The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq


By (author) Patrick Cockburn


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  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 193mm x 20mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 184467164X
  • ISBN 13: 9781844671649
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Updated.
  • Sales rank: 262,607

Product description

In February 2003, Patrick Cockburn secretly crossed the Tigris river from Syria into Iraq just before the US/British invasion, and has covered the war ever since. In The Occupation, he provides a vivid and disturbing picture of a country in turmoil, and the dangers and privations endured by its people. The Occupation explores the mosaic of communities in Iraq, the US and Britain's failure to understand the country they were invading and how this led to fatal mistakes. Cockburn, who has been visiting Iraq since 1978, describes the disintegration of the country under the occupation. Travelling throughout Iraq, from the Kurdish north, to Baghdad, Falluja and Basra, he records the response of the country's population Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd to the invasion, the growth of the resistance and its transformation into a full-scale uprising. He explains why deepening religious and ethnic divisions drove the country towards civil war. Above all, Cockburn traces how the occupation's failure led to the collapse of the country, and the high price paid by Iraqis. He charts the impact of savage sectarian killings, rampant corruption and economic chaos on everyday life: from the near destruction of Baghdad's al-Mutanabi book market to the failure to supply electricity, water and, ironically, fuel to Iraq's population. The Occupation is a compelling portrait of a ravaged country, and the appalling consequences of imperial arrogance.

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Author information

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, has been visiting Iraq since 1978. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. He is the author of The Broken Boy, a memoir, and, with Andrew Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein.

Review quote

"Patrick is one of the most courageous men I've ever met, though you'd never guess from his modest, gentle, quizzical, quirky manner. The book is brief, simple, but immensely powerful. It explains how utterly Washington misunderstood Iraq from the start and how it deluded itself ever after. It contains many arresting, wholly memorable accounts of life in Baghdad as it is actually lived. Patrick took many terrible risks to write it. The least you can do is read it." - Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday "Required reading...a masterpiece of journalism." - A.N. Wilson, The Evening Standard "Deeply informed, lucid account of Iraq which will stand the test of time." - Independent "A necessary book." - The Guardian"

Back cover copy

National Book Critics' Circle Award Finalist