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ISBN:0374299633
Author: George Packer
ISBN13: 978-0374299637
Title: The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq
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ePUB size: 1886 kb
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Language: English
Category: Middle East
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (October 15, 2005)
Pages: 480

The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer



The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerrilla war in Iraq.

Personal Name: Packer, George, 1960-. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book The assassins' gate : America in Iraq, George Packer.

The Assassins' Gate book. The Assassins’ Gate also describes the place of the war in American life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier ’s family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking.

The great strength of George Packer's book is that it gives a fair hearing to both views. Free of cant-but not, crucially, of anger-Mr. As a pocket history of Iraq and the United States' tangled history, it's indispensable. As an examination of the collision between arrogance and good intentions, it could scarcely be improved upon.

The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq is a non-fiction book detailing the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath by American journalist George Packer, otherwise best known for his writings in The New Yorker. He published the work through Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2005.

This is the story of insidious foreign policy making of the George W. Bush’s administration that would leave irreversible scars on America’s reputation in the world and on the geopolitics of the Middle East. The author has drawn his seminal work on the thesis of how abstract ideas initiated by a bunch of senior executives shaped the policies of the President of the United States.

The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq. THE ASSASSINS' GATE: AMERICA IN IRAQ recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq. The Assassins' Gate also describes the place of the war in American life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier's family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking.

America’s 2003 entrance into the second Gulf War and the aftermath of that invasion. So day after day I put the book back down, and turned to other, easier reads. It may not be a pleasurable read. But, in its defense, it is a nuanced read, and one of the few books that is comprehensive enough to honor the complexity of history, politics, and ideology in the Middle East. What makes the book stand out is Packer’s evident desire to explore diverse viewpoints about the current situation in Iraq. This desire is in evidence from the very first pages of The Assassins’ Gate, which he opens not with interviews with American politicians or military personnel, but rather by introducing Iraqi exile Kanan Makiya (author of Republic of Fear, a book about life in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, which was published in 1989 and became a bestseller after the dictator’s 1990 invasion.

