USA Today:-During Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s last days in captivity, he enjoyed the small pleasures in life, like tending a garden of weeds and turning up the volume on Mary J. Blige songs, according to a new book written about the experiences of the American guards who watched him.
Will Bardenwerper’s new book The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid, details a man who seems far-removed from the heartless dictator who’s name is synonymous with pure evil.
Hussein wrote letters and even poetry for one guard’s wife, and when he listened to the radio, “he’d always stop tuning if he stumbled across a Mary J. Blige song,” the book says, the New York Post reported.
The book details the experiences and relationships American guards formed while watching over the dictator during a 2006 trial.
Hussein was charged in connection with the government’s response to a botched assassination attempt in 1982 when his convoy was attacked as it drove through the mostly Shiite village of Dujail.
The government responded by razing orchards around the village and rounding up 148 villagers, who were sentenced to death.
In the book, the author notes that several of the guards had children and Hussein offered up his own out-there parenting stories, the Post reported.
Hussein reportedly said that after his violent son Uday shot up a party, Hussein taught him a lesson by burning a garage full of his son’s Rolls-Royces and Ferraris.
“Laughing wildly, the former dictator recalled how he gleefully watched the inferno,” Bardenwerper wrote.
Hussein ruled Iraq for nearly a quarter-century before being toppled by a United States-led coalition in 2003. He was executed by hanging in December 2006.
On social media, some tweeted about Hussein’s apparent taste for Mary J. Blige.