Some good shit here: Ceylan's main point is to revise the view that post-WWI Iraq was "artificial" and that the Ottomans had nothing to do with any future "modern" Iraq. Bullshit, maintains Ceylan. Far-reaching administrative reforms and centralization processes did much to cement a proto-Iraq around Baghdad. C-Bag focuses on conscription issues, the prefet-like provincial administrative moves which delegated authority down to hitherto-pseudo independent tribal shekyhs; land reform, as in 1858 which broke up the Iraq commons in an Ottoman-style enclosure movement and enhanced agricultural production and smashed down tribal configurations; public works, etc. Grounding Baghdad and its accoutrements in the Tanzimat period is an awesome approach. What is most striking is that you couldn't argue a dingle about this being any different from what was going on in Europe around this same time. In fact, shenanigans in Iraq were somewhat further-reaching on a local level.