Ancient Iraq (Penguin History)

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Ancient Iraq, Penguin History by Georges Roux | | Booktopia

Georges Roux was a French writer born in Salon-de-Provence in The son of an army officer, he lived for 12 years with his parents in Syria and Lebanon before returning to study medicine at the University of Paris, graduating in While practicing medicine he also pursued oriental studies at the cole des Hautes tudes. In he became a medical officer for the Iraq Petroleum Company, staying for two years in Qatar and seven in Iraq.


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Between and he wrote for the IPC's widely read journal, the articles of which eventually became Ancient Iraq , the authoritative work on political, cultural, and socioeconomic history from Mesopotamia days of prehistory to the Christian era. First published in English in , the work has also been translated into French, Arabic, Spanish, and Polish. Additional information Sku GOR Title Ancient Iraq by Georges Roux.

Author Georges Roux. Condition Used - Very Good. Binding type Paperback.

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Publisher Penguin Books Ltd. Year published Number of pages ISBN 10 X. ISBN 13 Captivated, I began planning the book.

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The main problem, surely, would be scope. And I gauged the scale of the Penguin archives in Melbourne and Bristol. The Lane family archive in Melbourne is remarkably rich and extensive.

The Penguin archive at Bristol University is also marvellous. It has files on every book, every series, every senior editor and much more besides. In both locations I discovered material that had never been studied. A treasure trove for authors, but perilous: there is so much material a Penguin history could easily become Encyclopaedia Penguinia.

A more serious problem, however, soon became obvious. Allen Lane , the longstanding chairman and chief executive, fabricated history on a dictatorial scale.

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He used myth as a lever and a weapon, and he shamelessly gilded his own reputation. Everywhere I looked there were false leads and furphies that Allen had left behind.


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One myth is the famous story of how he conceived of Penguin while waiting on a train platform, frustrated by the poor selection of books on the railway bookstall. A glaring flaw in this story is that Allen, though knighted for his contributions to literature and literacy, was never much of a reader.

ISBN 10: 014012523X

Allen also applied his myth-making skills to diminish the contributions of his brothers. Yet without them, Penguin would never have succeeded. In this light, the book became a fascinating exercise in myth-busting. I spent more than hours with the Lane family and together we explored thousands of documents from the Melbourne and Bristol archives. Richard Lane left behind diaries that ran to more than , words, and these proved singularly important.

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The Penguin Books story laid bare (even the naked board meetings)

There were tears along the way for all of us. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Penguin.