I Lost My Love in Baghdad by Michael Hastings
A Modern War Story

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Synopsis

At age twenty-five, Michael Hastings arrived in Baghdad to cover the war in Iraq for Newsweek. He had at his disposal a little Hemingway romanticism and all the apparatus of a twenty-first-century reporter -- cell phones, high-speed Internet access, digital video cameras, fixers, drivers, guards, translators. In startling detail, he describes the chaos, the violence, the never-ending threats of bomb and mortar attacks, the front lines that can be a half mile from the Green Zone, that can be anywhere. This is a new kind of war: private security companies follow their own rules or lack thereof; soldiers in combat get instant messages from their girlfriends and families; members of the Louisiana National Guard watch Katrina's decimation of their city on a TV in the barracks.

Back in New York, Hastings had fallen in love with Andi Parhamovich, a young idealist who worked for Air America. A year into their courtship, Andi followed Michael to Iraq, taking a job with the National Democratic Institute. Their war-zone romance is another window into life in Baghdad. They call each other pet names; they make plans for the future; they fight, usually because each is fearful for the other's safety; and they try to figure out how to get together, when it means putting bodyguards and drivers in jeopardy.Then Andi goes on a dangerous mission for her new employer -- a meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters that ends in catastrophe.

Searing, unflinching, and revelatory, I Lost My Love in Baghdad is both a raw, brave, brilliantly observed account of the war and a heartbreaking story of one life lost to it.
 

About Michael Hastings

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Michael Hastings was born in Burlington, Vermont on January 28, 1980. He graduated from New York University in 2002. At the age of 25, Newsweek assigned him to cover the war in Iraq. While there, he lost his girlfriend, Andi Parhamovich, who died in an ambush by Sunni extremists. Shortly after returning home, he turned his Iraq experiences and Parhamovich's death into a draft of the book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad. He later became a reporter for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed. During his career, he wrote an expose of American drone attacks, interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and looked at the Army's use of "psychological operations" to influence sitting senators. His 2010 Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal, The Runaway General, exposed the general and his staff's disdain for their superiors, ranging from National Security Advisor James L. Jones to Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. He won the George Polk Award for magazine reporting and later wrote a book about McChrystal and his time in the war zone entitled The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan. He also reported on the presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. He died in a car crash on June 18, 2013 at the age of 33.
 
Published April 8, 2008 by Scribner. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for I Lost My Love in Baghdad

The New York Times

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On the other hand, the institute couldn’t have hoped to achieve anything in Iraq if it had refused to work with outfits like the Iraqi Islamic Party, the country’s largest Sunni party, led by men with — in Iraqi terms — somewhat moderate views.

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The New York Times

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A moment before when life was normal, when life was good, when I was in Baghdad with Andi and my career was skyrocketing and I was writing stories about the war, when we were planning trips to Paris, to Budapest, to Istanbul, when I looked at a diamond ring in Dubai, when I got an American Expres...

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Publishers Weekly

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In his powerful debut, a young Newsweek reporter details two tumultuous years covering the war while falling in love with his long-distance girlfriend Andi, who would join him in Iraq only to be killed in a botched kidnapping.

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Bookmarks Magazine

and they try to figure out how to get together, when it means putting bodyguards and drivers in jeopardy.Then Andi goes on a dangerous mission for her new employer -- a meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters that ends in catastrophe.Searing, unflinching, and revelatory, "I Lost My Lov...

Apr 20 2008 | Read Full Review of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A ...

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