Escape from Baghdad
Escape from Baghdad

RASWAN, Carl R. Escape from Baghdad.

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RASWAN, Carl R. Escape from Baghdad. London, Hutchinson, [1938].

8vo. Original black cloth, spine lettered in white, map endpapers, in the very rare and beautiful original pictorial dust-wrappers; pp. 277, [9, publisher's advertisements], plates after photographs; wrapper with very light discolouration and minimal marginal fraying; otherwise fine, name Cecil H. Clough, dated 1942, to half-title.
First edition. In this book Raswan describes his journey with a young American (Henry, depicted on TEL's racing camel as frontispiece) from Egypt through the Arabian peninsula in the summer of 1936 with the aim of convincing Bedouin leaders not to attack Mandate Palestine in order to murder Jews. During this adventure - a bit reminiscent of John Buchan's Greenmantle - they meet many of TEL's old friends and collaborators amongst the Arabs of Transjordan, several of which have their portraits published in this volume.
Carl Reinhard Raswan (1893-1966), born Carl Reinhard Schmidt, was the scholar of Arabian bloodlines, he also published the Raswan Index, an extensive compilation of Arabian horse pedigrees and strain information. He advocated tolerance and understanding of Bedouin ways of life and culture in Arabia. Raswan's life in Arabia and the US is definitely worth a full-length biography. Raswan started travelling in the Middle East in 1911, was drafted into the German army in 1914, fought at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia. After the war he continued travelling among Bedouins of the Arabian peninsula on camelback, and later with motor cars and was adopted as blood brother by an Arab tribe. He soon settled in the US, frequently returning to the Arabian peninsula to visit friends, research and export good breeding horses. He died in 1966 of silicosis, a late consequence of too many sandstorms endured.
O'Brien F0885a.