THE ASSASSINS’ GATE: AMERICA IN IRAQ recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq. It brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration’s war policy and led America to the Assassins’ Gate—the main point of entry into the American zone in Baghdad. The consequences of that policy are shown in the author’s brilliant reporting on the ground in Iraq, where he made four tours on assignment for The New Yorker. We see up close the struggles of American soldiers and civilians and Iraqis from all backgrounds, thrown together by a war that followed none of the preconceived scripts.The Assassins' Gate also describes the place of the war in American life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier’s family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking. George Packer’s first-person narrative combines the scope of an epic history with the depth and intimacy of a novel, creating a masterful account of America’s most controversial foreign venture since Vietnam. George Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of several books, most recently Blood of the Liberals, winner of the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Award. He is also the editor of the anthology The Fight Is for Democracy. He lives in Brooklyn. Winner of the Overseas Press Club's Cornelius Ryan Award for Best Nonfiction Book on International AffairsWinner of the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book AwardA New York Times Best Book of the YearA New York Times Notable BookA Chicago Tribune Best Book of the YearA Boston Globe Best Book of the YearA Washington Post Best Book of the YearA San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerilla war in Iraq. It brings to life the people and ideas that created the Bush administration's war policy and led America to the Assassins' Gate—the main point of entry into the American zone in Baghdad. The consequences of that policy are shown in the author's reporting on the ground in Iraq, where he made four tours on assignment for The New Yorker. We see up close the struggles of American soldiers and civilians and Iraqis from all backgrounds, thrown together by a war that followed none of the preconceived scripts. The Assassins' Gate also describes the place of the war in America life: the ideological battles in Washington that led to chaos in Iraq, the ordeal of a fallen soldier's family, and the political culture of a country too bitterly polarized to realize such a vast and morally complex undertaking. George Packer's first-person narrative combines the scope of an epic history with the depth and intimacy of a novel, creating a masterful account of America's most controversial foreign venture since Vietnam. "A comprehensive look at the largest foreign policy gamble in a generation, by a New Yorker reporter who traces the full arc of the war, from the pre-invasion debate through the action on the ground."—The New York Time Book Review "A comprehensive look at the largest foreign policy gamble in a generation, by a New Yorker reporter who traces the full arc of the war, from the pre-invasion debate through the action on the ground."—The New York Time Book Review "Masterful . . . Packer's sketch of the prewar debates is subtle, sharp and poignant . . . His reporting from Iraq was always good, but the book is even better, putting the reader at the side of Walter Benjamin's angel of history, watching helplessly as the wrechage unfolds at his feet."—Gideon Rose, The Washington Post Book World "A deftly constructed and eloquently told account of the war's origins and aftermath . . . Although he works in snapshots and anecdotes, every time an image might allow him to settle into a simple conclusion about the war's worthiness, he turns his attention—and his considerable powers of description and dramatization—to another image that points to the opposite conclusion. The cumulative effect is a wrenching cognitive dissonance—the kind, Packer observes, that few Americans can stand but with which Iraqis live every day . . . Packer makes it deeply human and maddeningly vivid."—Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, Los Angeles Book Review "[Packer] has succeeded in creating a book that is not only relevant but discerning and provocative. Using on-the-ground reporting and a talent for storytelling, he offers the vivid detail and balanced analysis that have made him one of the leading chroniclers of the Iraq war."—Yonatan Lupu, San Francisco Chronicle "Packer covers the same ground as the other authors — the war dreamed up by fevered minds in Washington, the strange world of diaspora politics, the lack of planning in the Department of Defense, the occupation, and the insurgency — but he does it from the perspective of a journalist rather than of a participant. The result is a beautifully written, poignant, and fair-minded narrative of two dreams deferred."—Mark Leonard, The Chronicle of Higher Education "Read George Packer's book The Assassin's Gate . . . And I wish . . . I had been able to help George Packer write that book. In some places I could have given him a hell of a lot more specifics . . . But if you want to read how the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal flummoxed the process, read that book. And, of course, there are other names in there, Under Secretary of Defense Doug Feith, whom most of you probably know Tommy Frank said was the 'stupidest blankety blank man in the world.' He was. Let me testify to that. He was. Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man. And yet, and yet, after the Secretary of State agrees to a $400 billion department, rather than a $30 billion department, having control, at least in the immediate post-war period in Iraq, this man is put in charge. Not only is he put in charge, he is given carte blanche to tell the State Department to go screw themselves in a closet somewhere. That's not making excuses for the State Department. That's telling you how decisions were made and telling you how things got accomplished. Read George's book."—Larry Wilkerson "A brilliant new book."—Richard Holbrooke, The Washington Post "[Packer's] own reportage of the effects of the war on the individuals involved . . . [is] much fresher and more compelling."—The Boston Globe "Brutal analyses and trenchant on-the-spot reportage for the New Yorker magazine over the past two years provide the core of this devastating critique . . . Mr. Packer brilliantly describes the evolving mindset of the neoconservatives who took hold of policy towards Iraq in the run-up to the war, as well as the hopes and arguments of their assorted Iraqi allies in exile . . . Where he scores most is in his portraying the psychology of Iraqis, their ambivalence to the liberation/occupation . . . . Mr. Packer empathizes with them in all their diversity, drawing a remarkable cast of sharply defined characters."—The Economist "George Packer, a staff writer for The New Yorker, blends on-the-scene reporting and thoughtful analysis in a sobering account of the unfinished war in Iraq and its impact on Americans and Iraqis. He cheers the demise of Saddam, while questioning a war with deep roots in history, but far from inevitable."—USA Today "The Assassins' Gate is almost certain to stand as the most comprehensive journalistic account of the greatest foreign-policy debacle in U.S. history . . . the best book yet about the Iraq war . . . Packer is a rare combination: an excellent reporter, a sophisticated analyst and a fine writer. He was also ubiquitous. No other journalist can match the breadth of Packer's Iraq coverage . . . exceptional—varied, empathetic and intelligent . . . The Assassins' Gate is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the terrible predicament in which we now find ourselves, how we got there, and why we must not repeat the same tragic mistake."—Gary Kamiya, Salon "Wrenching dispatches from the heart of the war that won't end."—New York Magazine "The great strength of George Packer's book is that it gives a fair hearing to both views. Free of cant—but not, crucially, of anger—Mr. Packer has written an account of the Iraq war that will stand alongside such narrative histories as A Bright Shining Lie, Fire in the Lake and Hell in a Very Small Place. As a meditation on the limits of American power, it's sobering. As a pocket history of Iraq and the United States' tangled history, it's indispensible. As an examination of the collision between arrogance and goo...
Reviews: 7
Love Me
Packer is one of those writers that, if I see his name on anything printed, I'll stop to read his thoughts. This book, which does a great job at taking the reader through all the stages that lead to the Iraq War and then through the mismanagement of this great achievement (to topple Saddam with very little bloodshed on both sides) did something very meaningful for me. I didn't support the war when it took place and was dismayed to see what has happened to Iraq under, during, and after the American involvement. But I was fairly ignorant of the who and why and for what. If you'd have asked me in real time I would have most likely said that the war is (only) about oil and that president Bush is, to quote Packer, "not very curious about the world". Now I know better, the war was (also) about oil, but also about big ideas and the future of the world and simple faith that America can make great and positive things happen in our complex and bogged down world. I'm not sure much of that faith will be around in the next decades. In a very bleak and ashen way this book makes the reader believe once more that big ideas do actually matter, perhaps because of the time given in it to Kanan Makiya. Who remains a powerful figure throughout the years this book covers.
spacebreeze
A lot of ink has been spilled over Iraq during the past four years, and for good reason. With any subject so controversial and contested, there will obviously be a lot of polemical and harmful writing from both sides of the argument, but thankfully, a lot of well-informed and intelligent writing as well. With so much out there, sifting through it all can be demanding, but anyone that comes across The Assassins' Gate will have in their hands one of the true gems on the subject. If you are only going to read one book on what is currently happening in Iraq, I passionately believe that this should be the book.

