This is a book on Iraq and Saddam Hussein by Judith Miller and Laurie Mylroie published in 1990. It includes a complete biography of Saddam Hussein, a history of Iraq since the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and an excellent history of United States' dealings with Iraq.
The history of coups is particularly sobering. Reading about how each government took over from the previous one by force, and the ethnic stresses and lack of democratic tradition (and even national traditions, the country was cobbled together from pieces of the Ottoman Empire) that lead to each coup, makes one wonder what exactly the United States would do if put in a position to rebuild the country from scratch. It is a terrible task indeed.
This is also a good start towards learning about the Middle East, and the United States' dealings with it.