Muqtada by Patrick Cockburn
al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq

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Time magazine listed him as one of its "100 People Who Shape Our World." Newsweek featured him on its cover under the headline "How Al-Sadr May Control U.S. Fate in Iraq." Paul Bremer denounced him as a "Bolshevik Islamist" and ordered that he be captured "dead or alive." Who is Muqtada al-Sadr, and why is he so vital to the future of Iraq and, arguably, the entire Middle East?

In this compellingly readable account, prize-winning journalist Patrick Cockburn tells the story of Muqtada's rise to become the leader of Iraq's poor Shi'ites and the resistance to the occupation. Cockburn looks at the killings by Saddam's executioners and hit men of the young cleric's father, two brothers, and father-in-law; his leadership of the seventy-thousand-strong Mehdi Army; the fierce rivalries between him and other Shia religious leaders; his complex relationship with the Iraqi government; and his frequent confrontations with the American military, including battles that took place in Najaf in 2004. The portrait that emerges is of a complex man and a sophisticated politician, who engages with religious and nationalist aspirations in a manner unlike any other Iraqi leader.

Cockburn, who was among the very few Western journalists to remain in Baghdad during the Gulf War and has been an intrepid reporter of Iraq ever since, draws on his extensive firsthand experience in the country to produce a book that is richly interwoven with the voices of Iraqis themselves. His personal encounters with the Mehdi Army include a tense occasion when he was nearly killed at a roadblock outside the city of Kufa.

Though it often reads like an adventure story, Muqtada is also a work of painstaking research and measured analysis that leads to a deeper understanding both of one of the most critical conflicts in the world today and of the man who may well be a decisive voice in determining the future of Iraq when the Americans eventually leave.

About Patrick Cockburn

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Patrick Cockburn is Iraq correspondent for the Independent in London. He has received the Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting, the James Cameron Award, and the Orwell Prize for Journalism. He is the author of Muqtada, about war and rebellion in Iraq; The Occupation (shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2007); The Broken Boy, a memoir; and with Andrew Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein. Henry Cockburn was born in London and raised in Canterbury, where he attended King's School and received several awards for his artwork.  In 2002, during his first year studying art at Brighton University, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  He recently moved out of a rehabilitation center to begin living independently.
Published April 8, 2008 by Scribner. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, War, Travel, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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Cockburn (The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq), a veteran Middle East correspondent for The Independent, knew the Iraq occupation was doomed when, in 2004, his Irish passport saved him from cer

Mar 31 2008 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...


Women risking their lives to surve in this country and they are being raped and killed by “our american heros.” They are taught the army values, and the warrior ethos but they kill and rape the women who are fighting for our country?.

Aug 26 2008 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...


If your only news about Iraq came from The New York Times, you would think that the war in Iraq is now indistinguishable from the initial stage of the war in Afghanistan — that we are there fighting against the people who hijacked those planes and flew them into our buildings: “Al Qaeda.”.

Jun 22 2007 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...


Israel is an anomaly – not because of something in the Jewish culture, but because it was an artificially contrived country (despite its biblical antecedent), created and secured by European powers, populated by European- and American-trained exiles, and run by a single “tribe.” Everywhere else i...

Mar 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...


According to the Department of Defense, 41 of the 99 U.S. military women who have been killed in Iraq died in “noncombat-related incidents.” Of the 99 U.S. military women killed in the Iraq theater, 41 were women of color (21 African-Americans, 16 Latinas, three of Asian-Pacific descent and one ...

Aug 26 2008 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...


(and everybody hates the Kurds - joke - but who have lived “autonomously” under our protection from Saddam and with our aid for the last almost 20 years ...) .

May 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...

The contractor the Obama U.S. State Department hired for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)of the northern half of TransCanada’sKeystone XL (KXL) tar sands export pipeline overtly lied on its conflict-of-interest disclosure form that it signed and handed to State in June 2012.

Jul 11 2013 | Read Full Review of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the...

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