The Weight of a Mustard Seed, Wendell Steavenson
Wendell Steavenson

The Weight of a Mustard Seed

304 printed pages
“A masterly and elegantly told story that weaves together the Iraqi past and present.”schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
New York Times Book Review

“A first-class investigation…that tells the reader more about the tensions of living close to power in Saddam’s dictatorship.”
Washington Post

The Weight of a Mustard Seed is an unprecedented and intimate account of Iraqi life under Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, revealed through the tragic story of one of the dictator’s loyal generals. Journalist Wendell Steavenson writes thrilling nonfiction with a novelist’s flair, offering a new perspective on life inside a totalitarian regime that is as moving, compelling, and dramatic as The Kite Runner and The Bookseller of Kabul.
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The chants swelled in the throats of a hundred thousand people crowded under the swinging cadavers. “Death to traitors!” “Death to Israel!”

“What did you think, standing there?”

Dr. Hassan did not excuse himself, but neither did he berate himself. Those executed were spies, they had been convicted of working against the revolution; these were the consequences.

“There was no concept of democracy, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, the rights of an individual. We didn’t feel these things, we didn’t think these things, we didn’t have any practice of them. I came from a religious town where you could never give your frank opinion. No one had ever been able to speak freely, contradict or question the prevailing order, or especially any kind of religious institution. There was no discussion of these things, life simply was, and was organized already. We did not feel mercy or pity for those Jewish spies who were hanged. We didn’t know the reality, that they were innocent, that they had been tortured. People were shouting, ‘Death to the spies!’ OK, we shouted, ‘Death to the spies!’”
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