Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Forever War

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The Forever War

by Dexter Filkins

The Forever War
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 384 pages
    Jun 2009, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

Very Short Histories of
Afghanistan & Iraq

Iraq and Afghanistan are countries with deep histories and multiple ethnic and religious citizen groups.

The geographical area that today is Iraq is regarded by historians as the site of some of the earliest human civilizations, including the Sumerians (who lived between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia, a Greek word meaning land between the two rivers).

The division between the Shia and Sunni elements of Islam began sometime in the late 600s after Arab tribes had taken control of the area from Iranian rulers. After an approximately 500 year Arab dynasty and intervening conflicts with Turkish warriors, the land that is now Iraq became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1600s and remained so until after World War I. The struggle between Sunni and Shia factions continued during this period.

At the end of World War I, the country of Iraq was carved out of the Ottoman Empire and became a ...

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