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Babylon by Bus | [Ray LeMoine, Jeff Neumann]

Babylon by Bus

Jeff and Ray had "la vida": selling "Yankees Suck" T-shirts five months of the year in front of Fenway Park and spending the rest of the year traveling the world. Sure, they'd go back to college at some point, but for now, the future was comfortably on hold. But the play button got pushed for them after the Sox broke their hearts in the 2003 Series. In the painfully clear light of the morning after, they looked at each other and faced up to the fact that they were in danger of becoming losers. Sad cases.
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Publisher's Summary

Jeff and Ray had "la vida": selling "Yankees Suck" T-shirts five months of the year in front of Fenway Park and spending the rest of the year traveling the world. Sure, they'd go back to college at some point, but for now, the future was comfortably on hold. But the play button got pushed for them after the Sox broke their hearts in the 2003 Series. In the painfully clear light of the morning after, they looked at each other and faced up to the fact that they were in danger of becoming losers. Sad cases. What to do, where to go if you're a young American man craving experience and wisdom in late 2003? If you're Jeff Neumann and Ray LeMoine, you go to Baghdad. And so they did.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction, Unabridged, 2007

"A complex, harrowing, frustrating, and heartbreaking account of the American occupation in Iraq." (Booklist)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Paul Mullen Waukesha, WI 11-13-06
    Paul Mullen Waukesha, WI 11-13-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    197
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    35
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    "Good to see them grow up... a little"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Weaver NJ United States 10-24-06
    S. Weaver NJ United States 10-24-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "self-satisfied schmucks in Iraq"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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