The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 6, 2014 - Political Science - 480 pages

THE ASSASSINS' GATE: AMERICA IN IRAQ recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq. It brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration's War on Terror policy and led America to the Assassins' Gate—the main point of entry into the American zone in Baghdad. The consequences of that policy are shown in the author's brilliant reporting on the ground in Iraq, where he made four tours on assignment for The New Yorker. We see up close the struggles of American soldiers and civilians and Iraqis from all backgrounds, thrown together by a war that followed none of the preconceived scripts.

The Assassins' Gate also describes the place of the war in American life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier's family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking. George Packer's first-person narrative combines the scope of an epic history with the depth and intimacy of a novel, creating a masterful account of America's most controversial foreign venture since Vietnam.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jeterat - LibraryThing

I thought that while this seemed well researched, and he certainly spent many hours with top commanders and civilian leaders, he seemed enchanted by the CPA and too willing to forgive them their ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chriskrycho - LibraryThing

Packer tells it like it is, with some strange but often helpful quirks of perspective – a lefty who supported the war in Iraq, but was disenchanted with the way it was conducted. Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
3
1 AN UNFINISHED WAR
8
2 FEVERED MINDS
39
3 EXILES
66
4 SPECIAL PLANS
100
5 PSYCHOLOGICAL DEMOLITION
149
6 THE PALACE
180
7 THE CAPTAIN
219
10 CIVIL WAR?
333
11 MEMORIAL DAY
370
12 SIMPLE CITIZENS
405
EPILOGUE
442
AFTERWORD
453
NOTE ON SOURCES
467
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
471
INDEX
473

8 OCCUPIED IRAQIS
251
9 INSURGENCIES
296
READING GROUP GUIDE
483
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

George Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, which received numerous prizes and was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by The New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of the novels The Half Man and Central Square, and the works of nonfiction The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, The Village of Waiting and Blood of the Liberals, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His play, Betrayed, ran in Manhattan for five months in 2008 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. He lives in Brooklyn.

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