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Red Zone: Five Bloody Years in Baghdad
     

Red Zone: Five Bloody Years in Baghdad

5.0 1
by Oliver Poole
 

Personal eye-witness account of the war in Iraq and the move towards civil war.

Overview

Personal eye-witness account of the war in Iraq and the move towards civil war.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

At the beginning of the Iraq war, Daily Telegraph journalist Poole was the only Brit embedded with U.S. troops, accompanying them on their three week mission into Baghdad (chronicled in his 2003 title Black Knights). Haunted, Poole returned to Iraq in 2004 and stayed through 2007, after most journalists had already decamped. The new situation he faces is, in his words, "really bad," a population of 7 million "reduced to barbarism." It doesn't take long for the violence to make a personal impact; while Poole's new editor in London demands positive spin, the brother-in-law of Poole's friend and translator is kidnapped, never to be seen again. The differences a few years make are incredible: camping with troops pre-invasion, Poole was upbeat, happy with his "massive story"; by the time he left the "iconic reporter's hotel" Hamra, once a hub of activity, food, camaraderie and entertainment, it was the bombed-out center of a Baghdad "war cemetery." Poole is a fascinating narrator, chronicling his own disillusionment alongside the stories of his Iraqi friends and the deteriorating state of the nation. Hard to put down, this hard-hitting but deeply compassionate memoir showcases an expert reporter pushing his skill and humanity to their limits. 8 color plates and maps.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
Discouraging but observant Iraq memoir from an embedded British journalist. In early 2003, as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, Poole accompanied a U.S. Army invasion of Baghdad and wrote about it in Black Knights (2003), then left before returning a year later. Here, the author delivers an engrossing account of a working journalist's life. Accompanied by a translator and eventually bodyguards, he roamed widely to report on the deteriorating situation. High-ranking officials remained relentlessly optimistic while American troops, deeply religious and fiercely patriotic, asserted that they were defending America and bringing freedom to an oppressed people. During the aftermath of the invasion, even Iraqis with little love for America expected it to use its vast wealth to improve their lives. Aware of the massive rebuilding announced even before victory, Poole searched Baghdad for construction cranes but found none. War damage appeared unrepaired, trash and sewage filled the streets and city services barely existed. Many readers will squirm as the author, writing for a British audience, explains that America remains obsessed with the war on terrorism and continues to interpret events in Iraq in that light. He adds that, while no faction loves America, the increasing chaos of 2005-07 was an internal affair energized by murderous sectarian hatred between Sunnis and Shias, but with a major contribution from tribal rivalries, turf battles between local political leaders, simple banditry and burgeoning organized crime. There's little good news, but Poole offers an insightful, sympathetic foreigner's perspective on America's misadventures in Iraq.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780955830259
Publisher:
Reportage Press
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Oliver Poole first entered Iraq in March 2003 after crossing the Kuwaiti border as the only British daily newspaper reporter 'embedded' with the US Army. His account of the invasion, Black Knights: On the Bloody Road to Baghdad (HarperCollins) sold over 30,000 copies. Oliver Poole is currently working as a head hunter in the oil and gas industry.

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Red Zone 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review A brilliant, first-hand account of the madness and horror of post invasion Iraq. Poole demonstrates perfect pitch, recounting a story that is by turns terrifying and bizarre, illuminating and moving. --Patrick Bishop, author of Fighter Boys Product Description This eyewitness account by former Telegraph correspondent reveals the truth about Baghdad's Red Zone and is the most personal account of the war to be published. How do you cheer on your national football team, when you're terrified to step outside your front door? What's it like to go to the shops, when your biggest fear is being blown up by a suicide bomber? Or risk being shot at a roadblock when you drive your pregnant wife to hospital? As the Daily Telegraph's Iraq correspondent, Oliver Poole arrived in Baghdad in 2005. For the next two years his home would be a hotel room in the middle of Baghdad's Red Zone , one of the most dangerous places on earth. Oliver describes daily life in a largely unreported civil war. He tells how the war changed the life of Oliver, the young Englishman, his interpreter Ahmed and his family (pregnant sister-in-law blown up as she is teaching a class of children, brother-in-law kidnapped and murdered, another brother kidnapped, family forced to flee). As he travelled across Iraq with British and US troops Oliver Poole witnessed first hand the bloody impact of car bombs and had his own offices destroyed by a suicide bomber. Finally in November 2006, with the Telegraph closing down his office, Oliver Poole joined the masses escaping Iraq through Baghdad airport. Percentage of proceeds to go to the charity International Pen, who helped Poole's translator flee from the terrorists trying to kill him for working for a foreigner. "There's little good news, but [Oliver] Poole offers an insightful, sympathetic foreigner's perspective on America's misadventures in Iraq."-Kirkus Reviews As the Iraq correspondent for the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph, Oliver Poole arrived in Baghdad in 2005. For the next two years his home was a hotel room in the middle of Baghdad's "Red Zone," one of the most dangerous places on earth. Poole describes his daily life and how a lively city full of cafés was plunged into an unreported civil war. His own office was destroyed by a suicide bomber. He tells how the war changed his life and that of his interpreter, Ahmed, and his family: pregnant sister-in-law blown up as she is teaching a class of children, brother-in-law kidnapped and murdered, and another brother kidnapped, the family forced to flee. As he travels across Iraq with British and US forces, Oliver Poole witnesses firsthand the impact that war has on the troops. Finally, in November 2006, with the Telegraph closing down his office, Oliver Poole joined the masses escaping Iraq through the Baghdad airport. Fully up-to-date (up to the end of 2007), Red Zone is the most intimate and moving account of the war in Iraq to be published. Oliver Poole first entered Iraq in March 2003 after crossing the Kuwaiti border as the only British daily newspaper reporter "embedded" with the US Army. His account of the invasion, Black Knights: On the Bloody Road to Baghdad (HarperCollins), sold over thirty thousand copies.