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Paperback A Fist in the Hornet's Nest: On the Ground in Baghdad Before, During and After the War Book

ISBN: 1401307620

ISBN13: 9781401307622

A Fist in the Hornet's Nest: On the Ground in Baghdad Before, During and After the War

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Book Overview

Now in paperback, an insightful book that answers the questions that America wants answered. Based on his private journals and his public interviews, A Fist in the Hornet's Nest is Richard Engel's harrowing, fascinating, and informative view of Iraq from street level. Through his wartime reportage, Engel has emerged as one of the preeminent journalists of his generation and an invaluable source on Middle Eastern affairs. For those in search of an...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"It's the correct way,but also the most difficult approach.

This is a quick read about the climate in Iraq leading up to and including the war.Although the ideas and factions are numerous,varied and never ending ; volumes could be written about this subject.This book gives a bird-eye view,one person expression and experiences.Other than being a "I was there when it happened",the reader should not expect this book to reveal any great insight into the mentality of the Arab world.It shows how the whole society is warped and overflowing with hate and revenge. Of course; we believe that it would be wonderful if they would see that living in freedom and peace would be preferred to the present quagmire. As Engel said ""In Iraq,truth was relative and seldom helpful." When a society has lived with the concept of gratitude is gimmie and gotcha;it's a long road to peace and freedom. Peace and Freedom will not come from endless rhetoric but from truth,trust and justice;a very rare commodity in Iraq. Hope without action produces nothing.

I felt I was in Iraq.

The author, a comparatively young man, is an independent journalist self taught and proficient in Arabic language and culture. Because of that skill he saw and understood things other reporters did not. He was present in Iraq before, during, and after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. He writes the most objective description of what happened in Iraq that I have read, and I have read a lot. When you read this book you feel like you are there. I rate his reporting at the level of the Wall Street Journal and Christian Science Monitor. He's neither pro- nor anti-American. He just explains what happened. He frequently explains the situation through the eyes of the average Iraqi. He provides a tight focus between the pro-American embedded reporters and the practically Anti Americanism of larger US media. I don't know if Richard Engel, the author is a liberal, independent, or conservative, and that's the way it should be. When you finish this book you have a sense of being there and seeing the event through your own eyes. I liked that. I recommend this book for the general reader, members of the military, students age 16 plus, the clergy, businessmen, members of Congress, practically anyone interested in an unbiased understanding of the US involvement in Iraq. The book is a report not a lecture. It was a pleasure to read a book printed without errors. Thank you Hyperion Press.

The right place at the right time

Richard Engel's new book, "A Fist in the Hornet's Nest", gives us a rare look into Iraq at the time of last year's American invasion. Nicely setting the tone of pre-war Iraq, Engel then takes us down the path of a city...Baghdad... in the sudden throes of war. Combining ingenuity, "street smarts" and a certain amount of luck, he gives us a view that no embedded correspondent could have done....a view that incorporates ordinary Iraqis going about their daily life with the inevitable hardships that they faced, and still do. The author is not shy about revealing his own thoughts regarding the American attack and occupation, but he does so in a way that offers perspectives based on what he saw, the people with whom he spoke and his general knowledge of the Middle East, having lived there prior to April, 2003. "A Fist in the Hornet's Nest" could be more rightly described as a journal although he doesn't proceed in an exact timeline format. Richard Engel's writing is crisp and articulate and moves forward with a sense of urgency. He has provided a valuable addition to the history of this war and an assessment of where it might go.

Stunning, absorbing, vivid

Richard Engel's "A Fist in the Hornet's Nest" is a stunning book, as absorbing for me as the Richard Halliburton books that I read and reread in my youth. Engel's own saga of living in the Cairo slums to learn the language and the culture is remarkable; and his decision then to move to Iraq without prospects of employment is courageous. The writing is intelligent and illuminating and yet so unpretentious I had the feeling that I was listening to a close friend describing the realities of a living adventure.I am left with vivid images of the writer's relationships with shopkeepers, drivers, secret agents, terrorists, thieves, Iraqi top officials and the military.The book is comprehensive, providing as it does, a knowledgeable exploration of the causes, problems and future issues that grip Iraq.I recommend it enthusiastically.William H. Kaven , Ph.D.Professor Emeritus, Economics and Marketing, Cornell UniversityIthaca, New York

The Whole Story

It was enjoyable to read a book that was comprehensive, entertaining, insightful and most importantly conclusive. I really enjoyed learning the end to stories that were shown on the news. It was also a delight to have a behind the scenes look into the world of jounalists. As with many things, it may seem glamorous, but the reality of it is completely different
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