'An invaluable book ... Al-Ali unearths the stories of Iraq's women, providing thoughtful analysis and reflection on the nature of memory and identity. [It] is also the author's personal story; an act of discovery and also the reclamation of an identity ... this book exhibits the complex and often difficult conjunction between history and personal lives.'
Maysoon Pachachi, Filmmaker
'An original and engrossing book ... It speaks with an immediacy and an authenticity that should put many ersatz histories of Iraq to shame. I recommend it to all those interested in women's contributions to Iraq.'
Hala Fattah, Historian
'An extraordinary book ... Particularly sobering is the author's balanced and sensitive analysis of the negative effects on women's rights and lives of the decade of sanctions and the current US- British occupation.'
Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University
'Al-Ali draws a vivid picture of Iraqi society and politics using intense personal narratives, and offers alternative visions of modern Iraqi history. An absorbing read.'
Sami Zubaida, Birkbeck, University of London
'A powerful interrogation of the complex relationships between experience, memory and truth, told through the dynamic narratives of Iraqi women ... a compelling critique of contemporary histories of Iraq which project back into the past relatively newly installed notions of religion and ethnicity.'
Suad Joseph, University of California
'A finely nuanced account of the experiences of women in Iraq ... Al-Ali's experience of Iraqi society as an insider/outsider, and her understanding of the political background of her informants, enables her to explore the relationship between experiences, memory and truth in ways which will intrigue and excite her readers.'
Peter Sluglett, University of Utah
'[A collection of] the thoughts, memories and experiences of more than 100 women who, at one time or another, have joined Iraq's huge diaspora in America, Britain and Jordan....the pattern [Al-Ali] draws of the way that educated women's lives have changed and rechanged since Iraq's 1958 revolution is fascinating.'
‘[This] book makes a vital and original contribution to the literature on Iraq's modern history and to the literature on gender and women's studies. But at the same time its rich, fascinating and revealing text is enormously readable and accessible to the non-specialist, and it deserves a wide readership.’
'This book is a moving and engrossing exploration of the lives of Iraqi women...Exhibits author's informed and detailed understanding of the social and political history of Iraq...Forms an extremely valuable picture of their lives and experiences.'
'...should be required reading for anyone who wants to get beyond the usual litanies of depression about the war and the stereotypes about Middle East women held even by "progressives." Excerpts from a hundred interviews of Iraqi women stud the author's narrative to yeild a detailed, rich and contradictory "alternative history or histories" that begins with late-1940s post-colonial Iraq....It will be left to future writers to explore the rooms whose doors this hallmark new book has opened for us.'
Ellen Cantarow, Counterpunch
'The women in Nadje Sadig al-Ali's book have some remarkable stories to tell...[she] has performed a vital service in bringing together these testimonies of the human toll for Iraqis of western policy that is never adequately explored in the mainstream media.'
Mike Phipps, Labour Briefing
'This book is a powerful antidote to the image of Iraqi women as passive victims, promoted by apologists for USA imperial policy in order to justify sanctions, war and occupation. It opens a window onto a past all our rulers would rather forget, reminding us that women's struggles for liberation have shaped Iraq's history, even when mere survival would have been achievement enough.'
Anne Alexander, International Socialism
'A moving, reflexive, and deeply felt account'
'Timely and crucial research.'
Gender and Development