I lost my love in Baghdad
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews Michael Hastings book, I lost my love in Baghdad. Hastings was posted to the Iraqi capital to work out of the Newsweek bureau there. His girlfiend, Andi, was later killed there. Janet Okoben’s review in the Cleveland newspaper is less than complimentary,
After his first 10-week reporting stint is up, he is stranded at the airport without an exit visa. While one of his many hired hands, “my driver,” scurries to a government office for a replacement, our crack reporter turns Ugly American:
“I want to get out now. I want to leave. I want to see Andi. I promised her I would be home on Tuesday. I smoke freely, though the Muslim holiday of Ramadan has begun and smoking in public is forbidden and offensive to believers. I’m being culturally insensitive, but I don’t really give a [expletive]. I justify my smoking by telling myself the airport is basically American soil now anyway.”
No room here for thoughts of soldiers on extended tour. No imagination expended on Iraqi interpreters, drivers and assistants who don’t get to cycle out to Cairo, Vienna or Paris every 10 weeks. link
The New York Times is similarly dismissive. Gawker also has a go at the book Hastings received a rumoured $500,000 fee to write. Fortunately for the author, if he’s even that bothered after receiving the fat fee, the reviewers on Amazon.com are a whole lot more forgiving.