TOURNEY AMONG BRAVE MEN by Dana Adams Schmidt

TOURNEY AMONG BRAVE MEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The New York Times sent its Lebanon-based correspondent Dana Schmidt on an arduous trek into the mountains of Kurdistan in the summer of 1962 to interview Mullah Mustafa Barzani, leader of the autonomy-minded Kurds of Iraq. The chronicle of the trip itself is highly instructive, with its picture of the terrain on which these nomad tribes lead their lives, the villages in which they congregate and engage in rudimentary agriculture, the food they eat, their folktales, religious customs, and their history. But since Schmidt is one of the very few Westerners to have brought out a first-hand account of Kurdistan, there is little data with which to compare his remarks on the history of the Kurdish nationalist movement; the actual, supposed, or alleged ties between the Kurdish Democratic Party and Soviet Russia and/or Communism; the present political complexion of Kurdish authority, or the chances that an autonomous Kurdistan would in fact be the strong East-West buffer zone that Schmidt says it could be. The American position on Kurdistan before, during, and after the Kassem regime is not yet publicly clear, and so while Schmidt's book is useful as a guide to some aspects of the Kurdish problem, its proper evaluation must await a clarification of the over-all picture.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1964
Publisher: Bittle, Brown