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The U.S. State Department Central Files are the definitive source of American diplomatic reporting on political, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the 20th century. Concentrating exclusively on those Central Files that have not been microfilmed by the National Archives or other publishers, UPA's microfilm editions of the Central Files nonetheless dwarf the State Department's very selective volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). Containing less than one percent of the material in the Central Files, FRUS focuses on U.S. relations with individual countries but does not include coverage of many of the key topics to which the majority of the original files are devoted. Each part of the Central Files contains a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats in foreign countries: special reports on political and military affairs; studies and statistics on socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; court proceedings and other legal documents; full texts of important letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; voluminous reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers; and countless translations of high-level foreign government documents. The Hashemite monarchy was overthrown on July 14, 1958. These documents illuminate the path to the Iraqi revolution and its aftermath as perceived by the U.S. State Department. They trace both the old and new regimes' relations with the Kurds, the Iraqi press, and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and follow the influence of pan-Arabist and communist elements in the population. Also included are documents dealing with narcotics traffic, social manners and customs, the judiciary and laws, the military, finance, agriculture, natural resources, industry, communications, and foreign relations with its neighbors, the United States, and other countries. For an understanding of how Iraq emerged as a military state in the second half of the 20th century, these records are invaluable.
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