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on 28 June 2010
As someone who has spent a lot of time in the Middle East, I found this account rather inaccurate and disappointing. The author seems to have little understanding of Arabic culture and language and of operating in an appropriate way in the Arab context, especially in volatile, war-torn places where governments are trying to resolve difficult and sensitive situations. Having checked some of the facts, there were also exaggerations in many of the situations described, and the author's main purpose seems to be promoting himself and his ministry which I suppose is a good business move anyway! As someone who was hoping for greater insight into Iraqi culture and to hear from a God-fearing man, I was unfortunately disappointed. I wouldn't recommend it as a serious book for someone wanting a true picture about the Middle East, but if you would like a tale of drama and some insight into Canon White as a person, you may enjoy it.
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on 12 August 2010
I bought this book under the impression it was a sequel to the hilarious BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley, in which jolly Geraldine had been transferred to the Middle East as a result of some clerical mix-up, resulting in hours of side-splitting misunderstandings concerning mosques, burkhas and suicide bombings.

Imagine my disappointment upon finding this was a gripping and sometimes harrowing account of one man's struggle to keep his faith during one of the most controversial conflicts of the modern age. No sign of the delightful Alice either.

I've thought of an opening scene for the TV version though:
"Did you lie about the weapons of mass destruction, Churchwarden Blair?"
"No, no no, no. No no, no, no, no. No. Yes."
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on 17 October 2012
If, like me, there is a downside to your job, then you probably moan about it. In my case it is inept management and poor location. But do I get shot, bombed, kidnapped, lose my friends, drive to work with an armed guard and simply have to *live* life one day at a time? No way. Well, that is Andrew White's experience.

When I bought this book I was inspired by his job. What I now know is that this is no accident, humanly or spiritually. He is a qualified operating surgery clinician with further degrees in Christian, Jewish and Islamic studies. He was worked across the Middle East and been an envoy of The Pope. And he is a vicar.

In Baghdad he took a 14-years-empty church and has transformed it into 1800 members and 500 children. Read that sentence again, and tell me the Christian Church is dead. Yes, dying in the fat, affluent West, but booming where bombs and bullets fly.

This isn't book for armchair liberals or socialists who like to support Obama or read The Groaniad. This man lives his life on the line every day and does so for Christ. And he does and has done more good than 99.999% of UK leftists who hate religious people. If you dare, read this book.

The top part that liberal intellectuals need to read is his bit on the need to find 'moderate Muslims.' There are, he says, no such thing. You are either a Muslim or you are an extremist; the bombers and killers are extremists. The idea of a liberal, moderate Muslim in a land where people live and die in their faith is as impossible as a Hollywood movie script. Andrew is as moderate in his faith as Mother Theresa or The Pope. He would die for his faith. But - and note this - he, and the overwhelming majority of other religious - would not kill for it.

This book offers the other side to the boring BBC inspired debates in the UK on religion. Read this book and learn what being religious means, and why it is far, far more important than anything Mr Dawkins and his noisy followers have ever written or done.
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2012

For some reason the word instantly brings up associations with long, droning sermons by people who have a captive audience and want to tell you all the ways in which your life is at fault. Not that this is a problem (as we are all in need of perfecting), it's just books by vicars can often be a case of 'those who say the most have the least to say'.

But what is refreshing about this book is that the author has true humility. Andrew White doesn't preach, he doesn't ramble on at length and yet he imparts excellent lessons on the Middle East and how to bring peace (which he admits has no rhyme, reason or formula).

What's more, the book is a true reflection of the man himself. Having had the honour of seeing him preach, it is fair to say that he has a compelling quirkiness which can be often lost in writing but here his easy charm and extraordinary bravery come across well.

And all this is within 200 pages - a neat, short book that is easy to read and yet also has a great deal of economy of language in conveying the full story of his times as Vicar of Baghdad. Furthermore there are no unnecessary diversions, and yet there are still a number of interesting stories, such as his meeting with an Al Qaeda leader who enigmatically told him "Those who cure you, will kill you" (the meaning of which is explained in the book).

So, even if you've been put off books with 'Vicar' in the title and don't consider yourself religious, this book is still a fascinating read. White himself does admit that Religion is responsible for a lot of the violence in the Middle East, but also that there is no possibility of understanding the Middle East (or bringing Peace) without it.
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on 26 May 2016
This is a really great book and tells about Canon Andrew White. He must surely be the most unusual of all Vicars and almost incredible how the Lord has led the Canon. He is simply inspirational as a Christian and leader. An example to all. Through no planning on my part the book has given me a real thirst and interest for the Middle East and its great diversity. I have already read "My Journey so far" and currently reading "Father Forgive". If you were going to choose a book to read this year, read any book by the Vicar of Baghdad and see how it transforms your life
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on 26 July 2017
I think the book itself is great and so gave it the full 5 stars.
BUT I have already read it in print, and hadn't ordered the sample that arrived on my new Kindle.
When I tried to delete the sample it ordered this copy for me instead, and then simply wouldn't allow me to cancel the order I hadn't made.
I wasn't at all impressed and now remain in aeroplane mode for most of the time just in case I get conned again!
So 5 stars for The Vicar of Baghdad: Amazon Kindle Service - NO STARS!
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on 16 January 2016
Andrew came to give a talk at our church recently. What a stupendous and courageous bloke! And total nutter! Talk about following what God has asked us to do. Andrew White is an amazing example of what can be achieved if only we (well I'm talking for myself here) were obedient enough to actually listen and act on what God asks us to do with our lives. Completely inspiring read. Completely inspiring bloke. And a total nutter. For Jesus.
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on 8 November 2014
Fascinating insights leading to greater understanding and an easy read. Andrew gives us an overview of his life from his early years connected with the Baptist/Pentecostal church through to the fulfilment of his becoming an anaesthetist and then his calling to become a vicar. His reconciliation work started at Cambridge while training for ordination and took him on to his work in Baghdad, resurrecting St George's Church there - the only Anglican church - and his reconciliation work in that area, which he has been involved with ever since with people from international politicians and leaders to the people who attend his church with its hospital, clinics and other facilities. It is quite an eye opener, helps with a greater understanding of God's love for all and other Biblical aspects. Would recommend to people of any religion or none.
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on 18 June 2016
It is a very interesting book. It is interesting that the vicar has inside information that there were weapons of mass destruction held by Sadam and squirreled to Syria before the inspection. A book of immense courage and fortitude.
It lonly cost 1p + postage..so I could not grumble when I saw that the first few pages were underlined by a previous reader!
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on 4 March 2016
An interesting autobiographical account of a very brave man of God who moves lovingly among people who belong to other religions but recognise integrity when they see it. Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers" and here is a fine example.
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