The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq
George Packer’s elegant writing helps to make his support of the Iraq war easy to swallow and actually a page-turner.
The war in Iraq has inspired countless books, some of them quite accomplished, said Samuel G. Freedman in the Chicago Tribune. But The New Yorker's George Packer has a decided edge. He's 'œjust plain a better writer than anyone else' chronicling the conflict, and he 'œcomes as close as possible' to making 'œa page-turner' out of a quagmire's coming-of-age. Packer himself believed wholeheartedly in the neoconservative dream of using a military invasion to plant democracy's flag in the heart of the Middle East, said Gary Kamiya in Salon.com. It would thus be accomplishment enough if The Assassins' Gate only provided a sympathetic, dramatic retelling of how think-tank debates of the 1990s became marching orders in the corridors of the Bush White House. But Packer's reporting from Iraq itself is also exemplary'”'œvaried, empathetic, and intelligent.' For anyone who hopes to understand this chapter of history, his up-close account is simply 'œrequired reading.'A caveat: Tough as he is about the invasion's handling, said Michael Hirsh in The Washington Monthly, Packer never confronts the possibility that the Iraq war was a bad idea from the start.