Saddam and his Iraq: A Biography (biblio included)

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Saddam Hussein was born to a peasant family, on April 28, 1937, in a small village called Auja near Tikrit in Iraq. His father died when Saddam was very young, leaving Saddam and his mother without any fortune, or father-figure. This made the Hussein family's life full of suffering and poverty. When Saddam was born, his family, as well as his entire tribe, was going through economic hardship. After his father died, the family's lack of economic stability forced them to live with his Uncle. Saddam had almost no hope of receiving higher education, except in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, which was too far away and too expensive. But, when Saddam was 15, he traveled to Baghdad and applied to the Baghdad University. He was accepted at age 18.

Saddam entered the college the Baghdad in 1955, but only attended for 6 months. At this time the Ba'Ath Socialist Party was recruiting many young, college-age Iraqi's to help build themselves a younger, larger group of supporters, so when the current Ba'Ath leaders retired, they would have successors.

This idea they copied from Hitler, who started the HJ. Saddam, with his 'revolutionary mind-set' got attracted to the ideology of the Ba'Ath, which was basically an Arab national movement. But, in spite of the obvious risk, Saddam headed the assassination of Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qasim, to clear the biggest road block on the way of the Ba'Ath party's assumption to political control over Iraq. The mission failed. And that was not all because Saddam was arrested, sent to jail, and sentenced to death, until a judge, afraid of the party's power, arraigned him.

While Saddam was being detained in the prison, he was brutally tortured. Though sustaining serious wounds, Saddam escaped to Syria and soon moved to Cairo, Egypt.