It's hard to tell exactly what you're going to get just by looking at the title and what's on the back cover, but I can assure you that all of the comments on the back (made by some of the most respected foreign policy critics) are dead on in their assessment. What you'll find in this book is the story of how the U.S. (again) found itself in Iraq. The beginning chapters foucs on the decision making process; who was making them and how. This is perhaps the most well-written and intelligent description of these events, and I have read more than several of them. You will gain more insight on how we got into this war from reading Packer's book than from perhaps anywhere else. He gives the reader wonderful character sketches of people like Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan, and Kanan Makiya. These are the people that really had a large hand in what was happening, and by focusing on them rather than the bigger names like Bush or Rumsfeld, Packer does a much better job at explaining these events than his peers.

The rest of the book deals with Packer's personal experiences in Iraq during the war. Each chapter deals with a different theme, such as the insurgency & the potential for a civil war, and while the scope of what's covered in the bulk of the book is somewhat more narrow than the first three or four chapters, Packer still gives the reader a very satisfying account of the war as a whole.

This book's biggest strenght is that it blends nearly flawless political analysis with the readability of a novel. Packer is a superb writer and I found it very hard to put this book down. From an academic point of view the book is close to flawless. This in itself is very impressive, because it does not appear that Packer had much previous experience with Iraq. I've read the works of those considered to be area experts and some of them can't even hold a match to Packer's work here. This is exciting and depressing all at once.

I found this book to be particularly good because it also fit perfectly with my own personal feelings about the war. As someone that wanted to see Hussein gone, I had to support the idea of removing him (and still do). But beyond that initial decision, the way the Bush administration handled the war has been negligent at best, criminal at worst. Packer has not written a polemical rant here, but by the end of his book, he lets you know that very real and harmful mistakes have been made. He occupies that well-intentioned, but pragmatic middle ground that this debate so sorely needs.

This book will appeal to casual observers and serious analysts alike. While books by Diamond and Feldman that cover similar themes are also excellent and should be read, Packer's book is by far the best, and I believe that no one can claim to truly have a grasp on what's happening in Iraq unless they have read this book. We can only hope that Packer will continue to produce work of such extraordinarily high quality on this and other foreign policy issues.
Ger
Whatever else, and whatever the outcome, the Iraq War will most likely go down in history as one of America's most ambivalent wars. Those who in the 1990s regretted America's attention to nation-building assumed the task themselves, and those who complained about the country's courtship of dictatorship in the Middle East opposed the greatest possible infusion of liberty in the region. In the political campaign which preceded the war, the world's greatest superpower (and for many the greatest force for freedom in the world) lost a public relations battle to one of the world's most brutal and homicidal dictators.

It is difficult to capture the subtlety and variety of the intellectual and political background which culminated in the Iraq war. It involves debates about America's power, about international law, and about the state of affairs in the Middle East; it is also a discussion about what war can accomplish and whether democracy has be imposed from abroad.

It takes a gifted writer to navigate through this complexity without falling back on partisan attacks and superficial arguments. And it takes an honest narrator to strike a balance between the arguments of the war's proponents and opponents-to balance between the apparent incompetence of the Republican administration in managing Iraq's postwar transition with the inadequacy of the Democrats either to offer an alternative path or to oppose the war in a convincing and coherent way that would reassure the American public as well as win the war.

George Packer, of the New Yorker, accomplishes this task, in part because he is writing about his own feelings (he calls himself a pro-war liberal), and in part because he speaks to a great number of people who felt inspired by the war but who also became progressively disillusioned by it. The "Assassins' Gate" is told through various people, Americans and Iraqis, who capture the range of the story unfolding there (ether Iraqi exiles, American administrators or military, Iraqi Sunnis, Shia or Kurds, etc.). If journalism is the first draft of history, the "Assassins' Gate" is both a very good draft and one that future writers will read to gain a great insight into the war, its genesis and its immediate aftermath.