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A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,206 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
Translated by Ingrid ChristophersenA New York Times Bestselling Author

For one hundred and one days - from January until April 2003 - ?sne Seierstad worked as a reporter in Baghdad for Scandinavian, German, and Dutch media. Always in search of a story far less obvious than the American military invasion, Seierstad now brings to life the world behind the headlines in this co
Hardcover, Large Print, 443 pages
Published August 24th 2005 by Wheeler Publishing (first published 2003)
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For the first time I send an email to my editors with the title: 'Nothing from Baghdad today'. I am at the epicentre of the world's attention and can find nothing to write about (p232)

Good doesn't seem a respectful word to describe a book of war journalism, nor does it seem right to say that I enjoyed it, perhaps you can take my enthusiasm as read and my recommendation for granted.

The title evokes a thousand and one nights, while Seierstad certainly tumbles us from one story to another there is
May 20, 2015 Caroline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a dated book as the armed American incursion into Iraq is long over, but it retains validity as an account of an impartial witness to the events leading up to the actual arrival of coalition troops on scene. As such, it is a welcome relief from the accounts of those American apologists who justify coalition excesses as "payback" for a non-existent Iraqi involvement in 9/11.

I pity the poor Iraqi people; under Saddam they were oppressed, kidnapped, murdered, raped and submitted to every im
Apr 29, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Something of a modern-day Scheherezade, Norwegian journalist Seierstad continued reporting by satellite to TV audiences in Europe during the 101 days preceding and then during the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. For readers interested in the gathering of news in war zones, her book provides extensive insight into off-camera footwork and dealing with bureaucratic and political obstacles that prevent access to the hearts and minds of everyday citizens, her primary interest as a reporter. When t ...more
Feb 20, 2009 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PokPok
This is similar to the book written by Anne Garrels about reporting from Iraq just prior to, during, and after the beginning of the war between the U.S. and Iraq. Both experienced the same problems of dealing with the Iraqi military and propaganda systems and trying to do their jobs at the same time, all while being cobbled by the minder forced on them by Iraq. Seierstad was lucky enough to replace her first minder with a much better and more sympathetic female after a couple of weeks. Seierstad ...more
Nov 08, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author worked as a news reporter in Baghdad before, during, and just after the 2003 war which toppled Saddam’s power. This is an account of those experiences - the citizens she met and talked to, the colleagues she worked with, and the system she was forced to work within with “minders” and translators. It’s also an account of the emotional roller coaster she rode by being in the middle of a war zone.
I found that I really enjoyed this largely because of the different perspective that it ca
Ana Rivera
Jul 24, 2009 Ana Rivera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed personal feeling about this book. The writing and the way it flows is great. I have never been a supporter of Bush's war in Iraq, but I knew that the fear and torture that the iraquis endured will under Saddam had to be stopped. I never understood why the iraqui people were so fond of saddam but after reading this book i understood, that with fear you can suppress your people. That loving saddam is tought in the schools and how he is EVERYWHERE. It also shows how most of the middle ...more
May 04, 2008 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone seeking a greater understanding of the Near East
Asne Seierstad is an intriguing person. A Norwegian blend of beauty, toughness and compassion, she possesses all the powers of observation and reporting skill that make for a riveting tale of the first 101 days of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The first half of the book sees Seierstad navigating the bureaucracy of Iraq, which was staggering in its ineptitude, callousness and corruption. As a condition of her journalism visa, she was required to have a "minder"/translator who was there to bo
Jan 09, 2009 Jessi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
This unassuming norweigan stays in baghdad from January to April of 2003, long after most of the other journalists have been ordered or forced to leave the area she witnesses the "war on terror" firsthand. I wanted to like this book more, but it's not really easy to read and riddled with editing and spelling mistakes (at least in this edition) -- there's probably a whole lot that is lost in translation on this one. The style is distractingly short and choppy and jumpy -- there's not a continuity ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Yoonmee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, middle-east
Fans of The Bookseller of Kabul will be a little bit disappointed in Asne Seierstad's A Hundred and One Days because it doesn't go into as much detail about the everyday lives of ordinary people. This books is mostly about Seierstad's experiences as a journalist in Baghdad, as opposed to the the snapshot into the life of a family she gave us in The Bookseller of Kabul. Due to the restraints placed upon her as a journalist and upon the citizens of Iraq, Seierstad was not allowed to get nearly as ...more
May 15, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is the only account i've read of what it was like to be in baghdad when the war started. as it's an account by a western journalist, it can't really provide much insight on what it was like for iraqis. i do think seierstad does a pretty good job of presenting the severity of saddam's regime pre-war and she tries to share the range of reactions of iraqis to the u.s. invasion. however, the latter is lacking since she left soon after troops arrived in baghdad. i'm sure there are other accounts ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Aman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly fascinating book which raises just as many new questions as answers. Seierstad offers a view of the Iraq war which I've never before encountered, there's something refreshing about reading such an overly publicised topic without having to sift through private agendas and political correctness. She perspicuously illustrates the lives of the people in Iraq and does, I believe, do justice to all viewpoints, whether Shia or Sunni, ensuring the reader has a firm understanding of how commun ...more
Feb 23, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
My reasons for not liking this book are as follows:
1- It is not written in Seierstad's usual manner (where she writes about the lives of her subjects) this book is about her experiences
2- Because of the very nature of the former Iraqi system you don't get as much information as in her other books. You share her frustration in the lack of access to the real 'story' but that doesn't make up for its absence.

