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One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story
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One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story

3.14  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In an outspoken memoir -- all the more powerful in light of recent discoveries -- Janis Karpinski reveals the true story of the tragic and shameful events of 2004 from her first-hand experience as commanding general in Iraq.Karpinski was the only female general officer commanding troops in a combat zone in Iraq. Although she had no training in handling criminal prisoners, ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 11th 2006 by Miramax (first published October 12th 2005)
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Mare Grohowski
Nov 07, 2015 Mare Grohowski rated it liked it
Though this book does many things: defends her role in AG scandal, tells the events of her entire military career, overwhelmingly, it seeks to inform readers (particularly male readers who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and those who see the U.S. Armed Forces as for men only) of women’s roles and history in the military; of women’s treatment in the military by men of all ranks. To show what women face in terms of gender discrimination and how they make their own ways within a system that does n ...more
Aug 26, 2007 Myriah rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
An interesting tale from the first woman general in command of a combat zone. Karpinski was also the general in charge of Abu Ghraib, the infamous Iraqi torture prison. Karpinksi writes the book about her career in the Army and in hopes of clearing her name from the scandal. Honestly, I hadn't heard of her until I saw the book. But when I googled her name, it came up with details of the prison torture.
Karpinski isn't the best storyteller, and some of her anecdotes fall a bit flat, but the histo
Dec 28, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Brigadier in charge of Abu Gahrib tells her story, from start to finish. Along the way there are a few of the things you would expect: sexual harrassment and gender discrimination in the 1980s Big Army years and the struggle of holding a marriage between 2 soldiers together. There are also things you might not expect, including Karpinski's founding of the women's officer's candidate course in Kuwait during the first Persian Gulf War. The Abu Gahrib sections should be considered along with Er ...more
Dec 26, 2010 Erik rated it it was ok
Shelves: military, gender
Partly a defense of her role in the human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib and partly an account of her rise to becoming a one star general serving in wartime, this is a surprisingly readable account and memoir. It seems clear that the military made her a scapegoat but her rise through the ranks serves as a model for all ambitious women pursuing that career.
Jun 29, 2010 Lydia rated it it was amazing
A strong and level-headed woman tells her side of the story. It's very motivational and I learned a lot from it. She tells her opinions and the flat-out truth unapologetically, and offers no room for compromise when it comes to what she believes.
Louise Silk
Sep 05, 2012 Louise Silk rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
Karpinski was the general in command of Abu Ghraib, the infamous Iraqi torture prison. The book is an honest look at what went wrong at Abu Ghraib but more than that it is the story of what it's like to be a female in a male dominated military.

Karpinski tells all about her struggles to keep her femininity within a macho military machine, how she came to join the military police and her experiences in the Middle East including being awarded a Bronze Star in the 1st Iraqi war.

I don't know how I
Jan 19, 2016 Stacy rated it liked it
A well written book that is enjoyable to read. I think it could inspire interesting discussions in a book club.
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