War Reporting for Cowards by Chris Ayres

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Chris Ayres is a small-town boy, a hypochondriac, and a neat freak with an anxiety disorder. Not exactly the picture of a war correspondent. But when his boss asks him if he would like to go to Iraq, he doesn't have the guts to say no.
After signing a $1 million life-insurance policy, studying a tutorial on repairing severed limbs, and spending $20,000 in camping gear (only to find out that his bright yellow tent makes him a sitting duck), Ayres is embedded with a battalion of gung ho Marines who either shun him or threaten him when he files an unfavorable story. As time goes on, though, he begins to understand them (and his inexplicably enthusiastic fellow war reporters) more and more: Each night of terrifying combat brings, in the morning, something more visceral than he has ever experienced-the thrill of having won a fight for survival.
In the tradition of M*A*S*H, Catch-22, and other classics in which irreverence springs from life in extremis, War Reporting for Cowards tells the story of Iraq in a way that is extraordinarily honest, heartfelt, and bitterly hilarious.

About Chris Ayres

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Chris Ayres was born in 1975. He joined The Times (London) in 1997 and was a media business correspondent before moving to Los Angeles, where he is currently the paper's L.A. correspondent.
Published July 10, 2005 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for War Reporting for Cowards

Kirkus Reviews

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London Times journalist Ayres reluctantly joins the “elite, noble, and fucked-up profession” of Middle East war correspondent in this report from the frontlines.

Jun 15 2005 | Read Full Review of War Reporting for Cowards

The New York Times

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In his account of his experience in Iraq, Chris Ayres revives the tradition of comic war reporting.

Jul 24 2005 | Read Full Review of War Reporting for Cowards

Publishers Weekly

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He reported from Iraq for the London Times from 2002 to 2003 and asserts that he takes no point of view on the war, yet the tone of his story is highly uncritical of the war, and his epilogue (alas, now hopelessly out of date) puts the U.S. firmly in control of the battlefield and describes the ...

Jun 20 2005 | Read Full Review of War Reporting for Cowards

BC Books

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I was working for The Times during the period covered by the bulk of War Reporting for Cowards, and I know all of the people in the London office about whom Chris Ayres writes, although I never met him.

Sep 13 2005 | Read Full Review of War Reporting for Cowards

Austin Chronicle

The siren from the logo of a certain ubiquitous coffee chain proves a harsh mistress in War Reporting for Cowards, Chris Ayres' funny and frightening memoir of his brief tenure as an unwilling, unwitting embed for Rupert Murdoch's London Times in the early, pre-Mission Accomplished days of the wa...

Sep 02 2005 | Read Full Review of War Reporting for Cowards

News Review.

After he witnessed people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center on September 11, he received this charming assignment from an editor: “Thousand wds please on ‘I saw people fall to death, etc…’” While reluctant to weigh in on the debate surrounding the war, Ayres is forthright whe...

Aug 25 2005 | Read Full Review of War Reporting for Cowards

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