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In the Wake of the Surge is a gripping first-person narrative that tells the story of the Kurds, the Arabs, and the Americans in Iraq during one of the most violent and wrenching periods in that country’s history. Award-winning foreign correspondent Michael J. Totten visited Iraq seven times between 2005 and 2009, first as a “unilateral” freelance journalist without a gun in the Kurdish autonomous region, and then as an embedded reporter with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in Baghdad, Sadr City, Ramadi, and Fallujah.
He was there at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of General David Petraeus’ “surge” of combat troops to Iraq and saw first-hand how young men from places like Florida and Texas pacified a relentless insurgency—an insurgency that most people, during the darkest days of the war, assumed would be victorious.
In the Wake of the Surge is a bracing story of war in a tormented country by a writer who has spent enough time in the Middle East to know there are few happy endings, but who nevertheless was a witness when Iraqis and Americans drove each other to the brink of the abyss before managing, against all odds and at the very last second, to pull back and save themselves from utter catastrophe.