The Assassins' Gate by George Packer
America in Iraq

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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.


About George Packer

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George Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, which received numerous prizes and was named one of the ten best books of 2005 by The New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and two other works of nonfiction, The Village of Waiting and Blood of the Liberals, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His play, Betrayed, ran in Manhattan for five months in 2008 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. His most recent book is Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade. He lives in Brooklyn.
Published May 6, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 506 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Non-fiction

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Oct 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Assassins' Gate: America ...

Kirkus Reviews

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Bush got into office, Packer observes, though Bush had non-intellectual reasons of his own for wanting to overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein.

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The New York Times

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In his chronicle of the Iraq war, George Packer describes a poorly planned and executed takeover of Iraq.

Oct 30 2005 | Read Full Review of The Assassins' Gate: America ...

Publishers Weekly

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(I should confess that I myself make an appearance at this stage and, to my frustration, can find nothing to quarrel with.) The argument within the administration was not quite so intellectual, but Packer takes us through it with insight and verve, giving an excellent account in particular of the...

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