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Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American…

Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American Memoir of Teaching and Travel in… (edition 2012)

by Ida Donges Staudt

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Title:Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American Memoir of Teaching and Travel in Iraq, 1924-1947
Authors:Ida Donges Staudt
Info:Syracuse University Press (2012), Hardcover, 296 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Memoir, Iraq, Global, NetGalley, 2012

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Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American Memoir of Teaching and Travel in Iraq, 1924-1947 by Ida Donges Staudt

Recently added byBeth_Mardutho, DubaiReader



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This book swept me back in time to an Iraq that no longer exists, a time of elegance, a time when teachers could meet with heads of state in the opulence of the Embassy.
Ida and Calvin Staudt arrived in Baghdad in 1924. They had been employed to start up an American school for boys, where children from all types of background would mix together, learn to accept each other, speak English and follow an American curriculum.
In turn, Ida and Calvin were invited into the parents' homes, sampling the profuse Iraqi hospitality and meeting people from all walks of life.

They lived in Baghdad for 23 years, until sadly, regime changes necessitated their departure from a land that they loved with all their hearts. During this time they educated hundreds of boys (and a few girls) and instilled them with a profound respect for each other.

Ida Staudt's journal has been reproduced by her son, with only minor clarifications. She tells of her time in Iraq, travels to remote parts of the country, the people she met and the things she saw. History and politics are explained in context, often as the couple lived through events. The country has a wealth of archaeology and historical buildings and the Staudts were fortunate to visit many fascinating sites on their journeys.

This is a unique window in time and my only complaint would be an over emphasis on how the author and her husband were able to visit such important people, yet also get on with the lower classes, a bit too much 'blowing their own trumpet'.
In spite of this, it is a book that I will enjoy re-reading. It is such a shame that it is not more widely known. ( )
  DubaiReader | Jan 20, 2013 |
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