When Emma Sky, an intrepid young British woman, volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, she had little idea what she was letting herself in for: a tour that would last over a decade, longer than that of any senior military or political official. As the only adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Kirkuk and the closest confidante to US General Odierno, Sky was valued for her controversial voice and outsider's point of view - during the most painful stages of the war, she was one of the few to develop friendships and relationships with both Iraqis and Americans alike.
In the West, violence in Iraq is typically explained away as the symptom of psychopathic terrorists, blurring and arbitrary colonial borders, and ancient hatreds between Sunni and Shia. But the violence stems from weak governance and corrupt elites, empowered by the US-led coalition, who use sectarianism to mobilize support and fail to deliver service to the meet the needs of the country's citizens. Women and men, Iraqis and Americans, soldiers and civilians, the ordinary and yet extraordinary, Western cultures and Eastern all collide in Iraq.
"This authoritative first-person account is a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the complexity of the Iraq war, and the road to the current crises with the Islamic State." (Publishers Weekly Review)
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Inspiring memoir; irritating narration
- Amazon Customer
Good not great
- Matthew Pokorny