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The Wars Against Saddam: Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad Paperback – Unabridged, 2 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (2 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330418904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330418904
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 558,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

...by far the most comprehensive and readable account to date... Simpson remains a reporter who cares. -- Christina Lamb in Sunday Times, October 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs Editor. He has twice been the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year and won countless other major television awards. He has written several books, including his three volumes of autobiography, Strange Places, Questionable People, A Mad World, My Masters and News from No Man's Land .

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By helloitsmefolks on 5 Jan 2004
Format: Hardcover
John Simpson seems to go to places now one else will go. He can talk himself out of the most dangerous situations, taking the reader on a journey through the hotspots of the world.
His journalism in this book is top class. He gives both sides of the story, we need that. Its nothing to do with being anti this or pro that, it is to do with the realism of situations. John Simpson describes Saddam with great clarity, his egotism, his cruelty, his want of being the next Nasser, leader of Arab Nations. It all came to nought with the power of American forces after September 11th.
John described how he and his crew had been bombed and the guilt of losing his translator. Reporting away from the embedded reporters was the only way he could report what he thought was going on. That it was dangerous being a free reporter in a war torn Iraq, and how many other reporters did not come back alive.
Thank goodness, he came back alive to tell us his thoughts and experiences.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Justin on 22 Mar 2004
Format: Hardcover
There have already been many books published about the Second Gulf War. Many of these have been written by people who were there and actually witnessed the events unfolding. Some were even written by those who witnessed the action. But how many of these people can claim to have have not only witnessed these events but fallen victim to them? How many can claim to have not only witnessed the events of the Second Gulf War but been in Baghdad during the First Gulf War and even witnessed the massacre by Chemical Ali at Halabjah during the Iran-Iraq war? There are obviously some but not many, and certainly not many with several decades of journalistic experience to recount on. John Simpson has. There's one thing witnessing an event from the sidelines but it's quite another thing to have actually been there and fall victim at that. Apart from giving a very interesting and authoritive history to Iraq and Saddam's regime of terror, John Simpson recounts in vivid and sometimes disturbing detail how he witnessed the gassing at Halabjah and was then gassed himself, how he stayed in Baghdad in 1991 when hundreds of journalists packed up and fled and, perhaps more emotionally, how an American missile struck him and his crew, wounding him and killing eighteen others, including his translator. Please buy this book. It will bring out a flood of emotions in you. Simpson describes his experiences so vividly and in such graphic detail you feel that you are actually there. Only the real feelings of pain from the torture caused by Saddam and the incompetence of trigger-happy the US Army are missing.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Foster on 15 Dec 2003
Format: Hardcover
What you must bear in mind when reading Simpson's book is not to confuse what he is writing with a historical assessment of events. To be fair he doesn't claim this to be the case. However when reading what he writes of current and not so current events it is easy to regard what he writes as hard fact. In the most case it probably is, however some of his statements appear affected by his well documented brush with death in Northern Iraq. Namely his stance that the American soldiers were more concerned with keeping themselves alive than protecting the lives of civilians. A statement open to interesting and lively debate one feels. However as with the rest of his books Simpson shows himself to be thoroughly informed, brave, and prepared to admit his errors. The last charateristic makes him eminently more believable.
The coverage of Hussain's rise to power and probable motivations are simply superb. That combined with extensive coverage of both Gulf Wars as well as detail on the now ignored Iran-Iraq war make this book fascinating and impossible to put down.
If you are looking for a dry historical review this is not it. But if you want an inside track and synopsis on the past 20 years in the middle east by the man who has been there and seen it all, this is it and is unlikely to be bettered.
The only reason I have not given five stars, is that one or two sections appeared poorly edited, a repetition of previously stated facts only a page or two before. Not enough to annoy, but enough to notice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Kreator on 14 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Cover 4.0 Nearly the end for him. I have read all but the latest of John's books and found them interesting. I admired him at the time for risking himself near the front line to bring me up to date news, but now I am not so sure. I see he still gets wheeled out from time to time on TV. I am going to keep his book about his childhood but the rest are going. Now every book I buy I have to get rid of two as there is no more shelf room.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Halaby on 11 Dec 2003
Format: Hardcover
Like Simpon's other books, this one is insightful, human, well written and very hard to put down. Lots of, "I wish I was there too" situations. While a bit defensive on the BBC (versus CNN), Simpson is able to maintain an unbaised and truthful account - unlike most of the drivel we have been subjected to in Gulf War - Part II.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Sabiha Ahmed on 26 Nov 2004
Format: Hardcover
A riveting read. Since I have read most of of John Simpson`s books I was not sure what new material will be in this book. I need not not have worried.There are chapters upon chapters on facts which are not known outside the war theatre.
The most touching part is the insight into his own feelings,anger and pain while covering this war. This is something John does well.I fell in love with John the journalist and John the person after reading his first book Strange places ;questionable people. He wrote so vividly about his childhood,his growing pains with utter honesty.He has done that again,his mistakes ,anger and hurt are touchingly explained.he is eloquent ,honest and an mazing writer and broadcastor. More power to your pen is all i can say!
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