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Elvis Is Titanic: Classroom Tales from Iraqi Kurdistan

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Elvis Is Titanic: Classroom Tales from Iraqi Kurdistan Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the spring of 2005, Ian Klaus, a twenty-six-year-old Rhodes Scholar, traveled eight hours from Turkey, via broken-down taxi and armed convoy, to reach Salahaddin University in Arbil, the largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan. Elvis Is Titanic is the poignant, funny, and eye-opening story of the semester he spent there teaching U.S. history and English in the thick of the war for hearts and minds.

Inspired by the volunteerism of so many young Americans after 9/11, Klaus exchanges the abstraction of duty for an intimate involvement with individual lives, among them Mahir, a rakish Kurdish pop star whose father, an imam, disapproves of music; Ali, an Anglomaniac professor of translation devoted to the BBC, with whom Klaus has a public showdown over Hemingway; and Sarhang, Klaus's bodyguard, whose interest in American history is excited by Mel Gibson's performance in The Patriot. Among the Kurds, a perennially oppressed but seemingly indomitable people, Klaus encounters both openhearted welcome and resentful suspicion--and soon learns firsthand how far even a trusted stranger can venture in this society. With assignments ranging from Elvis to Ellington, from the mysteries of baseball to the apercus of Tocqueville, Klaus strives to illuminate the American way for charges initially far more attuned to our pop culture than our national ideals.

These efforts occasion Klaus's own reexamination of truths we hold to be self-evident, as well as the less exalted cultural assumptions we have presumed to export to the rest of the world. His story, as full of hope and discovery as he finds his students, offers a slice of life behind the headlines.

Synopsis:

In the spring of 2005, Klaus traveled from Turkey to Salahaddin University in Arbil, the largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is his poignant, funny, and uplifting story of the semester he spent there teaching U.S. history and English in the thick of the war.

About the Author

Ian Klaus, who now lives in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote for publications across the United States while he was in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in history at Harvard.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307276896
Author:
Klaus, Ian
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
Educators
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
International
Subject:
Biography-Educators
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.01 x 5 x .6 in .415 lb

Related Subjects

Biography » Educators
History and Social Science » Middle East » Kurds
History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

Elvis Is Titanic: Classroom Tales from Iraqi Kurdistan Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307276896 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In the spring of 2005, Klaus traveled from Turkey to Salahaddin University in Arbil, the largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is his poignant, funny, and uplifting story of the semester he spent there teaching U.S. history and English in the thick of the war.
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