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The Huffington Post
"A truly inspirational story about an American soldier who epitomized our country's values."
The inspiring story of one soldier in Iraq in 2006 determined to make peace with warring tribal factions.
Doyle energetically spotlights the daring, risky work of Cpt. Travis Patriquin, a U.S. Army commander from Missouri trained in Special Forces whose gift with foreign languages and genuine interest in Arab culture allowed him to win over Iraqi tribes in their mutual struggles against al-Qaeda. Posted in 2006 to Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province (and "de facto capital of the al-Qaeda caliphate in Iraq"), Patriquin was at the deadly epicenter of violence against the resented U.S. coalition forces, in the form of IEDs, grenades, snipers, etc., which killed Americans daily. Al-Qaeda had terrorized the local sheiks by kidnappings, intimidation of family members and torture, and used bribes of young fighters to set bombs for the U.S. troops. Patriquin and his commander, Col. Sean MacFarland, believed that the key in turning the tide was to befriend the local tribal bosses and try to build a loyal police force. One important leader proved to be Sheik Sattar abu Risha, "the Tony Soprano of western Iraq," suspected smuggler and bandit, whom Patriquin advocated backing, despite the Army's suspicions about him. Courting him with hours of "man-kissing" and tea drinking, Patriquin convinced him of the value of building a police recruiting effort, and the word spread from sheik to sheik: "It was time to switch sides and join the Iraqi police." American forces sweetened the deal by offering security and cash rewards. This groundswell among the Iraqis is termed the Awakening, and Patriquin and his Arab-friendly skills were instrumental in bringing it about. With his death by IED in December 2006, the U.S. Army lost its own Lawrence of Arabia.
Impressive feats from an important soldier, but the book has the ring of an official military account.
Author's Note ix
Prologue The Banks of the Euphrates 1
Chapter 1 The Gate of the Himalayas 17
Chapter 2 The Edge of the Arabian Desert 45
Chapter 3 The City of Death 61
Chapter 4 The Earth Was on Fire 87
Chapter 5 A Time to Strike 103
Chapter 6 Before the Dawn 119
Chapter 7 A Baptism in Blood 137
Chapter 8 The Awakening of Iraq 149
Chapter 9 The Men on the Wall 167
Chapter 10 A Cocky Son of a Bitch 189
Chapter 11 The Turning Point 21J
Chapter 12 A Soldier's Dream 239
Epilogue A Soldier's Legacy 263
Source Notes 287
Posted December 12, 2011
I do not read war stories/books. After seeing the author on TV and talking about this book, I knew I had to read it. This book told the true story of the Iraq war and what the soldiers were up against. Travis Patriquin was an amazing soldier with so much common sense. I hope they make this into a movie.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2011
Posted June 7, 2011
No text was provided for this review.