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Naked in Baghdad

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  642 ratings  ·  67 reviews
As NPR's senior foreign correspondent, Anne Garrels has covered conflicts in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In Naked in Baghdad, she explores the sights, sounds, and smells of the recent war in Iraq with unparalleled vividness and immediacy.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Picador USA (first published September 3rd 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,043)
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Carol E.
This is a great book! Garrels was a correspondent in Baghdad, one of a handful of journalists who stayed there to report on the initial "Shock and Awe" campaign and the arrival of U.S troops in 2003. In the next year she also goes back to report on the aftermath.

This is an in-depth study of what had happened, what was the current situation, what were the locals and regular Iraqis experiencing, and what was the result of what happened. No one does this better than NPR. This book really impressed
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Elizabeth
This is a good example of how a journalist can write about her experiences. Made me think a lot about my career and current events.
Karis
"Despite the scenes of celebration widely broadcast back in the States, the city seems somber to me. Iraqis are afraid of anarchy. They are afraid of themselves as much as they are of the Americans. And while most now admit to being glad Saddam may be gone, they are at best suspicious of American intentions and influence. Educated Iraqis warn again and again in interviews that we should not be deluded by the signs of welcome."

"Naked in Baghdad" is a war reporter's notebook of sorts by NPR corre
...more
Ellen
Fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of Baghdad in the months leading up to the war and the days after the bombing started in April 2003 until US troops took the city. Garrels was one of the few journalists (American and otherwise) who stuck it out in less-than-ideal conditions. I remember hearing her reports on NPR at the time, but it's been so long, I don't remember the particulars. Now, I wish I could go back and listen to them with my new knowledge of what effort it took to obtain the infor ...more
Nicole
3.5 stars. Let me first say that I love Anne Garrels. I was glued to NPR every morning, before and after the war started in Iraq, to listen to her excellent reporting. She narrated this book, and as I listened, I was instantly taken back to many a commute, coffee in hand, listening as her stories unfolded. This book was the "behind the scenes" that you didn't hear about - how she had to rig her satellite phone, reporting naked in her room to buy her time in case Iraqi officials made raids, her h ...more
Lucas
There are two major stories in this book, the first is covers the details of how to be a reporter in Iraq, and the other is about the looting following the arrival of U.S. forces in Baghdad.

Reporting from the pre-invasion Iraq involved a lot of bribes, surreptitious use of satellite phones, dealing with Iraqi 'minders' that would act as translators and attempt to lead reporters to stories the Iraqi government wanted told, and self-censorship to avoid being kicked out of the country. The author n
...more
Devin Rodriguez
"Naked in Baghdad" is a gripping first hand account of event leading up to, and through the war in Iraq after 9/11. It is experienced through the eyes of a talented NPR correspondent. The narrative takes breaks from Anne Garrels (the NPR correspondents) harrowing accounts with her husband Vint's email correspondence with Anne's fans. Vint's addition to the text is a sort of "comic relief" to the very intense and sometimes over burdening account by Anne.

This novel is a must read for people who h
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Lisa
Naked in Baghdad is a behind-the-report accounts of an unembedded NPR correspondent, Anne Garrels. It's written like a journal which makes it more personal and begins with a 'Brenda Bulletin', which are email newsletters written by Anne's husband Vint. The newsletters are sent to their family and friends as a way to keep them informed about Anne's assignment in Iraq and they're interspersed throughout the book, in chronological order. They add another dimension to the book and show Vint's great ...more
marcus miller
Anne Garrels recounts the fascinating story of how she reported the events leading up to the war in Iraq and its aftermath. Garrels provides a first hand look at the work done by reporters and the many obstacles and dangers they faced in Iraq. She did her work bravely and seemed to be committed to searching out different aspects to the unfolding story. Her husbands email updates provide a welcome bit of humor.
What I found to be interesting was her observations of how Iraqi's viewed Saddam and th
...more
Tracey
I heard an interview with Ms. Garrels soon after this book was released - and of course, she told the story of the book's title:
Journalists and other reporters were supposed to leave their satellite phones at the Iraqi Information Bureau; Anne had managed to smuggle hers back to her hotel room. Through the grapevine, she heard that the security detail was going to sweep their rooms one night, checking for contraband equipment. She figured if she came to the door nude, that would buy her enough t
...more
Jostalady
Anne is in the heart of Baghdad during the lead up and beginning of the US led Iraq war. I am glad I read this first hand account of the challenges to getting solid information and even sincere opinions from citizens. I had been glued to the embedded reporter coverage and totally missed out on the perspective she represents here.

