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Book cover of Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

by Riverbend, James Ridgeway (Introduction), Jean Casella

Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Pages: 240
Paperback
ISBN: 9781558615298






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Overview of Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

“Riverbend,” the Iraqi woman whose “articulate, even poetic prose packs an emotional punch” (The New York Times), continues her dispatches from her native Baghdad.

Interweaving commentary on major events since October 2004, with compelling stories about her own life as well as her family’s daily struggles, this is journalism from ground zero recording both occupation and insurgency.

Synopsis of Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

Gripping portraits of life under the occupation, insurgency and suicide bombings by internationally acclaimed Iraqi blogger.

Publishers Weekly

The distinctive voice of pseudonymous Riverbend shines through this continuation of her blog, from October 2004 through March 2006 (2005's Baghdad Burning won a Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Literary Reportage). Now 27, she offers an invaluable description of life in a middle-class, secular, mixed Shia-Sunni family. Alternating reports of attacks seen on TV and raids in her neighborhood with the mundane details of fuel shortages and infrequent electricity and water, Riverbend also offers astute analysis of the Iraqi draft constitution and American media, widely available through Iraqi TV and the Internet (her suggestion for a reality show: "Take 15 Bush supporters and throw them in a house in Fallujah"). She emphasizes how gender has become an issue when it never was before, e.g., election forms are all stamped "male." Riverbend's dry wit leavens her anger: after watching the 2006 Oscar ceremonies on TV, she proposes Iraqi Oscars ("Ahmed Al-Chalabi in `Disappearing Act' for his magnificent evaporation from the Iraqi political scene"). Throughout, the blog insists that most Iraqis are tolerant; prefer secular to religious government; fear civil war; and vehemently want the occupation to end. (Riverbend's blog continues at riverbendblog.blogspot.com.) (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

About the Author, Riverbend

Riverbend is the pseudonym of an Iraqi computer programmer who now lives with her family in Baghdad and whose identity remains concealed for her own protection. Her blog offers searing eyewitness accounts of the everyday realities on the ground, punctuated by astute analysis on the politics behind the events. James Ridgeway is national political correspondent for the Village Voice and author of 14 books.

Reviews of Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly

The distinctive voice of pseudonymous Riverbend shines through this continuation of her blog, from October 2004 through March 2006 (2005's Baghdad Burning won a Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Literary Reportage). Now 27, she offers an invaluable description of life in a middle-class, secular, mixed Shia-Sunni family. Alternating reports of attacks seen on TV and raids in her neighborhood with the mundane details of fuel shortages and infrequent electricity and water, Riverbend also offers astute analysis of the Iraqi draft constitution and American media, widely available through Iraqi TV and the Internet (her suggestion for a reality show: "Take 15 Bush supporters and throw them in a house in Fallujah"). She emphasizes how gender has become an issue when it never was before, e.g., election forms are all stamped "male." Riverbend's dry wit leavens her anger: after watching the 2006 Oscar ceremonies on TV, she proposes Iraqi Oscars ("Ahmed Al-Chalabi in `Disappearing Act' for his magnificent evaporation from the Iraqi political scene"). Throughout, the blog insists that most Iraqis are tolerant; prefer secular to religious government; fear civil war; and vehemently want the occupation to end. (Riverbend's blog continues at riverbendblog.blogspot.com.) (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The second installment of Riverbend's incisive, salty, impassioned observations from war-torn Baghdad. Baghdad Burning (2005) is a collection of blog postings by a 24-year-old, middle-class Iraqi woman who calls herself Riverbend. This sequel picks up the story in October 2004-before the world knew that Americans would re-elect George Bush. Just before the election, Riverhead prophesies that should Bush return to the White House, life would worsen not only for Iraqis, but also for Americans, whose national image is "tarnished world-wide." Indeed, much of this is devoted to Riverbend's fury about the American occupation of Iraq. She bluntly says that although Iraqis felt sympathy when the Twin Towers collapsed, "9/11 is getting old." The author suggests the war has moved into a different phase-now, instead of being assaulted with smart missiles, Iraqis are besieged by American media, by television and radio reports that are deceptively sanitized. She tartly notes the vagaries and obfuscations of political speech, and she has little patience for the euphemistic lingua franca of war: "What exactly are precision attacks?" she pleads, after Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld invoke the phrase. "How can you be precise in a city like Samarra or in the slums of Sadir City?" Throughout all her political analysis, Riverbend sprinkles reminders of the day-to-day realties of life in Baghdad-the water problems, the lack of electricity, the daily explosions near her home, the endless gasoline queues. Riverbend's musings will make it impossible for readers to hold on to some cardboard cutout notion of "an Iraqi." Here is a practicing Muslim woman who disdains suicide bombers but understands how people aredriven to such extremes, who can't stand the fundamentalist leadership of Iran, who simply wants Iraq to be stable, prosperous and peaceful. Bracing, and sure to be controversial, this is a unique and essential record of our times.

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