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Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
Michael R. Gordon
0375422625
March 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
On one level, narrator Wasson's mostly neutral delivery is apt. The authors' dispassionate prose imparts their impeccably researched story of the 2003 Iraq invasion—from concept to insurgency. Sourced at the highest levels, Cobra II captures the fog of war and war planning. But Wasson's read too often feels routine, as if recounting a local board meeting. Because he renders the numerous players and backdrops with equal tones, differentiating between them can be a challenge. This style of narration creates an anti-tension when juxtaposed with the book's revelations that an invasion plan was being formed not long after September 11, despite administration denials. Strictly supervising the plan was defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was intent on transforming the military into a lighter, leaner force....


The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell
John Crawford
157322314X
Aug 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Having joined the National Guard for the tuition benefits, Crawford, like many of his contemporaries, never expected to do any heavy lifting. Early on, he admits his is "the story of a group of college students... who wanted nothing to do with someone else's war." But when his Florida National Guard unit was activated, he was shipped to Kuwait shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Armed with shoddy equipment, led by incompetent officers and finding release in the occasional indulgence in pharmaceuticals, Crawford cared little for the mission and less for the Iraqis. "Mostly we were guarding gas stations and running patrols," he explains. As for Iraqi civilians, "I didn't give a shit what happened to any of them," he confesses after inadvertently saving an Iraqi boy from a mob beating. Crawford's disdain grows with...


Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
Stephen Kinzer
0805078614
April 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The recent ouster of Saddam Hussein may have turned "regime change" into a contemporary buzzword, but it's been a tactic of American foreign policy for more than 110 years. Beginning with the ouster of Hawaii's monarchy in 1893, Kinzer runs through the foreign governments the U.S. has had a hand in toppling, some of which he has written about at length before (in All the Shah's Men, etc.). Recent invasions of countries such as Grenada and Panama may be more familiar to readers than earlier interventions in Iran and Nicaragua, but Kinzer, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, brings a rich narrative immediacy to all of his stories. Although some of his assertions overreach themselves—as when he proposes that better conduct by the American government in the Spanish-American War might have prevented...


The Secret History of the Iraq War
Yossef Bodansky
0641676026

Hardcover
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The Gift of Valor
Michael M. Phillips
0767920376
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
During a hard day of fighting in the Iraqi town of Husaybah in the spring of 2004, Marine Corporal Jason Dunham clamped his Kevlar helmet over a grenade dropped by an insurgent he and two other Marines were struggling to subdue. The story of his split-second of heroism, expanded here from Phillips's original Wall Street Journal article, makes for an absorbing if somewhat distended tearjerker. Working from copious reminiscences by Dunham's comrades and family, the author paints an idealized portrait of a lovable but callow youth who turned into a "natural leader of men" in the Marine Corps. The book picks up when it gets to the action; Phillips's nearly shot-by-shot recap of the day's bloody and chaotic combat is one of the most vivid depictions of the American side of the Iraqi insurgency. The final half of the...


Failed States : The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy
Noam Chomsky
0805079122
April 4, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Forget Iraq and Sudan--America is the foremost failed state, argues the latest polemic from America's most controversial Left intellectual. Chomsky (Imperial Ambitions) contends the U.S. government wallows in lawless military aggression (the Iraq war is merely the latest example); ignores public opinion on everything from global warming to social spending and foreign policy; and jeopardizes domestic security by under-funding homeland defense in favor of tax cuts for the rich and by provoking hatred and instability abroad that may lead to terrorist blowback or nuclear conflict. Ranging haphazardly from the Seminole War forward, Chomsky's jeremiad views American interventionism as a pageant of imperialist power-plays motivated by crass business interests. Disdaining euphemisms, he denounces...


Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq
George Packer
0374299633
October 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Christopher HitchensIt is extremely uncommon for any reporter to read another's work and to find that he altogether recognizes the scene being described. Reading George Packer's book, I found not only that I was remembering things I had forgotten, but also that I was finding things that I ought to have noticed myself. His book rests on three main pillars: analysis of the intellectual origins of the Iraq war, summary of the political argument that preceded and then led to it, and firsthand description of the consequences on the ground. In each capacity, Packer shows himself once more to be the best chronicler, apart perhaps from John Burns of the New York Times, that the conflict has produced. (I say "once more" because some of this material has already appeared in the New Yorker.)A very strong opening...


Understanding Iraq: The Whole Sweep of Iraqi History, of Outside Rule from Genghis Khan to the Ottoman Turks to the British Mandate to the American Occupation
William R. Polk
0060764686
April 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this tightly crafted book, even the introductory note on words and spellings makes for a lesson in misunderstandings. Not only have occupying armies, officials and journalists not known the local language, Polk observes, but because Arabic is grounded in religious and historical texts, outsiders have missed the allusions that inform Iraqis' perceptions. Polk's history of ignorance reads like a portent. As the events in his history of Iraq from the Sumerians to the U.S. war of 2003 unfold in chronological order, they read like historical echoes of Iraq's present. The effect is haunting, and Polk's knack for understatement—he describes the recent American tactic of dismissing the Iraqi military but allowing them to keep their weapons as "maladroit"—only adds to the feeling of dread....


