In this deeply affecting, scrupulously researched study, scholar Al-Jawaheri examines how women bore the brunt of the impact of the 13 years of U.N.-backed sanctions on Iraq. Intended to force Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to comply with international law, the sanctions "failed miserably," Al-Jawaheri writes. Indeed, "the cruel irony is that the dictator and his henchmen grew obscenely rich... while helpless civilians... were made to suffer hunger, disease, or even death." Combining heartrending statistics with case studies of women across the economic spectrum, Al-Jawaheri demonstrates that sanctions devastated the state mechanisms that had only latterly begun to free women from the constraints of a patriarchal society, "the desperate situation [forcing]... young women in Iraq to take up positions for which nothing in their lives had prepared them." Studies that focus on gender are too often consigned to the cul-de-sac of "women's studies," but in a country where women both form the majority and are responsible for somehow feeding and protecting the next generation, this story of Iraq's women is the story of Iraq's future. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.