“This furious, analytically acute book traces how and why Iraq failed to consolidate into a democratic state following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Ali’s primary academic and professional focus is on the constitution, and he lays bare the compromises and procedural failings that helped to distort that document. His analysis goes further than the legal texts, however, as he unpacks the logic of the corrupt, sectarian state that emerged from the long years of occupation and civil war. His searingly critical perspective on these failings should be required reading for those trying to make sense of the rise of the Islamic State, the limitations of state-building in post-Saddam Iraq and the deeper failings of the U.S. occupation.”