Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture

A Novel

James P. Mullaney

Thomas Dunne Books




In his debut novel, James P. Mullaney brilliantly portrays the lives of two men, one an American and the other an Iraqi, each caught up in the turmoil of the Iran-Iraq war. Over the course of just a few days, each will seek a way to change the course of a violent conflict that has irrevocably altered their futures.

Journalist Michael Young has come to Baghdad to cover the war and the seemingly relentless pattern of violence in Iraq. His return has also given him the chance to reunite with Daniella, a British-Iraqi journalist whose family history has drawn her back to a city that offers her only danger and distrust.

Ibrahim Galeb al-Mansur has devoted his life to the study of art. But the government's repression and paranoia have destroyed his family and silenced his talents. Forced to paint the enormous murals of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that appear throughout the country, he finds refuge each night among insurgents plotting the overthrow of the brutal dictator.

The Ministry of Culture is a compelling, sometimes unsettling look at the history of Iraqi politics, the complicity of Western governments, and the universal question of how much a person can endure -- and what is art's worth -- amidst the violence of war.


Outside the room gunfire has erupted into small explosions. The night has lifted into a state of heightened activity. Sirens soon follow and fill the streets of this ancient place. This is the sixth night in a row. There is a shutdown and curfew...


Praise for The Ministry of Culture

"Mullaney's is that rare war narrative that doesn't depend on carnage for the lasting impression it creates; his culture ministry is ultimately a department of the human interior."—Publishers Weekly

"A well-written and credible novel."—Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

James P. Mullaney

JAMES P. MULLANEY lives on Long Island. He is a graduate of Providence College. The Ministry of Culture is his first novel.

James P. Mullaney

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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