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The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq

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The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq Cover

ISBN13: 9780156032797
ISBN10: 0156032791
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In August 2003, at the age of thirty, Rory Stewart took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad. A Farsi-speaking British diplomat who had recently completed an epic walk from Turkey to Bangladesh, he was soon appointed deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. He spent the next eleven months negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure for a population of millions teetering on the brink of civil war.

The Prince of the Marshes tells the story of Stewart's year. As a participant he takes us inside the occupation and beyond the Green Zone, introducing us to a colorful cast of Iraqis and revealing the complexity and fragility of a society we struggle to understand. By turns funny and harrowing, moving and incisive, it amounts to a unique portrait of heroism and the tragedy that intervention inevitably courts in the modern age.

Review:

"Soon after Stewart, a British diplomat and professional adventurer, traveled to Iraq late in 2003 to search for work, he was named a provincial governor. In characteristic understatement, he says of his new role: 'I spoke little Arabic, and had never managed a shattered and undeveloped province of 850,000.' His job was supposed to be easy: the province, Maysan, nestled along the Iranian border deep in Iraq's Shia south, was one of the country's most homogenous, and nearly all of its citizens had fought against Saddam. Stewart spent most of his time navigating through a byzantine and thoroughly unfamiliar political landscape of tribal leaders, Islamist militias, Communist dissidents and Iranian intelligence agents. When he asks an adviser in Baghdad what his goals should be, his friend responds that if, within a year, the province hasn't descended into anarchy and Stewart can serve him 'some decent ice cream,' he will be satisfied. Engrossing and often darkly humorous, his book should be required reading for every political commentator who knows exactly what to do in Iraq despite never having dealt with recalcitrant interpreters or an angry mob. In the end, Stewart prevails and is rewarded with an appointment to Dhi Qar, a much more dangerous province with less military support. 16 pages of photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In June 2003, a little more than two months after the fall of Saddam Hussein, I traveled to Majar al-Kabir, a small farming town in southeastern Iraq, after an angry mob of Shiite Muslims had set upon the local police station and killed six British soldiers. To cover the story, I interviewed a few dozen people who lived nearby, talked to British military officials — and met with Karim Mahoud Hattab,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Stewart was able to forge strong bonds with individual Arabs, and his description of his personal relations form the core of an interesting look at a region of Iraq rarely covered in the mass media." Booklist

Review:

"Despite its exotic setting, the story is strangely familiar. Will reward readers interested in the Iraq war, or disaster management, or anyone interested in taking an intelligent adventure." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The Prince of the Marshes is his rueful, richly detailed, often harrowing account of his yearlong efforts to build a new civil society from the ruins of the old Iraq." New York Times

Review:

"Stewart's exasperation with the cultural ignorance of C.P.A. directives is as manifest as his affectionate regard for the rhythms and customs of Arab life, a quality that often recalls an earlier generation of British travel writer." New Yorker

Synopsis:

"Important and instructive . . . [Stewart] lays bare the complexity of Americas and Britains mission in Iraq."—The Washington Post Book World

In August 2003, at the age of thirty, Rory Stewart took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad. A Farsi-speaking British diplomat, he was soon appointed deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. He spent the next eleven months negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure for a population of millions teetering on the brink of civil war.

 

The Prince of the Marshes tells the story of Stewarts year. By turns funny and harrowing, moving and incisive, this book amounts to a unique portrait of heroism and the tragedy that intervention inevitably courts in the modern age.

"Rueful, richly detailed, often harrowing . . . [Stewart] brings his yearlong diary to a conclusion with a thrilling shoot em-up, an Alamo-like last stand in Nasiriya."—The New York Times

"Rory Stewart can write . . . His spare, vivid prose serves him brilliantly . . . Theres sometimes something Monty Pythonesque about the way he sails gallantly, if not quite blindly, into danger."—The Seattle Times

RORY STEWART is the author of the national bestseller The Places in Between. A former infantry officer, diplomat in Indonesia and Yugoslavia, and Fellow at Harvards John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the British government for his services in Iraq. He now lives in Kabul.

Synopsis:

Stewart chronicles his 11 months of negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure in an impoverished region of southern Iraq.

About the Author

Rory Stewart has written for the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books, and is the author of The Places in Between. A former fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the British government for services in Iraq. He lives in Scotland.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Foreword

Dramatis Personae

Timeline

Introduction

Capitalist-Imperialist-Crusader

Waking Up Dead

Mordor

Part One: The Prince of the Marshes

The British Camp

Regeneration

The General

Civil Affairs

Persia

Ice Cream

Baklava

Pagoda

The Supervisory Committee

High Command

Part Two: Death of a Hero

Friday Prayers

And Would Not Stay for an Answer

Resolutions

Blood Money

Resignation

Summit

 

