A thousand sighs, a thousand revolts: journeys in Kurdistan

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Ballantine Books, 2004 - History - 405 pages
12 Reviews
Though the Kurds played a major military and tactical role in the United States’ recent war with Iraq, most of us know little about this fiercely independent, long-marginalized people. Now acclaimed journalist Christiane Bird, who riveted readers with her tour of Islamic Iran in Neither East Nor West, travels through this volatile part of the world to tell the Kurds’ story, using personal observations and in-depth research to illuminate an astonishing history and vibrant culture.

For the twenty-five to thirty million Kurds, Kurdistan is both an actual and a mythical place: an isolated, largely mountainous homeland that has historically offered sanctuary from the treacherous outside world and yet does not exist on modern maps. Parceled out among the four nation-states of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran after World War I, Kurdistan is a divided land with a tragic history, where the indomitable Kurds both celebrate their ancient culture and fight to control their own destiny. Occupying some of the Middle East’s most strategic and richest terrain, the Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the region and the largest ethnic group in the world without a state to call their own.

Whether dancing at a Kurdish wedding in Iran, bearing witness to the destroyed Kurdish countryside in southeast Turkey, having lunch with a powerful exiled agha in Syria, or visiting the sites of Saddam Hussein’s horrific chemical attacks in Iraq, the intrepid, insightful Bird sheds light on a violently stunning world seen by few Westerners. Part mesmerizing travelogue, part action-packed history, part reportage, and part cultural study, this critical book offers timely insight into an unknown but increasingly influential part of the world. Bird paints a moving and unforgettable portrait of a people uneasily poised between a stubborn past and an impatient future.

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Review: A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan

User Review  - Jaclynn - Goodreads

100% recommended! I absolutely could not put this down. I have always heard about the Kurds on the news but I didn't really know who they were or what their issues as a minority were. Honestly, I wasn ... Read full review

Review: A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan

User Review  - Elisabet Cairo - Goodreads

I find this book quite informative since I am interested in the plight of Muslims and the history of the Middle East. It helps me to understand the people that have a connection to Islam, although I ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Christiane Bird is the author of Neither East Nor West: One Woman’s Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran and The Jazz and Blues Lover’s Guide to the U.S., and coauthor of Below the Line: Living Poor in America. A graduate of Yale University, she lives in New York City.

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