Saturday, August 12, 2017

Peter Sluglett on Hanna Batatu

Peter Sluglett died.  I knew him back in the early 1990s when he spent time in DC.  We talked a lot then about Iraq and Arab politics. But we then never spoke again about anything, and had no contact afterwards (for reasons that were not entirely political).  I didn't want to speak about all that if it was not for a colleague who reminded me of a terrible review of Hanna Batatu by Sluglett.  At one point in this review, he says: "I have been told" about Hanna Batatu.  I will say this about Sluglett's famous book on Iraq: that the best part was written by his wife.  Sluglett is one of those people who underwent (convenient) political transformations.