My Year in Iraq
L. Paul Bremer, III
0743273893
Jan 2006
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
"BAGHDAD WAS BURNING." With these words, Ambassador L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer begins his gripping memoir of fourteen danger-filled months as America's proconsul in Iraq. My Year in Iraq is the only senior insider's perspective on the crucial period following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. In vivid, dramatic detail, Bremer reveals the previously hidden struggles among Iraqi politicians and America's leaders, taking us from the ancient lanes in the holy city of Najaf to the White House Situation Room and the Pentagon E-Ring. His memoir carries the reader behind closed doors in Baghdad during hammer-and-tongs negotiations with emerging Iraqi leaders as they struggle to forge the democratic institutions vital to Iraq's future of hope. He describes his private meetings with President Bush and his admiration for...


The War in Iraq: A Photo History

0641588305

Paperback
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Love My Rifle More Than You
Kayla Williams
0393060985
Sept 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Williams's account of her Iraq service tries very hard to be a fresh and wised-up postfeminist take: Private Benjamin by way of G.I. Jane. Showy rough language peppers every paragraph, and Williams's obsessive self-concern, expressed in a lot of one-sentence paragraphs beginning with "I," verges on the narcissistic. The surprise is the degree to which the account succeeds and even echoes military memoirists from Julius Caesar to Ernie Pyle. The fear, bad weather, intermittent supplies, inedible meals (especially for the vegetarian author) and crushing boredom of life in the field are all here. Williams's particular strength is in putting an observant, distaff spin on the bantering and brutality of barracks life, where kids from the Survivor generation must come to terms with a grim and confusing...


Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq
Ahmed S. Hashim
0801444527
March 2006
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
More than two years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a loosely organized insurgency continues to target American and Coalition soldiers, as well as Iraqi security forces and civilians, with devastating results. In this sobering account of the ongoing violence, Ahmed Hashim, a specialist on Middle Eastern strategic issues and on irregular warfare, reveals the insurgents behind the widespread revolt, their motives, and their tactics. The insurgency, he shows, is not a united movement directed by a leadership with a single ideological vision. Instead, it involves former regime loyalists, Iraqis resentful of foreign occupation, foreign and domestic Islamist extremists, and elements of organized crime. These groups have cooperated with one another in the past and coordinated their attacks; but the alliance between...


One Bullet Away : The Making of a Marine Officer
Nathaniel C. Fick
0618556133
October 3, 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The global war on terrorism has spawned some excellent combat narratives—mostly by journalists. Warriors, like Marine Corps officer Fick, bring a different and essential perspective to the story. A classics major at Dartmouth, Fick joined the Marines in 1998 because he "wanted to go on a great adventure... to do something so hard that no one could ever talk shit to me." Thus begins his odyssey through the grueling regimen of Marine training and wartime deployments—an odyssey that he recounts in vivid detail in this candid and fast-paced memoir. Fick was first deployed to Afghanistan, where he saw little combat, but his Operation [Iraqi] Freedom unit, the elite 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, helped spearhead the invasion of Iraq and "battled through every town on Highway 7" from Nasiriyah to al Kut....


Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth about the War in Afghanistan and Iraq
Michael DeLong
0641721021

Hardcover
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Down Range : Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism
Dick Couch
1400081009
July 19, 2005
Hardcover
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Review
Down Range puts the reader in the SEAL squad file, in the action. It is the unique and personal story of the warriors who go in harm’s way in the global war on terror.” —The Hon. Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2001–2005)

“An intimate account of the deadly work of the U.S. Navy SEALs. We associate the Navy’s special forces with maritime operations, but in the war against terrorists they have been almost everywhere—from the high mountains of Afghanistan blowing up Taliban ordnance to the streets of Mosul hunting down former Baathists and al-Qaedists. Down Range is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of how the SEALs fight and why they are so good at it—written by a seasoned veteran in gripping fashion.” —Victor Davis...


Waging Peace
Rob Schultheis
1592401279
July 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran war correspondent Schultheis (Night Letters: Inside Wartime Afghanistan) spent six months in Iraq with an Army Civil Affairs Team, a highly trained, elite unit whose primary objective is rebuilding war-torn regions. Despite the overwhelming need for such soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the army has only a single active-duty Civil Affairs Battalion, and the overwhelming majority of the 5,000 Civil Affairs soldiers are in the army reserves. The dedicated professionals of Civil Affairs Team A-13 featured here are a disparate group of civilian soldiers. Led by a former Special Forces major, the team includes an ex–Peace Corps volunteer, a California surfer girl, a former Marine sniper with a heart of gold and "Fat Larry," an accountant from middle America. Civil Affairs soldiers never...


