My Five Years in Iraq
Simon & Schuster
On Sale: June 3, 2008
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In the most dramatic and intimate account of battle
reporting since Michael Herr's classic Dispatches, NBC
News's award-winning Middle East Bureau Chief, Richard
Engel, offers an unvarnished and often emotional account of
five years in Iraq.
Engel is the longest serving broadcaster in Iraq and the
only American television reporter to cover the country
continuously before, during, and after the 2003 U.S.
invasion. Fluent in Arabic, he has had unrivaled access to
U.S. military commanders, Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias,
Iraqi families, and even President George W. Bush, who
called him to the White House for a private briefing. He has
witnessed nearly every major milestone in this long war.
War Journal describes what it was like to go into the hole
where U.S. Special Operations Forces captured Saddam
Hussein. Engel was there as the insurgency began and watched
the spread of Iranian influence over Shiite religious cities
and the Iraqi government. He watched as Iraqis voted in
their first election. He was in the courtroom when Saddam
was sentenced to death and interviewed General David
Petraeus about the surge.
In vivid, sometimes painful detail, Engel tracks the
successes and setbacks of the war. He describes searching,
with U.S troops, for a missing soldier in the dangerous
Sunni city of Ramadi; surviving kidnapping attempts, IED
attacks, hotel bombings, and ambushes; and even the smell of
cakes in a bakery attacked by sectarian gangs and strewn
with bodies of the executed.
War Journal describes a sectarian war that American leaders
were late to understand and struggled to contain. It is an
account of the author's experiences, insights, bittersweet
reflections, and moments from his private video diary --
itself the subject of a highly acclaimed documentary on MSNBC.
War Journal is the story of the transformation of a young
journalist who moved to the Middle East with $2,000 and a
belief that the region would be "the story" of his
generation into a seasoned reporter who has at times
believed that he would die covering the war. It is about
American soldiers, ordinary Iraqis, and especially a few
brave individuals on his team who continually risked their
lives to make his own daring reporting possible.
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