Review article of six books on the loss of Iraqi antiquities

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books there is a review article by Hugh Eakin about the loss of Iraqi antiquities and records in the current war, titled, “The Devastation of Iraq’s Past.

From an historic standpoint, the great loss of Iraq’s cultural record and the inventions of Google will probably be looked back on as the most significant library-related events of our era. (Just a guess.)

So this article if not the books it discusses are recommended to librarians with a broad view of what they do.

The works discussed are:

Catastrophe! The Looting and Destruction of Iraq’s Past
an exhibition at the Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago, April 10–December 31, 2008. Catalog of the exhibition edited by Geoff Emberling and Katharyn Hanson. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 87 pp., $29.95 (paper)

The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq
edited by Peter G. Stone and Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly
Boydell, 319 pp., $95.00

Antiquities Under Siege: Cultural Heritage Protection After the Iraq War
edited by Lawrence Rothfield
AltaMira, 322 pp., $80.00;$29.95 (paper)

Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq
by Patrick Cockburn
Scribner, 226 pp., $24.00

Reclaiming a Plundered Past: Archaeology and Nation Building in Modern Iraq
by Magnus T. Bernhardsson
University of Texas Press, 327 pp., $45.00

The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Epic of Gilgamesh
by David Damrosch
Henry Holt, 315 pp., $26.00

American Hostage
by Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton
Simon and Schuster, 288 pp., $15.95 (paper)

Quoted in the article is Gil Stein, director of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. The catalog of their new exhibition, “Catastrophe!,” is one of the books reviewed. He said, “What is currently taking place in southern Iraq is nothing less than the eradication of the material record of the world’s first urban, literate civilization…”