Cockburn, Patrick, Muqtada, Muqtada Al-Sadr, The Shia Revival, And The Struggle For Iraq, New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Scribner, 2008
Muqtada, Muqtada Al-Sadr, The Shia Revival, And The Struggle For Iraq by journalist Patrick Cockburn is one of those rare Western books about post-Saddam Iraq that focuses upon Iraqis instead of the Americans. The author tries to place Moqtada al-Sadr’s rise as a leading Iraqi political figure after 2003 in the context of the growth of identity and religious politics within the Shiite community. The first half of the book is all history about the formation of the first Shiite religious party, the repression under Baathist rule, the 1991 uprising after the Gulf War, and the two great ayatollahs of the Sadr family Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr who was the father in law of Moqtada and then his father Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr. Cockburn’s argument is that Moqtada al-Sadr was a product of the repression and activism during the Baathist era, and that he was consistently underestimated by the Americans post-03.