Synopses & Reviews
In February 2003, Patrick Cockburn secretly crossed the Tigris river from Syria into Iraq just before the US/British invasion, and has covered the war ever since. In The Occupation
, he provides a vivid and disturbing picture of a country in turmoil, and the dangers and privations endured by its people.
The Occupation explores the mosaic of communities in Iraq, the US and Britain’s failure to understand the country they were invading and how this led to fatal mistakes. Cockburn, who has been visiting Iraq since 1978, describes the disintegration of the country under the occupation. Travelling throughout Iraq, from the Kurdish north, to Baghdad, Falluja and Basra, he records the response of the country’s population - Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd - to the invasion, the growth of the resistance and its transformation into a full-scale uprising. He explains why deepening religious and ethnic divisions drove the country towards civil war.
Above all, Cockburn traces how the occupation’s failure led to the collapse of the country, and the high price paid by Iraqis. He charts the impact of savage sectarian killings, rampant corruption and economic chaos on everyday life: from the near destruction of Baghdad’s al-Mutanabi book market to the failure to supply electricity, water and, ironically, fuel to Iraq’s population.
The Occupation is a compelling portrait of a ravaged country, and the appalling consequences of imperial arrogance.
A wealth of telling detail. --New York Times
Cockburn's account of the evolving conflict ... is informed by his keen personal observations and understanding of the complexities and horrors of daily life in Iraq. --Library Journal
Of the raft of books about the calamitous mismanagement of the intervention in Iraq, The Occupation is probably the most readable and certainly the only one that—even if only in the driest possible way—manages to be amusing. --Christopher Hitchens
A masterpiece of journalism. --A. N. Wilson
From the front line itself, the brilliant and brave Patrick Cockburn has produced one of the best books of the year. --Evening Standard
Brilliantly told... No Western reporter knows the country better. --John Freeman
A necessary book.
One of the most accurate and intrepid journalists in Iraq. --Sidney Blumenthal
A National Book Critics' Circle Award Finalist: A compelling, masterly portrait of a country ravaged by foreign occupation.
In March 2003, Patrick Cockburn traveled secretly to Iraq just before the invasion, and has covered the war from inside the country ever since. In this devastating, courageous and highly acclaimed book, he describes the fighting on the ground as Saddam's armies collapsed, the looting of Baghdad, the many failures of the US occupation, the springs of the resistance and how it turned into a full-scale uprising, and the country's collapse into civil war. In this new edition, brought completely up to date in a new chapter, Cockburn explores the impact of the "surge" of US forces into the country. Book of the Year for 2006 in the Guardian, Observer, Evening Standard, Mail on Sunday and Glasgow Herald.
National Book Critics' Circle Award Finalist
A compelling, masterly portrait of a country revaged by foreign occupation.
About the Author
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent of Independent, has been visiting Iraq since 1978. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. He is the author of The Broken Boy, a memoir, and, with Andrew Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein.