Hunt, Courtney

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Hunt, Courtney

PERSONAL:

Born in Alexandria, VA; married; children: Connor Glenn. Education: George Mason University, B.A., 1992, J.D., 1996.

ADDRESSES:

Home—VA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Attorney for U.S. government, specializing in contract law. Freelance writer.

MEMBER:

Romance Writers of America, Virginia Romance Writers, Washington Romance Writers.

WRITINGS:

The History of Iraq (nonfiction), Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2005.

Contributor of book reviews to Bridges Romance Magazine. Author of the blog Romwriter's Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

Courtney Hunt is an attorney, an aspiring romance novelist, and a published author of nonfiction. On her Web site, she related how she knew early on that she wanted to be a writer: "From the day I snuck my very first romance (Partners by Nora Roberts) from my mother's library bag, I was hooked. I love to read all types of romance, especially paranormal and contemporary." She added: "I never looked back in pursuing my writing dream."

Her first published book, however, is the nonfiction work The History of Iraq, which is part of Greenwood Press's "Histories of the Modern Nations" series. These books are designed for students at the high school level and above, as well as for general readers.

Hunt tells Iraq's story in ten chapters. She starts with the settlement of ancient Mesopotamia, the area along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that includes most of present-day Iraq and produced the world's first civilized cultures. She goes into the evolution of the region's Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations and provides facts about various ruling dynasties. The book details the Muslim religion's introduction to the area in the Middle Ages and the occupation of Iraq by the Ottoman Turks beginning in the sixteenth century.

Twentieth-century developments covered by Hunt include the British occupation of the country after World War I; the growth of the Iraqi oil industry; the overthrow of British rule in 1958; the rise to power of Saddam Hussein, who became president in 1979; Iraq's war with Iran in the 1980s; and the Persian Gulf War of the 1990s. The book concludes with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the early twenty-first century and subsequent fall of Hussein. Hunt's discussion of the latter portion of Iraq's history, according to a Reference & Research Book News reviewer, "tends toward general agreement with most American narratives supportive of President Bush's policies" with regard to the democratization of Iraq. The book also features a bibliographic essay, a glossary, a list of historical figures, and a time line.

Some critics saw The History of Iraq as useful to its presumed readership, although there were those who pointed out errors in the book. Michael Rubin, writing in the Middle East Quarterly, remarked that Hunt "indeed presents an easy-to-follow overview of Iraqi history," but he also thought that sometimes "accuracy takes a back seat to turn of phrase." He noted mistakes in several dates, such as that for the founding of Iraqi neighbor Kuwait, and descriptions of some religious sects and political alliances. MBR Bookwatch contributor Diane C. Donovan, however, termed Hunt's work "fascinating" and insightful.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

MBR Bookwatch, December, 2005, Diane C. Donovan, review of The History of Iraq.

Middle East Quarterly, Volume 13, number 2, spring, 2006, Michael Rubin, review of The History of Iraq, p. 80.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2006, review of The History of Iraq.

ONLINE

Courtney Hunt Home Page,http://courtneyhunt.com (August 31, 2008).

Greenwood Publishing Group Web site,http://www.greenwood.com/ (August 12, 2008), brief biography and book description.