Following Wadie Jwaideh's dissertation defense, his doctoral chairman took aside Jwaideh's wife, Alice, and asked her to submit the work for publication without Wadie's permission, believing that Wadie's penchant for perfection would postpone its publication indefinitely. The thesis was never published during Jwaideh's lifetime, but its fame spread by word of mouth, and many scholars have recognized its importance not only as a study of the earlier phases of Kurdish nationalism but also as a framework for understanding later developments. Now forty years later, the work continues to stand as a classic, referenced by some of the most renowned scholars in the field. Its publication will permit it to reach a greater audience and to contribute more fully to the understanding and appreciation of this geopolitical and cultural movement.
Jwaideh was born in Basra, in southern Iraq into an Arabic-speaking, Christian family who later moved to Baghdad. Because of his intimate knowledge of the land and its people, Jwaideh developed a shrewd insight into Kurdish society and politics. He convincingly demonstrates the rich historical roots of the Kurdish national movement, offering a new interpretation to the Kurdish political circumstance , which is often viewed as a series of isolated events triggered by economic upheaval or political dissatisfaction. This complex and layered history of the Kurdish nationalist movement offers a valuable perspective from which to view the current conditions in Iraq. Jwaideh's sensitive and prescient treatment of this region gives his study great contemporary relevance.