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Warrior King

The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman with Joe Layden

St. Martin's Griffin

The startling and controversial memoir of combat and betrayal, written by one of the most prominent members of the U.S. fighting forces in Iraq.


A West Point graduate, a former star quarterback who carried Army to its first bowl victory, and a courageous warrior who had proven himself on the battlefield time and again, Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman was one of the most celebrated officers in the United States military. He commanded more than eight hundred soldiers in the heart of the insurgency-ravaged Sunni Triangle in Iraq; his unit’s job was to seek out and eliminate terrorists and loyalists to Saddam Hussein, while rebuilding the region’s infrastructure.

            Yet Sassaman will always be known for a fateful decision to cover up the alleged drowning of an Iraqi by his men, where they purportedly forced two detainees to jump into the Tigris River. The Army initially charged three soldiers with manslaughter and a fourth with assault—the first time troops who served in Iraq had been charged with a killing in connection with the handling of detainees. Sassaman’s decision led to his downfall, despite an impressive career, and sent shockwaves through the American military.

            Warrior King is the explosive memoir of one of the most deeply involved members of the U.S. military in Iraq. This is the first book to take readers from the overnight brutality of combat, to the daunting daytime humanitarian tasks of rebuilding Iraq, to the upper echelons of the Pentagon to show how and why the war has gone horribly wrong.

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  • Warrior King by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman's book Warrior King: The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq, the startling and controversial memoir, written by one of the most prominent members of the U.S. fighting forces in Iraq.

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“A valuable insider’s look at the many-layered ramifications of the American-Iraqi tragedy of errors.” —Kirkus Reviews

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman with Joe Layden

  • NATHAN SASSAMAN graduated from West Point in 1985. He was captain and quarterback of the Army football team, rushed for more than a thousand yards in a single season (1984), and lead the Cadets to their first postseason bowl victory, in a game against Michigan State. In August 2003, when his patrol came under attack, Sassaman braved machine-gun and RPG fire to drag one of his wounded soldiers from his vehicle. Then he chased down the insurgents, killing or capturing all of them, earning himself a Bronze Star for valor. He commanded the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. He lives in Colorado.

    JOE LAYDEN is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist whose work has been honored by the New York Newspaper Publishers Association and the national Associated Press Sports Editors. He lives in upstate New York.

  • Nathan Sassaman Photo: Jon Shireman
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    Warrior King

    The Triumph and Betrayal of an American Commander in Iraq

    Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nathan Sassaman with Joe Layden

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    St. Martin's Griffin

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