Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The weight of a mustard seed, Wendell Stevenson

The weight of a mustard seed is about an Iraq general, Kamel Satchet. It is his story during the time of Saddam Hussein's rule. Stevenson made references a couple of times to the book "Albert Speer, his battle for truth" by Gitta Sereny. For me this is a benchmark in regards to writing on the Third Reich, the nature of evil, the search for redemption. It is one of the rare books I have given 5/5.

There were similarities. Saddam like Hitlers early years were positive. Standard of living for both regimes early on was on the up. Power seemed to be Saddam's reason for his leadership, ideology Hitlers. In both cases, men followed blindly. Even those in power such as Speer and Satchet.

There are big differences which sets the authors quest for truth apart. "The weight of a mustard seed" lacks in a number of area. Sereny's historical research is impeccable, while I think many of the Iraqis interviews were lacking due to been poor historians. Satchet was never interviewed, unlike Speer; he was never questioned about his conscious.

The book did bring to life what it was like to live through the terror of Saddam's years of rule. I had always suspected it wouldn't be nice. The book fleshed this out. Satchet was an interesting man. As mentioned in the book, the 'Rommel' of the Iraq regime. Yet I know that Rommel was part of the plot to oust Hitler. Even though Satchet died at the hands of Saddam's firing squad, he appears always to have been loyal.



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