguin).
“Marozzi’s writing is vivid and compelling and his historical judgements convincing and well founded in a wide variety of original sources. Some of his most interesting sections come when he deals with periods that have been almost completely neglected by modern historians… BAGHDAD is the best account we have in English of the long story of the development and survival of this remarkable city.”
– Hugh Kennedy, Literary Review
“Justin Marozzi’s book is a brilliant, evocative and erudite retelling of the history of this most intriguing of cities. The author has drawn on a wide array of sources, from travellers’ memoirs and diplomatic despatches to the works of the great medieval historians, geographers and theologians, many of whom were resident in Baghdad. To these important sources he has added his own experiences of sojourns there over the last decade, giving the book an intimacy and authority often lacking in similar works. He knows whereof he speaks, having trudged the streets and visited the monuments and landmarks even where they have been reduced to rubble.”
– Ali A. Allawi, The Spectator
“a truly splendid work of erudition, storytelling and humanity”
– Bartle Bull, Standpoint