In the Wake of the Surge is a gripping first-person narrative that tells the story of the Kurds, the Arabs, and the Americans in Iraq during one of the most violent and wrenching periods in that country’s history. Award-winning foreign correspondent Michael J. Totten visited Iraq seven times between 2005 and 2009, first as a “unilateral” freelance journalist without a gun in the Kurdish autonomous region, and then as an embedded reporter with ...
In the Wake of the Surge is a gripping first-person narrative that tells the story of the Kurds, the Arabs, and the Americans in Iraq during one of the most violent and wrenching periods in that country’s history. Award-winning foreign correspondent Michael J. Totten visited Iraq seven times between 2005 and 2009, first as a “unilateral” freelance journalist without a gun in the Kurdish autonomous region, and then as an embedded reporter with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in Baghdad, Sadr City, Ramadi, and Fallujah.
He was there at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of General David Petraeus’ “surge” of combat troops to Iraq and saw first-hand how young men from places like Florida and Texas pacified a relentless insurgency—an insurgency that most people, during the darkest days of the war, assumed would be victorious.
In the Wake of the Surge is a bracing story of war in a tormented country by a writer who has spent enough time in the Middle East to know there are few happy endings, but who nevertheless was a witness when Iraqis and Americans drove each other to the brink of the abyss before managing, against all odds and at the very last second, to pull back and save themselves from utter catastrophe.
Praise for Michael J. Totten
“I think of only a certain number of people as having risen to the intellectual and journalistic challenges of the last few years, and Michael J. Totten is one of them.” – Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism
“Michael J. Totten…practices journalism in the tradition of Orwell: morally imaginative, partisan in the best sense of the word, and delivered in crackling, rapid-fire prose befitting the violent realities it depicts. An unabashed classical liberal, Totten brings his political commitments and emotional intelligence to bear on the dramatic events he witnesses. As a result, he ends up far more clearsighted than the many analysts who claim ‘objectivity’ but share neither his love of the region and its inhabitants nor his concern for its future.” – Sohrab Ahmari, Commentary
“Michael J. Totten is a one of a rare breed. Moving from front to front, he brings experience and context and the willingness to go where few men dare.” – Michael Yon, author of Moment of Truth in Iraq
“Michael J. Totten, to my mind, is one of the world’s most acute observers of Middle East politics. He is also an absolutely fearless reporter, both physically–he has explored the darkest corners of Middle East extremism–and morally.” – Jeffrey Goldberg, author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror
Praise for The Road to Fatima Gate
“A terrific book about a terrifying and beautiful part of the world.” – Benjamin Kerstein, Jewish Ideas Daily columnist
"It is extremely rare to read such an accurate account of anything to which one was oneself a witness." – Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great
“A thriller in which a daredevil reporter puts himself in harm's way in search of the inside story of some of the most dangerous outfits in the world.” – Amir Taheri, Asharq al-Awsat
“Outstanding…it grabbed me so quickly that I ended up lost in it.” – Claire Berlinski, Ricochet
Michael J. Totten is a foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, City Journal, LA Weekly, The Jerusalem Post, Beirut's Daily Star, Reason, Azure, and the Australian edition of Newsweek. He is a contributing editor at City Journal and writes regularly for Commentary. He lives with his wife and two cats in Portland, Oregon, and is a former resident of Beirut. Visit his Web site at www.MichaelTotten.com.