The Magazine

Baathed in Blood

Chronicling the horror, and scope, of Saddam's tyranny.

May 22, 2006, Vol. 11, No. 34 • By GERARD ALEXANDER
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It's no coincidence that the Black Book of Saddam Hussein has been received with what Kutschera describes as a "chill" by the French commentariat, has been ignored by the reviewers in the leading French newspapers--Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération--and was reviewed only snidely by Le Monde Diplomatique.

This is the real virtue of the Black Book and other volumes like it. They offer the details that most news media and college classes won't. They memorialize those who otherwise might be forgotten. And they are the raw materials for an alternative storyline, one that takes all peoples seriously enough to say that they are moral agents, both for evil and for good.

Gerard Alexander is associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia.