A Fist In the Hornet's Nest: On the Ground In Baghdad Before, During & After the War

Overview

When war broke out in Iraq, every major U.S. network pulled its correspondents from the scene. Despite the risk, Richard Engel stayed. As our tanks entered Baghdad in April 2003, he was there, bringing the Iraqi war into American homes as a stringer for ABC news. Determined to deliver the whole Middle East story, Engel moved to Cairo in 1996 after graduating from Stanford to learn 'street' Arabic. Then to dig even deeper into the complicated powder-keg of the Israeli-Palestinian...

See more details below
Hardcover
$26.34
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$30.99 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (43) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $4.35   
  • Used (34) from $1.99   

Overview

When war broke out in Iraq, every major U.S. network pulled its correspondents from the scene. Despite the risk, Richard Engel stayed. As our tanks entered Baghdad in April 2003, he was there, bringing the Iraqi war into American homes as a stringer for ABC news. Determined to deliver the whole Middle East story, Engel moved to Cairo in 1996 after graduating from Stanford to learn 'street' Arabic. Then to dig even deeper into the complicated powder-keg of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he settled in Jerusalem.

Now as Iraq enters its post-war phase and the Gulf region continues to dominate our nation's consciousness, more and more Americans will come to know and trust Richard Engel—especially in his current role as a correspondent for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Both analytical and anecdotal, this book leads us through the war in Iraq, dissecting a myriad of Middle East issues, all from the vantage point of someone who is 'on the ground and in the streets' to get the real story.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
His description of the war in Iraq is vivid, politically astute, and strikes the perfect balance between drama and reportage.
Booklist
His description of the war in Iraq is vivid, politically astute, and strikes the perfect balance between drama and reportage.
Publishers Weekly
Journalist Engel's gripping account of the recent war in Iraq begins with himself rushing around in flak jacket and helmet to videotape an attack on Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, a woman journalist nearby shouting, "We're all going to die"; he conveys his shock on learning the hotel, which housed Western journalists, had been fired on by an American tank. This scene is just the first of many vivid depictions of Engel's life in the war zone. Unlike most U.S. correspondents, who covered the war "embedded" with U.S. troops, Engel worked apart from the troops as ABC-TV's main Baghdad correspondent. The world he describes is filled with fascinating, terrible dynamics: he depicts local residents waiting with a strange calm for the fighting to begin; journalists attempting to outwit the Iraqi "minders" assigned by Saddam Hussein's regime to watch over them; Iraqis overjoyed at Saddam's fall but ambivalent about a Western occupation. He also describes the experience of reporting while ducking both American and Iraqi shooting; in one incident, he relates, reporters became "human shields," providing cover for Iraqis firing anti-aircraft missiles at American planes. Engel navigates a tightrope: he conveys the excitement of being a war correspondent without neglecting the horrifying aspects of war. Most important, he manages to convey an accurate, balanced portrayal of Iraq both during the war and after. As a result, this book might restore some of the public's lost faith in journalism. (Mar. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hustling young freelance journalist Engel, now an NBC regular, explains how he managed to stay put in Baghdad and cover the March 2003 invasion for American TV after the major networks' correspondents had either fled or been expelled. The author's diligence in acquiring fluent Arabic (with authentic Egyptian or Palestinian colloquialisms when circumstances dictated) initially paid off in his knowing who to bribe and how often while lining up everything from visas to prospective "safe houses" as war loomed in Iraq. For the reader, it pays off in an account that, while adding little to our understanding of how the military process ebbed and flowed, adds plenty about the all-powerful word on the "Arab street." Replete with spins and prejudices, as well as legitimate and useful insights gleaned from years in a closed society, the street operates as the prime means by which Iraqi citizens interpret events that the world at large may see in quite different terms. This system, Engel's experiences underscore, is unlikely to change as the result of either American conquest or postwar programs. Engel by no means matches the intrepid reporter stereotype: he's constantly figuring odds on where bombs will fall so he knows where not to be; he feels palpably vulnerable with "American" stamped on his visa; and he agonizes for days over where among several accomplished local liars he can place limited, yet essential, trust. Eschewing bravado, he simply states what it takes in these circumstances to show up and do the job. Yet he was intrepid enough to endure plenty of contact with the motley and hair-raising assortment of would-be fedayeen pouring into Iraq from virtually every Muslim state.Well-organized Shiite religious leaders now consolidating power (including militias tolerated by US forces), he predicts, will ultimately decide the shape of Iraqi "democracy" and thus the final outcome of a war into which we had no reason to rush. Insightful glimpse into the sausage factory of TV war coverage and the less palatable complexities it ignores.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401301156
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/25/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 800,382
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Engel graduated from Stanford University in 1996 and moved to Cairo, where he reported on Middle Eastern affairs for the BBC and Voice of America. He is a correspondent for NBC News and works out of the Baghdad bureau. He also reports on events throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    DUCK AND COVER Richard Engel gives a good perspective on the ar

    DUCK AND COVER

    Richard Engel gives a good perspective on the arab world and the war. His qualities, such as being able to speak in arab gives much insight into everything he is writing about especially because he can learn more from the surrounding area. He isn't the typical reporter because throughout the novel he gives better perspective rather than those who jump to conclusions. This novel gave me insight to what soldiers go through during war and different views on war not just from the western civilization. He equivocates on the moral goodness of America as he tries to see war through the Iraqi point of view. At points I feel as if he was biased due to him being from America. Richard gave good insight on what it would be like before, during and after the war. He didn’t give as much insight into the culture as I wanted which led me to researching a lot afterwards. Richards writing style was good, it kept me going and I wasn’t boring like many others I have read. The way he described the people he was with as he got to know them better was good. Initially, I thought the book was going to be very boring, but I found it very amusing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2010

    Perspective interesting

    Richard Engel give the journalist's perspective on both the Arab world and the war. The fact that he speaks Arabic and spent lots of time in the Middle East gives him more perspective than a regular reporter who just "parachutes" in. Having said that, I also feel he wasn't critical enough of the Muslim culture and the atrocities that often flow directly from it. He sometimes equivocates on the moral goodness of America as he tries to hard to see through the Iraqi viewpoint. He has led a colorful life and spins a good tale. Nice writing style. I learned a lot about how life was in Baghdad right at the time of the invasion. Like so many other writers/journalist/producers, he does seem to check pride in country/western civilization at the door, though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gives you a feeling of being there.

    Richard Engel is someone I have seen on NBC numerous times, and have always enjoyed his reports and charisma. I saw this book in the mark down rack and decided to give it a chance. I was very impressed with what I found. Richard gives you a good sense of what it might be like to be on the ground before, during and after the initial conflict. He takes the time to let the reader see the human side of the war from the Iraqi people he worked with, and got to know while he was there. Richard Engel's writing style flows nicely and keeps your attention throughout. I read it in one setting and would reccomend it to anyone interested in seeing what the war is like from someone who was actually there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2008

    Really enjoyed this book

    I didn't really know what to expect, but I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this book. Peter Engel did a great job writing this book. I enjoyed his unbiased perspective of the war. He speaks of his relationship with some of the people in Iraq and how some of them felt about the war. I didn't expect to like it, but I really did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)