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Naked in Baghdad: The Iraq War as Seen by…

Naked in Baghdad: The Iraq War as Seen by NPR's Correspondent Anne Garrels

by Anne Garrels

Other authors: Vint Lawrence (Contributor)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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 |
This is a terrific first-hand account of the United States attack on Baghdad. NPR Correspondent Anne Garrels gives us her story in a journal-style book, which is supplemented with emails from her husband commenting on her activities.

Garrels delivers an interesting view of the conflict, sharing her on-air stories with the readers, as well as her conversations with her drivers and Iraqi officials. I wish that had not waiting so long to read this, but it is still interesting and revealing six years later. ( )
  lynnmellw | Dec 15, 2009 |
Her accounts, interspersed with her husband's, whom I grew to find irritating and slightly undermining of her. Fine interesting writing by her. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jun 24, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Garrelsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, VintContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312424191, Paperback)

As National Public Radio’s much loved and respected senior foreign correspondent Anne Garrels has covered conflicts in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In Naked in Baghdad she reveals how as one of only sixteen non-embedded journalists who stayed in the now legendary Palestine Hotel throughout the American invasion she managed to deliver the most immediate, insightful and independent reports with unparalleled vividness and immediacy.
Her evolving relationship with her Iraqi driver/minder Amer, and the wonderful e-mail bulletins sent to friends by her husband, Vint Lawrence, counterpoint the daily events of her life in Baghdad, and result in a deeply moving, and intimate portrait by one of bravest and most enlightening news reporters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A foreign correspondent working for National Public Radio recounts her experiences while covering the 2003 war with Iraq.

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