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Once I finished this book I wanted to start reading it again. It is a great book to see what is going on day to day to unit people who have diverse ideas on what they want in a government. Mr. Stewart's writing style makes you feel like he is talking to you in person.
Jul 19, 2007
Beyond the Din
Rory Stewart gives a peek into a portion of the middle east that the west does not and maybe never will understand. Over the year the author carries us from "startup problems" to almost despair but always with affection for the people. If you are tired of the standard news reports and flashing images try this book I highly recommend it.
Apr 23, 2007
I think of this as a must read for anybody who wonders about one or more countries trying to effect change in another country. Equally important is the simple fact that Rory Stewart's style is wonderfully clear and engaging. You may disagree with his implied conclusions, but I think you will enjoy your journey to those conclusions.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-05-22 Soon after Stewart, a British diplomat and professional adventurer, traveled to Iraq late in 2003 to search for work, he was named a provincial governor. In characteristic understatement, he says of his new role: "I spoke little Arabic, and had never managed a shattered and undeveloped province of 850,000." His job was supposed to be easy: the province, Maysan, nestled along the Iranian border deep in Iraq's Shia south, was one of the country's most homogenous, and nearly all of its citizens had fought against Saddam. Stewart spent most of his time navigating through a byzantine and thoroughly unfamiliar political landscape of tribal leaders, Islamist militias, Communist dissidents and Iranian intelligence agents. When he asks an adviser in Baghdad what his goals should be, his friend responds that if, within a year, the province hasn't descended into anarchy and Stewart can serve him "some decent ice cream," he will be satisfied. Engrossing and often darkly humorous, his book should be required reading for every political commentator who knows exactly what to do in Iraq despite never having dealt with recalcitrant interpreters or an angry mob. In the end, Stewart prevails and is rewarded with an appointment to Dhi Qar, a much more dangerous province with less military support. 16 pages of photos. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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