The Assassins´ Gate recounts how the United States set about changing the history of the Middle East and became ensnared in a guerrilla war in Iraq. The consequences of that policy are shown in the author´s vivid reporting on the ground in Iraq, where he made several tours on assignment for The New Yorker. We see up close the struggles of individual American soldiers and civilians and Iraqis from all backgrounds. Here is the full range of ideas and emotions stirred up by America´s most controversial foreign-policy venture since Vietnam.
George Packer has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, a carpenter in Boston, and a writing instructor at Harvard, Bennington, and Emerson. He is the author of The Village of Waiting, a memoir about his Peace Corps years, and the novel The Half Man. He now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"* probably the most valuable book about the lead-up to the war, and the period before the Iraqi election of January 2005 - The Times * informative and lively... An excellent reporter, Packer emerges as one of the few Western journalists who developed a feel for Iraq. - Mail on Sunday * absorbing... It's a riveting tale of mixed motives, willful connivance, skewed ideology and sheer incompetence... Meanwhile, the invasion of Irq seems to defy analysis, although Pakcer does an excellend job here. He has trodden the dusty ground, talking to countless Iraqis, and he knows how awful Saddam really was. - Guardian * Packer's strengths in telling this story are fastidious research and his parallel career as a novelist... he is drawn to the intimacy of human experience... He is an intellectual too but, unlike most of the Iraq war intellectuals, Packer came to Iraq burdened neither by the rigid certainties of the pro-war camp, not the absolutism of the anti-war camp... Instead, Packer admits he was an ambivalently pro-war liberal. And it is exactly this sense of ambivalence... that allows him to cross-examine so powerfully what unravelled in Iraq. - Observer"