Modern History of the Kurds

A Modern History of the Kurds

The division of the Kurdish people among the modern nation states of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran and their struggle for national rights continues to influence the politics of the Middle East. David McDowall’s ground-breaking history of the Kurds from the 19th century to the present day documents the underlying dynamics of the Kurdish question. Drawing extensively on primary sources – including documents from The National Archive and interviews with prominent Kurds – the book examines the interplay of old and new aspects of the struggle, the importance of local rivalries and leadership within Kurdish society, and the failure of modern states to respond to the challenge of Kurdish nationalism.

In this new and revised edition, McDowall also analyses the momentous transformations affecting Kurdish socio-politics in the last 20 years. With updates throughout and substantial new material included, this fourth edition of the book reflects the developments in the field and the areas which have gained importance and understanding. This includes new analysis of the Kurdish experience in Syria; the role of political Islam in Kurdish society and Kurds’ involvement in Islamist Jihad; and issues surrounding women and gender that were previously overlooked, from the impact of the women’s equality movement to how patriarchal practices within the Kurdish community still limit its progress. The foundation text for Kurdish Studies, this book highlights in detail the changing situation of the Kurds across the Middle East.