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“Represents brave reportage and significantly increases our understanding of what Rosen describes as an already raging civil war.” —Publishers Weekly
“If you want to gain a better understanding and tangible feel, on a pragmatic, smell-of-the-streets level, of the cause-and-effect cycle of coalition actions upon the Iraqi people, then Rosen’s book is a good place to start.” —Washington Monthly
Journalist Nir Rosen unabashedly chronicles the violent shift of Iraq from the toppled regime symbolized by Saddam’s fallen statue to a country holding its first elections in 2005 while descending into civil war. Fluent in Iraqi-accented Arabic, Rosen moved beyond the Green Zone and infiltrated the inner world of the average Iraqi during his one-and-a-half year stint. He bravely experienced the Iraqis’ plight and articulates in The Triumph of the Martyrs the factors contributing to their suffering, notably the palpable tension between the Iraqis and the Americans and the bitter divisions between the Sunnis and the Shi’as. To give proper voice to these dissensions, Rosen interviewed emerging sect leaders; joined Shi’as on their annual pilgrimage; and spoke with Iraqi civilians about their experiences with American soldiers and why they so vehemently oppose the occupation. Rosen’s risky reportage, however, also brought him to the brink of death, with suspicious Iraqis interrogating him at gunpoint and bombs exploding dangerously close to his living quarters. In his account of the chaotic fledgling republic, Rosen fluidly permeates the boundaries among its warring sides. The Triumph of the Martyrs is the first paperback edition of the book published in hardcover in 2006 as In the Belly of the Green Bird.