Her other books however rate very highly with me, I recommend them, but not this one.
Sally Tarbox
Aug 19, 2014 Sally Tarbox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
"We were tortured mentally by the all-pervading fear", 19 Aug 2014

This review is from: A Hundred And One Days: A Baghdad Journal (Paperback)
I thought this offered an extremely balanced view of the Iraq war: Norwegian reporter Asne Seierstad gives an on-the-spot reportage of her days in Baghdad in the lead-up to the American invasion. Patrolled everywhere she went, with a government appointed minder; cagey locals who would rarely say anything against Saddam; and a total dictatorship, where every
Sajith Kumar
Iraq is a land of paradoxes. It hosted one of the oldest civilizations known to the world and is currently the theater of the most savage ideology of all in the form of the Islamic State. It is rich in oil wealth, but the people are poor in the war-ravaged country. The pathetic fall of Iraq is the handiwork of a dictator named Saddam Hussein abd-al Majid al-Tikriti, who ruled the country for 24 long years (1979 – 2003), before he was thrown out by American troops. His tenure as President of Iraq ...more
Feb 01, 2013 Aida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate wars! All kind of wars! This book is an eye opening, telling the truth of what American soldiers did to the Iraqi civilians... I repeat CIVILIANS! I wonder how would the world react if it happened vice versa.
Feb 13, 2009 Robyn91856 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing to see the courage of a journalist...enters into Bagdaad with a ten day visa and extends it just as others are leaving.
Good book, gives good information about the war and the people living there.
I like this book very much. What I like about this book i it tell the stories about Iraq from all points of view. From, the journalist view, from Iraqis and from the American themselves. I cant fell the honesty of the author in this book because of that. The author did'nt hide the facts about how they treat the Iraqis during the war. The author make us the readers understand about Iraq before, during and after the war. I felt terribly sorry for the Iraqis who growth in fear against their leader ...more
Chris Bartholomew
A good book with a different perspective. The author is a journalist from Norway. She spent 100 days in Baghdad shortly before, during and after the invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003. She gives you a better sense of the perspective of the victims of the war, the citizens of Baghdad themselves. Of course her view is hampered by the restrictive Iraqi state and colored by being a citizen of a country with completely different international obligations than the country we live in. Well w ...more
Feb 23, 2015 Jules rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book by Norwegian reporter Asne Seierstad. It was honest and eye-opening. In The Bookseller of Kabul, I found Seierstad to be an exceptionally perceptive and balanced journalist, and I think she was equally successful at presenting facts in a very human way and avoiding moral judgments in A Hundred and One Days.

The book consists of three sections: “Before” [the war], “During” and “After.” As I began the book, I wondered how much the average Iraqi had supported Saddam Hussei
Trupti Dorge
Aug 11, 2011 Trupti Dorge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, favorites
Rating: 4.5 rounded to 5

Iraq’s deterioration as a nation started in 1980 because of the 8 year Iran-Iraq war started by Saddam Hussein and then the disastrous invasion of Kuwait 2 years after the war. And then there was the 12 years UN sanction.

