You might not think these two scruffy, lovably clueless characters would have made attractive candidates for the U.S. government to run the desk in Baghdad's Coalition Provisional Authority that served as the interface between the CPA and the Iraqi people, fielding complaints and requests for aid from all over for a city of more than five million people. You might be naïve. But Ray and Jeff would prove to be dedicated and ingenious public servants, and they managed to do a great deal of good during their tenure in the face of staggering frauds and feuds. They also had their full share of the wild times that young people under immense stress in war zones have had from time immemorial, especially young people who return each night to a hermetically sealed safe zone flush with money and all the temptations, legal and illegal, that money attracts.
©2006 Ray LeMoine and Jeff Neumann; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
"A complex, harrowing, frustrating, and heartbreaking account of the American occupation in Iraq." (Booklist)
This is an interesting story and and interesting perspective. It's the memoire of a couple of back-pack sub-culture druggies who manage to get themselves to Iraq to work with the Coalition Provisional Authority. They do some good. They make lots of mistakes. At least they seem to be pretty transparent about their mistakes and one can almost see them growing up... a little.
It's a different perspective. Not a bad listen, but you can do better.
This was a fascinating view onto the conflict in Iraq, well worth listening to for that alone. Unfortunately, the authors of the book are truly obnoxious and so full of themselves that it is painful to realize that for many people they met in the Middle East, these guys represented America.
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