The Unraveling : High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq
by Emma Sky

Overview - One of the New York Times ' 100 Notable Books of 2015 One of Financial Times ' Books of the Year, 2015 A New York Times Editors' Choice A New Statesman UK] Essential Book of the Year 2015 A Times UK] Book of the Year 2015 Shortlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction Shortlisted for the 2016 Orwell Prize When Emma Sky volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she had little idea what she was getting in to.  Read more...

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More About The Unraveling by Emma Sky
One of the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2015One of Financial Times' Books of the Year, 2015A New York Times Editors' ChoiceA New Statesman UK] Essential Book of the Year 2015A Times UK] Book of the Year 2015Shortlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for NonfictionShortlisted for the 2016 Orwell PrizeWhen Emma Sky volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she had little idea what she was getting in to. Her assignment was only supposed to last three months. She went on to serve there longer than any other senior military or diplomatic figure, giving her an unrivaled perspective of the entire conflict.As the representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Kirkuk in 2003 and then the political advisor to US General Odierno from 2007-2010, Sky was valued for her knowledge of the region and her outspoken voice. She became a tireless witness to American efforts to transform a country traumatized by decades of war, sanctions, and brutal dictatorship; to insurgencies and civil war; to the planning and implementation of the surge and the subsequent drawdown of US troops; to the corrupt political elites who used sectarianism to mobilize support; and to the takeover of a third of the country by the Islamic State.With sharp detail and tremendous empathy, Sky provides unique insights into the US military as well as the complexities, diversity, and evolution of Iraqi society. The Unraveling is an intimate insider's portrait of how and why the Iraq adventure failed and contains a unique analysis of the course of the war. Highlighting how nothing that happened in Iraq after 2003 was inevitable, Sky exposes the failures of the policies of both Republicans and Democrats, and the lessons that must be learned about the limitations of power.

  • ISBN-13: 9781610395939
  • ISBN-10: 161039593X
  • Publisher: Public Affairs
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 383
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Related Categories

Books > History > Military - Iraq War (2003-)

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-03-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Sky, a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute, delivers a memoir that may be the best book to date on the American war in Iraq. Her thesis is that a unified stable Iraqi government was once possible, thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of many Coalition soldiers and civilians and the Iraqi people and their leaders, but that opportunity was squandered in the final months of the U.S. presence. Sky brings unique and unmatched credentials to her analysis of the war. As a British civilian, she was as close to unbiased as a senior participant could be. She was initially employed as a provincial governance leader by the Coalition Provisional Authority, and later she worked as the political advisor to Generals Odierno and Petraeus, the commanders of U.S. forces in Iraq. Her keen intellect and dry, self-effacing wit make the book a thought-provoking, informative, and enjoyable read. With no personal or political axes to grind, Sky's analysis of events and personalities focuses on her immense expertise and access to key figures. This authoritative first-person account is a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the complexity of the Iraq war, and the road to the current crises with the Islamic State. (Apr.)

BAM Customer Reviews