OVERRIDE

Night Draws Near

Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War

Anthony Shadid

Picador

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Winner of The Ron Ridenhour Book Prize
A New York Times Notable Book
A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
An Economist Best Book of the Year
A National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee
 
The Washington Post's Anthony Shadid went to war in Iraq although he was neither embedded with soldiers nor briefed by politicians. Because he is fluent in Arabic, Shadid—an Arab American born and raised in Oklahoma—was able to disappear into the divided, dangerous worlds of Iraq. Day by day, as the American dream of freedom clashed with Arab notions of justice, he pieced together the human story of ordinary Iraqis weathering the terrible dislocations and tragedies of war.

Through the lives of men and women, Sunnis and Shiites, American sympathizers and outraged young jihadists newly transformed into martyrs, Shadid shows us the journey of defiant, hopeful, resilient Iraq. Moving from battle scenes to subdued streets enlivened only by the call to prayer, Shadid uses the experiences of his characters to illustrate how Saddam's downfall paved the way not only for democracy but also for an Islamic reawakening and jihad. Night Draws Near—as compelling as it is human—is a poignant account from a reporter whose coverage has drawn international attention and acclaim.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One
The City of Peace
 
Baghdad is a city of lives interrupted, its history a story of loss, waiting, and resilience. In the days before the American invasion in March 2003, this capital scarred by war after war felt torn, aggrieved, and filled with longing for the greatness it once possessed and has never forgotten.
 
As we drove beneath a cloudless sky, the familiar voice of Abdel-Halim Hafez, one of Egypt's legendary singers, rose from the car's tinny speakers. Karim, my driver and friend, maneuvered his white Chevrolet along the avenues, as the city wavered
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  • Night Draws Near by Anthony Shadid--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt and hear Anthony Shadid read from his book Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War. From the only journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from Iraq, here is the riveting account of ordinary people caught between the struggles of nations. Determined to offer an unfiltered version of events, the Washington Post's Anthony Shadid was neither embedded with soldiers nor briefed by politicians.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Night Draws Near

"Incisive and eloquent . . . A harrowing portrait of life in postwar Iraq and the fallout that the American war has had on ordinary Iraqi civilians . . . A riveting narrative . . . Provides a damning account of the Bush administration's failure to prepare adequately for the postwar occupation . . . Sobering and revealing."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
"Shadid breaks new ground in offering us a much-needed look at the human face of the Iraqi people, as well as an acute analysis of the variegated cultural and historical forces that ultimately are going to decide the political fate of Iraq. . . . Through Shadid's eyes, we see clearly the chasm between occupier and occupied. . . . As a piece of reporting on the forces that are shaping today's Iraq, this is as fine a book as one could hope to read."--James Webb, The Washington Post Book World
 
"Night Draws Near is unique in its breadth, its supremely elegant writing, and in the biography of its author. . . . [Shadid] understands Iraqi culture better than most U.S. journalists. . . . Everyone should read this book, especially the White House and members of Congress. It will open their eyes."--Aaron Glantz, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Told exclusively from the perspective of regular Iraqis, these are the war stories we never hear. . . . [A] definitive work."--Naomi Klein, The Guardian (U.K.)
 
"This book should be read for its keen analysis of the events in postinvasion Iraq as much as for its thoughtful and precise storytelling and portraiture of Iraqis trying to make sense of their radically changed country. . . . [A] tour de force."--Anthony Swofford, Columbia Journalism Review
 
"It is Shadid's rare achievement to have recorded and restored the voices of those most directly affect by the war in Iraq: the Iraqis themselves. . . . He converses equally easily with the Texas private and the Islamic insurgent, crossing the divide between Sunni, Shiite, and American, to extract the individual stories that give human contour to the chaos. . . . Gripping, gritty, and heartbreaking."--Ben Macintyre, The New York Times Book Review
 
"An important event, a ray of light . . . Informed, scrupulously observed, elegantly written and deeply compassionate, Night Draws Near is a classic not just of war reporting but of what we might call frontline anthropology." --Gary Kamiya, Salon.com
 
"First-rate reporting . . . An intimate and essential book which reveals why America failed to win over hearts and minds, in spite of toppling Saddam . . . Night Draws Near reveals that this war might have gone a different way--especially, it would seem, if we had listened to the people of Iraq as Shadid did from the beginning."--John Freeman, The Courier-Journal
 
"Mr. Shadid . . . who speaks Arabic like a native and writes English like an angel, has put his best reporting into this book."--The Economist
 
"Shadid won a Pulitzer for his work in Iraq, and his account of the invasion and its uncertain aftermath is both stark and profoundly humane. . . . Shadid's concern isn't Pentagon policy but the interior life of the occupation, where the goals of the American mission remain, for the Iraqis he meets, tragically abstract."--The New Yorker
 
"A colorful and moving account."--Bruce Ramsey, The Seattle Times
 
"Masterful . . . [Night Draws Near] may be the most important writing to come out of the war so far. . . . The book is full of historical background and subtle observations that help explain the mindset of the Iraqis. . . . [Shadid has] written a complex, sympathetic, and dark portrait of a people we still understand all too poorly. It's a book that every soldier, war planner, and policy-maker should read."--Garrett M. Graff, The Washingtonian
 
"Shadid's stories are always affecting, sometimes uplifting, much more frequently heart-rending. . . . [An] unflinching depiction of wartime life."--Chris Toensing, The Nation
 
"In Night Draws Near, Shadid moves deftly between revealing, exemplary, close-up personal stories and a wide-angled historical analysis that is remarkably engaging and accessible."--Tom Montgomery-Fate, The Boston Globe
 
"Night Draws Near is perhaps the most nuanced, informative, and moving recent book about the Iraq conflict. . . . Essential reading for Americans."--Brian Palmer, Newsday
 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Anthony Shadid

  • Anthony Shadid has reported for the Associated Press, The Boston Globe, and, since the beginning of the war in Iraq, The Washington Post. In addition to the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, his stories from Iraq have earned him an American Society of Newspaper Editors award for deadline news reporting and the Overseas Press Club's Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire-service reporting from abroad. While at The Boston Globe, Shadid was awarded the 2002 George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for a series of dispatches from the Middle East. An Arab-American of Lebanese descent, he was born and raised in Oklahoma and now lives in Washington, D.C., and Baghdad.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Night Draws Near

Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War

Anthony Shadid

L.A. Times Book Prize - Winner, National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, Helen Bernstein Book Award - Nominee

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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