Synopses & Reviews
James Verini arrived in Iraq in the summer of 2016 to write about life in the Islamic State. He stayed to cover the jihadis' last great stand, the Battle of Mosul, not knowing it would go on for nearly a year, nor that it would become, in the words of the Pentagon, "the most significant urban combat since WWII."
They Will Have to Die Now takes the reader into the heart of the conflict against the most lethal insurgency of our time. We see unspeakable violence, improbable humanity, and occasional humor. We meet an Iraqi major fighting his way through the city with a bad leg; a general who taunts snipers; an American sergeant who removes his glass eye to unnerve his troops; a pair of Moslawi brothers who welcomed the Islamic State, believing, as so many Moslawis did, that it might improve their shattered lives. Verini also relates the rich history of Iraq, and of Mosul, one of the most beguiling cities in the Middle East.
"A deadly accurate, richly illuminating, profoundly saddening work." Gen. Merrill McPeak, US Air Force Chief of Staff, Ret.
"An urgent, scalding, hallucinatory work of war reportage, in the tradition of Michael Herr and Philip Gourevitch. His account...captures the horror, the nobility, and the sheer grinding absurdity of twenty-first-century warfare...A significant achievement." Patrick Radden Keefe, New York Times best-selling author of Say Nothing
"This is such an important and deeply nuanced book. Verini paints absolutely convincing portraits of the Iraqi soldiers trying to take their broken country back, and in humanizing them, he joins the ranks of Liebling and Pyle and Gellhorn — American journalists able to embed so selflessly with soldiers, to listen first and theorize rarely, to tell a story as it happened." Dave Eggers, best-selling author of Zeitoun, A Hologram for the King, and The Circle
"This is a stunning book, brave in its reporting and beautiful in its writing. It is funny and sad and seared into me, and I can't recommend it highly enough, not just to people interested in the truth of a war but to anyone in search of the truth of humanity." David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Washington Post and author of The Good Soldiers
"Tough, smart, and vivid, this is a book that renders war and battle with the deft hand of a fine writer. It will haunt you, engage you, and stay with you." Susan Orlean, New York Times best-selling author of The Orchid Thief
About the Author
James Verini is a Contributing Writer at the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. He has also written for The New Yorker, The Atavist, and other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award and a George Polk Award.