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What to read on Iraq

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'Scott Ritter's insight into the workings of Baghdad's security apparatus are invaluable – and help explain the potency of the anti-US insurgency today.' (Peterson)

Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Rick Atkinson offers insight into the United States' 1991 military engagement with Saddam's Iraq. Atkinson had "unparalleled access to US decisionmakers, both military and civilian," says Peterson. By "drawing upon exquisitely detailed sources," Atkinson "explains how the US obsession with Saddam began."

This is 'the definitive – and voluminous – account of the 1991 Gulf War.' (Peterson)

Night Draws Near (Henry Holt, 2005) by Anthony Shadid is "the best book to have emerged from the 'shock and awe' campaign against Baghdad," says Peterson. A Lebanese-Am­erican, Wash­ington Post reporter Shadid won a 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his journalistic accounts of the daily lives of ordinary Iraqis during and after the 2003 Baghdad bombing campaign. "Night Draws Near," which Peterson praises for its "masterful writing" and "lyrical power that draws on [Shadid's] Arabic fluency and honed eye for detail," tells of the run-up to the war in Iraq, the invasion, and its aftermath – as seen through the eyes of Iraqis.

'Few writers have ever deserved the Pulitzer Prize for interna­tional reporting more than Anthony Shadid for his masterful writing during and after the 2003 Baghdad bombing campaign.' (Peterson)

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