Rhodes, Fred
June 2004
Middle East;Jun2004, Issue 346, p64
This article presents information on the book "The Monument: Art and Vulgarity in Saddam Hussein's Iraq," written by Kanan Makiya. A year after the Anglo-American attack on Iraq, this book provides an unusual and groundbreaking examination of the cultural control that Saddam Hussein exercised on his people, and the importance of his so-called artistic legacy. This book is a study of the interplay between art and politics of how culture, normally an unquestioned good, can play into the hands of power with devastating effects. Kanan Makiya uses the culture invented by Saddam Hussein as a window into the nature of totalitarianism and shows how art can become the weapon of dictatorship.


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