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General Kamel Sachet was a favorite of Saddam Hussein's, a hero of the Iran-Iraq war, head of the army in Kuwait City during Desert Storm, governor of the Maysan province, and father of nine. How did Sachet and his fellow Baathist loyalists live in Saddam's Iraq...and how did they live with themselves? Why did they serve such a monstrous regime? And what finally opened Sachet's eyes to the fact that he was a participant in a system of terror and repression that was strangling his country and destroying its people?
Through the remarkable story of General Sachet and the stories of those around him, author Wendell Steavenson goes behind the headlines to examine a national tragedy begotten of unintended consequences. The Weight of a Mustard Seed is a gripping account of one man's rise and fall, and a vivid, compassionate portrayal of the Iraqi people.
Wendell Steavenson wrote for The New Yorker from Cairo for more than a year during the Egyptian revolution. She has spent most of the past decade and a half reporting from the Middle East and the Caucasus for the Guardian, Prospect magazine, Slate, Granta and other publications. Steavenson has written two previous books, both critically acclaimed: Stories I Stole, about post-Soviet Georgia, and The Weight of a Mustard Seed, about life and morality in Saddam's Iraq and the aftermath of the American invasion. She was also a 2014 Nieman Fellow at Harvard. Steavenson currently lives in Paris.