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Naked in Baghdad af Anne Garrels

Naked in Baghdad (udgave 2004)

af Anne Garrels (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3351158,017 (3.98)8
A foreign correspondent working for National Public Radio recounts her experiences while covering the 2003 war with Iraq.
Titel:Naked in Baghdad
Forfattere:Anne Garrels (Forfatter)
Info:Picador (2004), Edition: Reprint, 262 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Naked in Baghdad af Anne Garrels


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Interesting personal account of a war correspondent before and during the Iraq War from 2002 - 2003.

Garrells is one of NPR's correspondents. Thus she reports on what she has discovered generally three times a day, on National Public Radio. In 2002 she entered Baghdad during the time negotiations on weapons of mass destruction were going on. UN Inspectors are on the ground, trying to obtain the information they need to determine Iraq's compliance with weapons agreements.

Garrells tells us day-to-day details in diary form, notes she took while there, and from time to time she includes copies of emails sent by her husband to friends, reporting on what she has told him (and what he can reveal to others). We learn what it took for her to get into the country, to get into a hotel, to use her satellite phone, to get around the city and beyond. She is required to have a "minder" as well as a driver, and is fortunate to be able to get someone she trusts and values as a minder. She calls him Amer. With the drivers she isn't always as lucky. Either way, she has to be careful what she says in the hearing of Iraqi officials or even in their sight.

Her diary entries bring us to Iraq and back home several times (visas generally were good for only ten days and it was tricky to get back in again), and take us through the escalation into war and finally into the thick of it. She tries to get many different points of view, as not all citizens were united in their positions. Yet they had to be careful what they said.

It is a revealing personal account that gave me a different perspective on some aspects of this war. It reinforced some aspects I had learned elsewhere. It also illuminated what it is like to be this type reporter. We may all be grateful that such people exis ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Everyone, read this book. Part reportage, part personal journal, part love letter, it's an inside look at the lead-up and first months of the Iraq war. From this vantage, now nearly five - FIVE - years later, it will break your heart. ( )
  revafisheye | Jan 10, 2020 |
Was on an audible book ... Exciting, to think of what it's like to be there, sad to realize the lies and surprise to the locals, and helplessness to help them. ( )
  becahr | Jan 26, 2016 |
I began this audio book thinking I would like the subject. I lived through the Iraq war, following it closely before, during and afterward. I was curious to see how NPR would handle the topic. I finished the book liking Anne Garrells and her adoring husband Vint Lawrence. Anne is tough and resourceful, very creative at working around the restrictions of the Iraq police state to get the views of the average Iraq. Vint is clever and provides stay-at-home counterpoint to Anne risky war correspondence.

Anne is relentlessly neutral in her reporting, not partaking in the pro or anti war rhetoric. Rather, she reports on human interest and man on the street viewpoints of the war--a perspective I have not had before, despite my reading on the topic.

My major criticism is from the opposite perspective from Anne's: she doesn't provide perspective on why the war happened, the expectations before the war on casualties and the time it would take and what actually happened. She is great at describing what is happening, but doesn't supply cause and effect analysis. She answers how things happened but not why. Despite her engaging personality and that of her husband on the audio book (they read it themselves) and the moving descriptions of the war and its effect upon the Iraqi people, the book comes across as flat and shallow.

One example: when the US troops took Baghdad, a US tank fired at the Palestine hotel where the journalists were staying. Two were killed, and others were injured. Anne was outraged: didn't the tank commander know the journalists were in the hotel? It was in all the news reports. I was stunned: Doesn't Anne know she and the Palestine hotel are in a war zone during a battle? Anything may happen at any time! If the tank felt threatened, the normal course of action is to attack the threat. During a battle, the rule is kill or be killed. There is no thought nor consideration for bystanders. There are no safety zones. I'm sorry for the deaths of the reporters, but I cannot think of a more dangerous place to be than being in Baghdad during an invasion. ( )
  jjvors | Sep 10, 2013 |
Brief, well-written book by an NPR reporter, one of the few who stayed in Iraq during the entire invasion and was not "embedded" with the military. She gives the reader a view of Saddam's Iraq before the invasion. As a woman, she is able to get a much more complete picture of Iraqi society, because obviously she is free to deal with women and as a western woman is treated as an "honorary man".
I learned that during the 70s, the Iraqis were relatively well-off and headed to a Western standard of living before the war with Iran sent everything down the tubes.
The author has to jump through many hoops to report, particularly in relation to her renewing her Visa and using her satellite phone (the method by which she files reports and does radio interviews). The title refers to her using her unregistered satellite phone (the Saddam government required phones to be registered and kept at the Ministry of Information). She files her radio reports while in the nude. She explains that in case a government agent came in while she was on the phone, she could pretend to be in the shower and putting on her clothes. This doesn't really make much sense to me, but the title is a good one, nonetheless.
The only downside of the book were the insipid emails from her husband who sounds really dorky (in actuality he's former CIA who was involved in the secret war in Laos, but you'd never know that from the emails).
Overall, a solid book of reporting. ( )
  cblaker | Jan 5, 2013 |
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A foreign correspondent working for National Public Radio recounts her experiences while covering the 2003 war with Iraq.

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