The Assassins' Gate

  • by George Packer
  • Narrated by Richard Poe
  • 19 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Assassins' Gate, so dubbed by American soldiers, is the entrance to the American zone in the city of Baghdad. In 2003, the United States blazed into Iraq to depose dictator Saddam Hussein. But after three years and unknown thousands killed, that country faces an escalating civil war and an uncertain fate. How did it get to this point? Rich in history and political insight, this is an important contribution to the ongoing dialogue over the Iraq War. George Packer describes the players and ideas behind the Bush administration's war policy. He also provides first-hand accounts of the men and women, both civilian and military, coalition and Iraqi, who are caught in the middle of the conflict.
Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Award, George Packer is a venerated staff writer for The New Yorker with four tours on assignment in Iraq. With The Assassins' Gate, he offers a penetrating work of journalism.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] well-researched, articulate, journalistic account." (School Library Journal)
"Packer shows himself once more to be the best chronicler, apart perhaps from John Burns of the New York Times, that the conflict has produced." (Publishers Weekly)
"It is a pleasure to find a work that strives for balance, fairness, and understanding in surveying the causes and course of the ongoing Iraqi war....This is a troubling but deeply moving examination." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Highly Recommended

I've been making a sad trek through some of the books written about the disaster in Iraq. This is the best of the lot. Packer has masterfully combined several books into one: a long historical view, a devastating account of what went wrong, and a deeply empathetic portrait of several people whose lives have been changed by the war. To top it off, Richard Poe gives an outstanding reading performance.
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- D. Flagg

Lots of Facts for Subpoenas! Boring to Outsiders.

Ok. So Packer certainly confirmed my suspicions. Cheney got what he wanted -- a war in Iraq at all costs. No big surprise, I suppose.

What did surprise me was the detail he throws at the reader/listener -- it makes it tough for someone not to believe he did his research. But then I'm left wondering how could he be so intimately connected with SO many inside meetings and discussions. Obviously this guy is connected. Or he is filling in the gaps with his theories?

This book was unboubtedly written to settle a score -- set the record straight. He certainly will have made some enemies, and perhaps burned a few of his very important future-book-research sources.

However, I'm one of those 298 million that live OUTSIDE the (Washington) beltway, and admittedly not "in the know" about the who's who of Washington insiders. Accordingly, much of the facts of the book started to drone away in my ears and I found myself less and less likely to want to turn this tome back on. Being just a "Meet the Press" sort of political junkie, I don't really have enough of a personal knowledge of the cast of characters (and certainly not first-hand) as he does. If I WERE one of the 150 or so of the people he mentions, perhaps I would be more interested.

To be sure - I believe he lays out enough detail that a democratically controlled congress may finally have their way in nailing some of these arrogant so-and-so's (please, please get Cheney first!). There is ample fodder for subpoenas here. But that's the problem with the book - it is less of an engaging and riveting story and more of a listing of who to prosecute and in what order (which I applaud).

I rate this book a major bore -- unless you're a political fanatic (likely democratic), you may not finish it.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-18-2006
  • Publisher: Recorded Books