Ambassador launches 2nd edition of book on Iraq

04 de julho de 2016

São Paulo – Ambassador Bernardo de Azevedo Brito launched recently the second edition, revised and expanded, of his book Iraq: from the origins to the search of a destiny (Iraque: dos primórdios à procura de um destino). The work was originally published in 2014 and covers the history of the Arab country since the end of the Ottoman Empire to this day.

Brito, now retired, was Brazil’s ambassador in Iraq from August 2006 to October 2011 and responsible for the reopening of the Brazilian diplomatic representation. He decided to expand the book to include the most recent events in the country’s history, especially the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The second edition, published by Santa Catarina Federal University Press (UFSC), has a new chapter on the self-proclaimed Caliphate to go along with a new cover, preface and introduction. “And the conclusions [reached by the book] have changed, they are now less optimistic, unfortunately”, said Brito.

In the preface, the author explains that the rise of the armed group put in check Iraq’s reconstruction process, hence the need for a second edition. “I am launching it now because the components of the crisis were identified, although only the course of time will show how the country will survive the threat to its existence that was represented by the proclamation, in June 2014, of the Islamic State”, said the ambassador.

He emphasizes that Iraq’s domestic scenario was already serious at the time, “but the trigger for the crisis that shook the country was imported from Syria”, he said, referring to the civil conflict started in 2011 in the neighboring country that facilitated the strengthening of armed rebel groups. For the ambassador, the occupation of Iraqi provinces by the Islamic State “led to a reversal of expectations” concerning the development of a “new and promising country”.

Iraq’s sectarian divisions became more evident, as did the interest of regional powers in internal conflicts. “For more than a century, the West was the arbitrator on the future of Arab populations in the region [Middle East], which now take control of their destinies, with all the unforeseen events already being caused by it”, says the author.

Brito says that he made several adjustments to the first edition’s assessments to adapt them to the country’s new reality. “The challenge for Iraq’s leaders chosen in September 2014 is to make all Iraqis feel represented by those now in power in Baghdad”, he adds.

Iraq: from the origins to the search of a destiny
2nd edition, revised and expanded
Bernardo de Azevedo Brito
UFSC Press
444 pages
Price: BRL 36,00 (USD 11.19)
Find out more on the publishing company’s website:

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani