Richard DownesA stunning memorial to a disintegrating nation — an updated American edition
“One of the best books to come out of the coverage of Iraq. A beautifully written personal memoir … a startling writing capacity.” —Village
From 1998 until the chaotic aftermath of the invasion, news reporter Richard Downes witnessed firsthand the incredible changes that have overwhelmed the Iraqi people. In Search of Iraq goes far deeper into the environment than the daily news reports seen by the Western World. Small events of ordinary life and whispered conversations in back alleys are as telling as the grand political statements.
With an unflinching focus on the customs, religion, culture and historical diversity of all the communities in the region, Richard Downes reveals the true horror and impact of war, as well as the friendships that can blossom in a country torn to shreds.
Nominated in 2007 for Best Book of the Year in Ireland, this important American edition brings unique insight to life after the invasion. In a new chapter, Richard Downes shows Kurdistan lost in a sea of contradictions. Kurds provided the President and foreign minister of Iraq, and yet they had no intention of supporting that state. Denouncing the terrorism in their beloved city of Kirkuk, they offered a safe haven for fighters attacking Turkey. And a vicious and secret proxy war was being conducted by Iran and the US forces on the Kurd’s Iranian border.
Through the eyes of university lecturer, Saman Baban, readers experience the emotions of post-war Iraq. Saman worries that the blanket of American protection may well disappear as the US tries to end its five year nightmare in Iraq, leaving the Kurds to deal with the forces in Baghdad on their own.
‘outstanding…exceptional’ — The Sunday Tribune
Richard Downes is a Prime Time reporter for RTÉ. Newly returned from a three-year assignment as Washington Correspondent, Richard joined RTÉ in 1999 after a decade of working as a foreign correspondent for the BBC in war zones and developing countries. During the 2003 war he stayed in Baghdad and covered the collapse of Saddam’s regime from within. He has continued to travel to Iraq in the chaotic post-war era and has witnessed the collapse of this once strong and stable country close up. Vincent Browne, prominent Irish columnist and radio host, described Downes as “the best reporter covering the war.”
In Search of Iraq: Baghdad to Babylon
Paper, 288 pages, 8-page color insert