Asne Seierstad goes on a 10 day visa as a reporter in Baghdad for Scandinavian, German, and the Dutch media. She is there to cover a possible was between Iraq and America. But Iraq is in the clutches of Saddam Hussein and the journalists are not allowed t
Oct 10, 2008 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent account of the author's interviews with Iraqi nationals and regime members, as well as what the people were going through and what she experienced during the time leading up to the US invasion of Iraq, during fighting to take Baghdad, and after the arrival of US troops.

This is the first completely truthful and unbiased journal I've read, that describes the extreme terror and domination the Iraqi people endured for years under Saddam Hussein's rule and again, during and after his fall
Feb 09, 2009 Deanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If 3.5 stars were an option, I would have chosen that instead. Generally, I thought this was an interesting and well-written book. If I hadn't read some of this author's other works, I might have even scored it higher. What Seierstad does so well is to connect with honestly with people in other cultures and tie the experiences of those she is writing about to larger themes. In this case, in pre-war Iraq where Saddam Hussein's vast network of monitors and informers were in place, it was literally ...more
Once I started this book I literally couldn't put it down & finished it in about 3 days. Really good insight into life in the front line. The author's eagerness to tell the true stories from Iraq, & not the propaganda from the government at the time, is apparent throughout this book. The sense of foreboding from the Iraqi people is also obvious. They themselves know how their country is going to be without the dictator in place. It is unfortunate that there was no other way to dispose of ...more
Rachel Hirstwood
Having already read The Bookseller of Kabul I had high expectations of this book. Asne Seierstad has produced a really strong account of her time up to and including the declaration of war on Iraq in what turned into the 2nd Gulf War.

I hadn't got much personal experience of this war as I was travelling during the part that she is describing - in fact I wasn't really that far from her! I was amazed at how scant my knowledge of this war is. But she filled in the gaps and included her own emotions,
Sep 21, 2009 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book at the dollar store of all places and ended up loving it. It's somewhat of a memoir of what life was like in Bagdad in the weeks leading up to, through, and a week after the Iraq war through the eyes of a Norwegian news correspondent. I enjoyed her story of the danger and red-tape that she had to go through to even be there and the telling of what she experienced from her perspective. I found it fascinating for her to catch a glimpse of people's real thoughts, fear and oppr ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a journal written by a Norwegian journalist in Baghdad 2003.

Some thoughts:
- I found the style of writing a bit hard to follow at times (lots of bullet points), but it moves quickly.

- Some parts I had to skim over - the deaths of children/babies hits so much closer to home now that I have also buried two is horrifying that young children suffer the kind of pain described in this book.

- One statement made by a journalist stuck with me. He said that in his 20 years of coverin
Mar 03, 2013 Alexianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that leave you breathless - this is the account of Norwegian journalist Seirstad who was reporting in Baghdad in early 2003 before the US bombing started, during the first months of the bombing and the eventual capture of Baghdad by the US troops. It is above all, an account of what she has seen with her own eyes. What the civilians go through take centre stage and it is here that the book becomes very emotionally charged especially in the narrative of episodes that left sever ...more
Fiona Squires
Jul 31, 2011 Fiona Squires rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
A Hundred and One Days is Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad's account of her time in Baghdad before, during and after the second Gulf war.

There are a few things which make this an excellent account of that time. Firstly, this is very much Seierstad's own story and the machinations of trying to be a foreign journalist in a totalitarian country and in a war zone were very interesting.

Secondly, I found the book very moving. The bombing of the market is especially harrowing although it is not writ
Kristine Gift
May 21, 2013 Kristine Gift rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at a library book sale because it was about Iraq, and I love Iraq, so why not? It definitely exceeded my expectations. As a Norwegian, Seierstad provides a new perspective on a war I've read about often from the American and British perspectives. The book is written in a highly readable and engaging style. I read it in about 3 sittings, half of which was in just one day during a power outtage. I could not recommend this book more highly. Seierstad's expression of her experi ...more
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A Hundred and One Days 1 1 Feb 26, 2014 07:32PM  
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