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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (588 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Shadid Narrator: Anthony Shadid Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9781593978426
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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. Because he is fluent in Arabic, Shadid—an Arab-American born and raised in Oklahoma—was able to actually disappear into the divided, dangerous worlds of Iraq. Day by day, as American dreams 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 Sunnis and Shiites, men and women, American sympathizers, and outraged young men 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 an illuminating and poignant account from a reporter whose coverage has drawn international attention and acclaim.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Extraordinary ability to capture, at personal peril, the voices and emotions of iraqis as their country was invaded, their leader toppled, and their way of life upended. 2004 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting Citation for Anthony Shadid

  • He has achieved nothing short of authoring the first classic, indispensable account of the Iraq War. The American Prospect

  • “Sharp-edged profiles of ordinary Iraqis…Solid, eminently readable reportage that offers no comfort for readers on the lookout for that light at the end of the tunnel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The book, which moves among scenes and characters like a picaresque novel, is not only a pleasure to read but a welcome source of information. Shadid offers just enough history and context to orient the reader, and he includes the kinds of details—adages, prayers, lyrics from pop songs—that make a place come alive. In the end, Baghdad is the character he mourns most.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Shadid] has achieved nothing short of authoring the first classic, indispensable account of the Iraq War.”

    American Prospect

  • “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.”

    Washington Post

  • “It leaves the reader with a devastating sense of the gap between the war’s aims and its aftermath and the gap between the administration’s rhetoric and the realities on the ground. Though much of the factual material in the book will be familiar to dedicated newspaper readers, Mr. Shadid does a fluent job of pulling all this information into a riveting narrative that is animated by his up-close and personal portraits of individual Iraqis.”

    New York Times

  • Winner of the 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest
  • A 2005 Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year: Top 5 for Nonfiction
  • A 2005 Seattle Times Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • A 2005 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • Nominated for Helen Bernstein Book Award - Nominee, 2006
  • Winner of L.A. Times Book Prize - Winner, 2005
  • Nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, 2005
  • Nominated for National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee, 2005

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 2/16/2014

    " I am very glad that I read this book. It gives a sensitive view of the people -- individual people and families -- that were victimized by the ravages of what followed the reign of Sadam Hossein. The author does not offer opinions. He does not take sides. He talks about the people that he came to know during his stay in Iraq. His driver and guide, a family of a mother and 4 daughters who are barely surviving day to day, people who were rich, people who were poor, Shiites, Sunnis.........I recommend this book to everyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beverly | 2/11/2014

    " I cannot bring myself to read this book. Makes me a bad person, but it is what it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristina | 2/7/2014

    " This isn't a political book as much as it is an exploration of the people of Iraq and the problems they face. The invasion by the USA didn't help and just added to their misery and made their problems worse. Very sad at times and I feel much compassion for the people. Guilt by association since I am an American. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 siga | 1/26/2014

    " am listening to this incredible book on tape. anthony shadid draws his audience into the neighborhoods and daily lives of prewar iraq. shadid is a gifted journalist who is passionate without taking sides in describing events that have become history. well worth reading for any and all to understand more of what a mess of peoples' lives the invasion to get rid of saddam hussein made. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katlin | 1/20/2014

    " This a memoir of an American journalist who went to Iraq a few months before the 2003 US invasion, and stayed for the year that followed. He interviewed and formed relationships with people all over the country-- of every sect and class, and his anecdotes really help to humanize the conflict. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire Seelinger | 1/13/2014

    " not very well written, and he's a journalist. But provides good on-the-ground Iraqi perspective. of course, it is dated now, but good glimpse of the climate during that period of the occupation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 1/9/2014

    " Sometimes it isn't as simple as it looks on CNN. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 1/8/2014

    " Very well-reported and written account of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq from the point of view of Iraqis. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/8/2014

    " An important and captivating look at the lives of common people in Iraq, a group so cruelly neglected by the media and altogether left out of the American story of the war, Shadid's book is essential reading for anyone who pays his/her taxes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fatma | 1/1/2014

    " Reading it was a breath-taking experience.. but listening to Shadid reading from his book was magical .. i saw him not reading from the book .. it was his feelings .. he was back to Iraq every time he start reading a paragraph .. magical ,,, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mfalco65 | 12/27/2013

    " Gorgeous prose really brings Iraqis to life. This should be required reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hurston | 10/3/2013

    " Perspective of an Arabic speaking US born journalist who covers the war in Iraq, interviews families there, and shares the feelings and needs of the Iraqi people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen Shachter | 9/24/2013

    " A brilliant journalist and writer but to much was known about Iraq before I read this to make it feel as eye opening as I hoped. His death this year was a true loss to the field of journalism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/15/2012

    " Solid (if now slightly outdated) look at the state of Iraq, from a perspective Westerners don't normally get. Felt a lot more knowledgeable about Arabic/Islamic history and mindset after reading this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 11/27/2011

    " Simply disturbing and awful and beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lana | 6/23/2011

    " After reading this book, I am convinced that going into Iraq at this time was very unwise -- we just had NO IDEA what we were getting into... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 6/2/2011

    " An important and captivating look at the lives of common people in Iraq, a group so cruelly neglected by the media and altogether left out of the American story of the war, Shadid's book is essential reading for anyone who pays his/her taxes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 10/8/2010

    " Solid (if now slightly outdated) look at the state of Iraq, from a perspective Westerners don't normally get. Felt a lot more knowledgeable about Arabic/Islamic history and mindset after reading this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fatma | 8/27/2009

    " Reading it was a breath-taking experience.. but listening to Shadid reading from his book was magical .. i saw him not reading from the book .. it was his feelings .. he was back to Iraq every time he start reading a paragraph .. magical ,,, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mfalco65 | 12/17/2008

    " Gorgeous prose really brings Iraqis to life. This should be required reading. "

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About the Author

Anthony Shadid (1968–2012), an unparalleled chronicler of the human stories behind the news, gained attention and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his front-page reports in the Washington Post from Iraq. He was the only American reporter there who spoke Arabic. As the senior Middle East correspondent for the New York Times, he earned his second Pulitzer.