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A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq

Overview

For six months in 2006, a charismatic young U.S. Army captain and Arab linguist named Travis Patriquin unleashed a diplomatic and cultural charm offensive upon the Sunni Arab sheiks of Anbar province, the heart of darkness of the Iraqi insurgency. He galvanized American support for the ?Sunni Awakening,? the tribal revolt against Al Qaeda that spread through the province and eventually across Iraq, a turning point that led to dramatically lower...

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A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq

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Overview

For six months in 2006, a charismatic young U.S. Army captain and Arab linguist named Travis Patriquin unleashed a diplomatic and cultural charm offensive upon the Sunni Arab sheiks of Anbar province, the heart of darkness of the Iraqi insurgency. He galvanized American support for the “Sunni Awakening,” the tribal revolt against Al Qaeda that spread through the province and eventually across Iraq, a turning point that led to dramatically lower levels of violence in the country.
 
The Awakening may not have succeeded without Patriquin, who was so beloved by Iraqis that they adopted him into their tribes and loved him as a brother. This is the true story of a man who loved Iraq, and a soldier who helped engineer the turning point of the Iraq War.
 
It is the story of America’s T.E. Lawrence—Travis Patriquin.

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Editorial Reviews

The Huffington Post
"A truly inspirational story about an American soldier who epitomized our country's values."
Los Angeles Times
“Compelling… carefully reported and briskly written … a tale of how even in modern warfare, with all its cultural intricacies and geopolitical considerations, two men can play a decisive role through dint of personality, adept maneuvering and, yes, a fair amount of individual ambition.”
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman (Ret.)
“He was America’s Lawrence of Arabia.”
Kirkus Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451236852
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 625,136
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

William Doyle is the award-winning author of Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton and An American Insurrection: James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962. He also served as director of original programming and executive producer for HBO, and won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary for his A&E special based on Inside the Oval Office.

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Table of Contents

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

Acknowledgments 308

Index 309

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Great book. Must Read!

    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.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Highly Recommed

    This book gives better story of the war than ANY news article or political blog any where.

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

    Posted June 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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