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Publisher's Summary

As National Public Radio's senior foreign correspondent, Anne Garrels has covered conflicts in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. She is renowned for direct, down-to-earth, insightful reportage, and for her independent take on what she sees. One of only sixteen unembedded American journalists who stayed in Baghdad's now-legendary Palestine Hotel throughout the American invasion of Iraq, she was at the very center of the storm. Naked in Baghdad gives us the sights, sounds, and smells of our latest war with unparalleled vividness and immediacy. Garrels's narrative starts with several trips she made to Baghdad before the war, beginning in October 2002. At its heart is her evolving relationship with her Iraqi driver/minder, Amer, who becomes her friend and confidant, often serving as her eyes and ears among the populace and taking her where no other reporter was able to penetrate. Amer's own strong reactions and personal dilemma provide a trenchant counterpoint to daily events. The story is also punctuated by e-mail bulletins sent by Garrels's husband, Vint Lawrence, to their friends around the world, giving a private view of the rough-and-tumble, often dangerous life of a foreign correspondent, along with some much-needed comic relief. The result is enthralling, deeply personal, utterly authentic: an on-the-ground picture of the war in Iraq that no one else could have written. As Chicago Sun-Times critic Lloyd Sachs wrote about Garrels's work in Baghdad, "A few choice words, honestly delivered, are worth more than a thousand pictures...In your mind's eye, they carry lasting truth."
©2003 Anne Garrels (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
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Critic Reviews

2004 Audie Award Winner, Narration by Author or Authors
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Native Texan on 10-03-03

My favorite book of the year!

This is not just the best book I have read all year (and last year for that matter) it's a book you really should hear rather than read, if you can. The narrators are the people who lived this adventure: Anne Garrels, NPR correspondent tells the story of what it was like to be one of only a dozen journalists who remained in Bagdad during the war while her husband Vint Lawrence reads his own wonderfully written email updates about Anne that he sent to friends and family. Part of the book is about Anne Garrels' individual journey through tangles of corrupt bureaucracy and bombs and the people of Baghdad who often risked their safety to help her. It's a window onto the city and the people of Baghdad, very intimate and personal, well apart from network news coverage. Part of the book is the story of a married couple and how they championed each other under difficult and often frightening conditions. It's a book about courage, chaos, bribery, frustration, love, friendship, dirty water, duct tape and dust and I think that makes it a classic. Give it a listen.

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108 of 111 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Ronald on 07-19-04

From someone who was also there

I found Anne's reporting very good and extremely accurate. It reflects the views of the Iraqi's I encountered while working at the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). I wish she had pounded CNN a little harder over thier dramatazation of events before they knew any facts but she remainded focused on her story.

I believe a little more historical background could have been given at the beginning to help understand how Sadaam could come to power and how the Iraq situation adds to the unrest in the Middle East.

The Brenda Bulletins were endearing at first but nerve racking in the end. They were presented at too slow a pace and were often repetitive of what Anne had already said. Anne was a brave correspondent in a very dangerous area. I got that without having to be told that every ten minutes.

I can say the views that Anne presents from the Iraqi's is 100% in line with what I experienced. Although I only give this three stars for the presentation. I give it five stars for a must read.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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