One Woman's Army
Janis Karpinski
1401352472
Oct 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Booklist
The charge to find intelligence for use against terrorists with no clear rules as to how to do it led inevitably to abuses at Abu Ghraib, asserts Karpinski, the commanding general in charge of military police at the prison made infamous by Saddam Hussein and even more so by American troops. In a bid not to be defined by Abu Ghraib, Karpinski tells the story of her life in the military leading to her command of the Iraqi prison, including her stint with the reserves and her deployment to the first Gulf War, where she earned a Bronze Star. When she was assigned to oversee MPs at Abu Ghraib, Karpinski found herself doubly resented, as a reservist and as a woman. She details the conflicts with military culture and an old-boy network, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. She describes little support from the regular...


A Quest in the Middle East : Gertrude Bell and the Making of Modern Iraq
Liora Lukitz
1850434158
March 3, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
Revered or reviled, Gertrude Bell was a commanding figure: scholar, linguist, archaeologist, traveler and "Orientalist". Belonging to the tradition of the great British Middle East enthusiasts of the early twentieth century, she explored the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I and was (alongside T.E. Lawrence) hugely instrumental in the post-war reconfiguration of the Arab states in the Middle East. Using previously unseen sources, including Gertrude Bell's own diaries and letters, Liora Lukitz provides a deeper political and personal biography of this influential character and the tragedy, vulnerability and frustration that were key to her quest both for a British-dominated Middle East and relief from her troubled romantic life.


No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah
Bing West
0553804022
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
The most hard-fought campaign since the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces in April 2003, the battle for Fallujah seems here to embody most every facet of the American military experience in that country--inordinate courage by the fighting men and their immediate superiors, indecision and contradiction by U.S. leaders from the top down, a disconnect between military will to succeed in Iraq and a lack of dollars and troops to support it, and a treacherous relationship between Fallujans and those Americans who would do everything to "help" them. West, who coauthored The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines (2003), does touch on the larger policy decisions made by U.S. leaders concerning Iraq but really only as they affect the soldiers trying to execute those decisions in Fallujah. Instead,...


Among Warriors in Iraq
Mike Tucker
1592287328
May 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Join Big Hungry, Kentucky Rife, Serpico and Jedi Knight for a harrowing journey into the heart of the Iraqi insurgency. A former Marine infantryman, Tucker follows the warriors of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul and the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions in Fallujah during 19 weeks of urban warfare in late 2003 and early 2004. In declaratives one might describe as debased Hemingway on speed, Tucker tags along for counter-IED (improvised explosive devices) patrols and zero-dark-30 (predawn) raids, capturing the adrenaline-laced urgency of urban combat against a hidden enemy. His conversations with troopers are refreshingly authentic; his analysis of the politics of Iraq tends toward open advocacy for the Kurds and a separate state of Kurdistan. (Tucker is the author of Hell Is Over: Voices of the Kurds...


This is Our War
Devin Friedman
157965309X
March 19, 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Memorable not for their artistry, but for the perspective they provides, these amateur photographs, collected by GQ senior writer Friedman, provide a record of the war in Iraq that is both more mundane and intimate than most media images: A woman is baptized in one of Saddam's bathtubs. Six-hundred-fifty million dollars of supposed oil-for-food money is discovered in one day. A soldier's gun is trained on a smiling young boy. A shepherd tending his flock studies a Humvee. Group photos of battalions and divisions lend a yearbook like feel to the volume, while a wife's sexy portraits spice up the collection. When two Black Hawk helicopters collided in the fall of 2003, killing 17 U.S. soldiers, readers learn about its effect on an Iraqi civilian who lost his roof. An automobile accident stateside is the only...


Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War
Anthony Shadid
0805076026
September 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Most of the accounts of the Iraq War so far have been, to use the term the war made famous, embedded in one way or another: many officially so with American troops, most others limited--by mobility, interest, or understanding--to the American experience of the conflict. In Night Draws Near, Washington Post reporter Anthony Shadid writes about a side of the war that Americans have heard little about. His beat, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004, is the territory outside the barricaded, air-conditioned Green Zone: the Iraqi streets and, more often, the apartments and houses, darkened by blackouts and shaken by explosions, where most Iraqis wait out Saddam, the invasion, and three nearly unbroken decades of war.

Shadid is Lebanese American, born in Oklahoma, and he has a fluency in Arabic and an understanding of...



Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied And Survived Saddam Hussein
Georges Sada, Jim Nelson Black
1591454042
January 24, 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Former Iraqi General Sada delivers a riveting inside account of Saddam Hussein's tyranny, including confirmation of the existence and hiding of weapons of mass destruction. Despite being a Christian and refusing to join the Baath Party, Sada was promoted to Saddam's inner circle for his honest advice. Sada criticizes most countries and the United Nations (whose workers he accuses of accepting bribes) for their complicity in propagating Saddam's regime. But he strongly praises Operation Iraqi Freedom, pointing out that no other country would take the first step. The book has an unexpectedly religious angle, being slightly Christian-centric and paranoid over Muslim population growth in the West. Regardless, Sada blames Saddam for destroying Iraq, but remains hopeful the nation will have a chance to become a modern...

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