Part Three: Iraqi Pastoral

Al-Mutanabi Street

Rural Rides

Deputy

The Paths That Lead to Destruction

Import Substitution Industrialization

Jobs

Mutiny

Sheikhs

Precautions

The Islamic Call

Sadrines

Majority and Minority

Poet

Our Successors

Departures

Trust

A New Chief

Death by the Office Wall

Credibility

 

Part Four: Nasiriyah

Arrivals

Morning Meeting

A Second Governor

Sage of the Assembly

Mudhif

Ali Zeidi

Police

Echoes from the Frontiers

Kidnapped

Rewarding Friends

Foreign Elements

Return to the Green Zone

The Rule of Law

Part Five: Besieged

The Quick Reaction Force

Kabul

Reprise

Final Days

Leaders

Last Days in Amara

Handing Over

Afterword

Acknowledgments

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

kewarner, November 25, 2007 (view all comments by kewarner)
Rory Stewart’s “Prince Of The Marshes” is a stunning first-hand account of the failures and frequently disastrous results of the attempt at “nation-building” in Iraq, by the U.S. and its coalition partners. In 2003 Stewart was appointed Deputy Governor, in Maysan province, by the Coalition Provisional Authority. His directive was to build the basic infrastructure for a political system and public services. Stewart’s sincere and balanced attempts to fulfill these goals are blocked by continuous disconnects between Iraqi culture and values versus those of the coalition partners. Matters are further complicated by a bewildering cast of local characters, which include sheikhs, fakes, clerics, former baathists, competing political parties, militias and tribes, and of course The Prince Of The Marshes. A must read for anyone looking for some insight into why the democratization of Iraq has been such a disaster.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156032797
Author:
Stewart, Rory
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Author:
STEWART, RORY
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Peace
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
British
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Iraq War, 2003
Subject:
Iraq Description and travel.
Subject:
Biography-Political
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
One 8-page black-and-white photo insert
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.9 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Middle East » Iraq
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Travel » Travel Writing » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Middle East

The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156032797 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Soon after Stewart, a British diplomat and professional adventurer, traveled to Iraq late in 2003 to search for work, he was named a provincial governor. In characteristic understatement, he says of his new role: 'I spoke little Arabic, and had never managed a shattered and undeveloped province of 850,000.' His job was supposed to be easy: the province, Maysan, nestled along the Iranian border deep in Iraq's Shia south, was one of the country's most homogenous, and nearly all of its citizens had fought against Saddam. Stewart spent most of his time navigating through a byzantine and thoroughly unfamiliar political landscape of tribal leaders, Islamist militias, Communist dissidents and Iranian intelligence agents. When he asks an adviser in Baghdad what his goals should be, his friend responds that if, within a year, the province hasn't descended into anarchy and Stewart can serve him 'some decent ice cream,' he will be satisfied. Engrossing and often darkly humorous, his book should be required reading for every political commentator who knows exactly what to do in Iraq despite never having dealt with recalcitrant interpreters or an angry mob. In the end, Stewart prevails and is rewarded with an appointment to Dhi Qar, a much more dangerous province with less military support. 16 pages of photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Stewart was able to forge strong bonds with individual Arabs, and his description of his personal relations form the core of an interesting look at a region of Iraq rarely covered in the mass media."
"Review" by , "Despite its exotic setting, the story is strangely familiar. Will reward readers interested in the Iraq war, or disaster management, or anyone interested in taking an intelligent adventure."
"Review" by , "The Prince of the Marshes is his rueful, richly detailed, often harrowing account of his yearlong efforts to build a new civil society from the ruins of the old Iraq."
"Review" by , "Stewart's exasperation with the cultural ignorance of C.P.A. directives is as manifest as his affectionate regard for the rhythms and customs of Arab life, a quality that often recalls an earlier generation of British travel writer."
"Synopsis" by ,
"Important and instructive . . . [Stewart] lays bare the complexity of Americas and Britains mission in Iraq."—The Washington Post Book World

In August 2003, at the age of thirty, Rory Stewart took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad. A Farsi-speaking British diplomat, he was soon appointed deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. He spent the next eleven months negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure for a population of millions teetering on the brink of civil war.

 

The Prince of the Marshes tells the story of Stewarts year. By turns funny and harrowing, moving and incisive, this book amounts to a unique portrait of heroism and the tragedy that intervention inevitably courts in the modern age.

"Rueful, richly detailed, often harrowing . . . [Stewart] brings his yearlong diary to a conclusion with a thrilling shoot em-up, an Alamo-like last stand in Nasiriya."—The New York Times

"Rory Stewart can write . . . His spare, vivid prose serves him brilliantly . . . Theres sometimes something Monty Pythonesque about the way he sails gallantly, if not quite blindly, into danger."—The Seattle Times

RORY STEWART is the author of the national bestseller The Places in Between. A former infantry officer, diplomat in Indonesia and Yugoslavia, and Fellow at Harvards John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the British government for his services in Iraq. He now lives in Kabul.

"Synopsis" by , Stewart chronicles his 11 months of negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure in an impoverished region of southern Iraq.
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