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MANHATTAN TO BAGHDAD: Despatches from the Frontline in the War on Terror

Paul McGeough, Author
Paul McGeough, Author . Allen & Unwin $17.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-74114-099-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-74114-025-5
Open Ebook - 301 pages - 978-1-74115-085-8
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McGeough, veteran war correspondent and a former editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, offers a sobering look at the disparate battlefields of America's war on terrorism in his new collection of musings from the front. An eyewitness to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, he travels on assignment through Central Asia and the Middle East, ending up in Baghdad in October 2002 to report on the impending U.S.-led military action against Iraq. The book is presented as a collection of journal entries in which the author reflects on a world defined, for better or for worse, by its relationship with the U.S. According to McGeough, the road to Baghdad runs through Israel, and he devotes a good share of the book to the events of the second intifada, interviewing the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and surveying the destruction done by Israeli troops in the Jenin refugee camp. His most compelling analysis comes from Afghanistan, where he profiled the legendary Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah Masoud in the days before his assassination, and offers his reader an insider's view on the culture and leadership of the alliance. He is quick to point out the irony of the allied "bombs and bread" campaign and remains skeptical of Western resolve to rectify the mounting humanitarian crisis in the region. McGeough is an adept reporter but he lacks the sweeping historical knowledge and intellectual firepower that a journalist like Thoomas Friedman can bring to frontline dispatches.Nevertheless, his book provides valuable insight on the responsibilities of America and the repercussions of its expanding international footprint. (July)

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