KURDS: The Kurdish Question in U.S. Foreign Policy: A Documentary Source Book/Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

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The Kurdish Question in U.S. Foreign Policy: A Documentary Source Book, by Lokman I. Meho. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004. ix + 9 699 pages. Index to p. 698. $99.95.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds, by Michael M. Gunter. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2004. xxv + 29 19 pages. Bibl. to 274. $70.

Lokman Meho's bibliographical compilation and documents source book regarding the Kurdish question in US foreign policy, concentrating on the last decade and a half, is a continuation of his undertaking to publish bibliographies comprehensively covering scholarly works and governments' documents on Kurdish history and politics. Meho's works also have extensive entries on other peoples, empires, and countries that have influenced the history and politics of the Kurds, especially those in the Middle East.

Given the significant value of Meho's previous works for the historiography of the Middle East and for scholars of the Middle East and others, I note their titles: Kurdistan: A Selective and Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1997); Kurdish Culture and Society: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 2001), compiled with Kelly L. Maglaughlin. A great value of Meho's works is that they include entries in Arabic and Kurdish, as well as in the major European languages and Russian.

The bibliography under review differs from Meho's two previous works in that it includes extended full text, as well as excerpts, of official US government documents, such as The Congressional Record and Foreign Relations of the United States, plus other contemporary documents. There is also an appended bibliography of 173 books and articles, all in English, germane to the Kurdish question that were published during the last 15 years. The documents are introduced by an article by Michael Gunter which proffers an analysis of US policy toward the Kurds up to 1998. The second essay, by Meho and Michael G. Nehme, discusses the impact of the war of 1961-65 between the Iraqi Kurds and the Ba'thist government of Iraq, and examines the consequences for the Kurds of the 1991 war between the US-led coalition and Iraq.

Much of the general trend of US policy toward the Kurds has been fairly well documented and analyzed by scholars, as the appended bibliography indicates. …


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