One of the things I had not heard before was what I had always considered a real shame-on-us disaster, where gatherings of Iraqi citizens were hit. Anne is convinced by
...more
Jc
Amazingly straight foward and clear story of a very confused time in American life. I find it difficult to understand the forces working within Anne Garrles which compelling her to take on these assignments. I remember listening to her broadcasts and thinking of how difficult it must have been to be where she was, doing the reporting, and being less than welcomed by the government of Iraq.
Michelle Lyle
One of the best first person accounts on war reporting that I've ever read - and this is a genre where I've read quite a bit. Anne Garrels has a crisp, yet soft writing style that gives you hard facts and heartbreaking social commentary all at once. I cried and laughed and hoped one, that she would stop putting her life in such danger, and two that she would get another amazing assignment and tell me all about it.
One of the best first person accounts on war reporting that I've ever read - and th
...more
Will Byrnes
Ann Gerrals is an NPR radio reporter. The book tells of her time on the ground reporting in Iraq before during and after the most recent Iraq war. It is full of small details that enrich understanding about what reporters on the scene must endure. Particularly interesting, to me at least, were her comments about CNN (not laudatory) and some other reporter types. On the down side, she does not seem critical at all about the war, it’s rationale, but could almost be one of the embedded reporters se ...more
Gloria
Hard to believe that I chose this book from my stack of "to read" as one that would be relaxing? comforting?

But oddly enough, Anne Garrels' account of our entry into Iraq, was comforting to me, and I think it is her matter-of-fact, hard-won intelligence about the ways of the world, her straight-forward accounting of difficult things, that gave me the greatest comfort. With people like her, the many journalists who, for the benefit of keeping us informed, providing us with alternative (?) accoun
...more
Genevieve
I found this book entirely fascinating. As an NPR junkie, learning the backstory of how a reporter like Ann Garrels gets her stories in a war zone was enlightening to say the least. She's a factual writer - and much of her writing sounds like her reporting. I was incredibly impressed with her boldness and bravery to get the best story for NPR's listeners, as well as her ethics and humility in contrast to networks like CNN and the way they get by in a war zone. As if I needed another reason to lo ...more
Kelly
4.5 stars. This one will definitely stick with me. She provided interesting perspectives on what was going on there, what it's like being a journalist in those circumstances, and I loved the pieces written by her husband as well. Definitely worth the read.
Bruce
Anne Garrels book is a combination of her 'journal' and her husbands 'e-mails'. It is set up on a date basis which makes for easy reading. Interspersed with her observations of what is occurring at that time in Iraq she adds recollections of prior assignments, though only a few and then as a way of comparison. The book was copyrighted in 2003 and the preponderance of the observations occur before the US invaded. That being said, it seems that everyone except the Bush Administration knew what was ...more
Christine
A telling look behind the scenes of the War in Iraq. This book was written at the beginning of the war (I doubt she thought it would last this long) so might sound a bit dated in parts. But Ms. Garrels is so good at seeking out the off-the-beaten-track stories of individual Iraquis and how this war is affecting them. It will make you think. I find this book particularily amazing since she's a woman in a Muslim country and also an NPR correspondent vs one for CNN, etc. You will find this interest ...more
Breann
Jul 07, 2007 Breann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tough chicks
A page-turner. Hard to put down profile of a brave woman's effort to provide an unsensationalized account of the war in Iraq. Written in a style much like her NPR reports, Ms. Garrels strives to provide views of the war through the eyes of the Iraquis living through the conflict. Thought-provoking, and provided insight into the conflict. My only regret is that it ended after the first year of the conflict, I would be interested in hearing more from this author on this subject about the years tha ...more
Emily
Read for work.
Jamie
This book is wonderful in so many ways. Anne Gerral's displays amazing courage and fortitude to get the story told in the face of terrorists, threats and violence. She will make it hard to ever just "listen" to a radio correspondent's accounts of war again without being empathetic to their struggles to report. Intermixed with her husband's emails to family and friends (which do get tiresome at times), her story is of a kind that is rarely heard from this war.
Stacey
This is a really powerful book and provides a really interesting perspective on the Iraq War as well as a behind-the-scenes look at being a war journalist. I listened to this as an audiobook, which felt like a very natural way to experience it. Anne reads her portion and her husband reads the email updates that he sent to friends, providing even another perspective on the situation. If you are an NPR fan, I would highly recommend this book.
Kathy
An incredible book. Having been a listener to NPR and hearing Anne report from Russia many years ago, knew this would be an excellent book. Her humanness comes through, not only in the oral, but written word as well. There are 2 reasons to enjoy this book; A. her relationship with her husband, who understands why she does what she does and B. to get the truth and understanding of the reality of a situation.
Emily
This was a heartfelt and fascinating look at the start of the Iraq war. As you'd expect from NPR, one of their top foreign correspondents went to Baghdad just before the war began and stayed through the invasion of Iraq to cover not just the American perspective, but that of the citizens whose lives were mostly deeply impacted by these events. Great as an audio book with the beautiful voice of Anne Garrels.
Amanda
This story fascinated me. I was instantly taken back ten years to the start of the Iraqi invasion. I loved the insight into the mind of a journalist and NPR. My one complaint was that there was very little personal reflection, information about the author or attempt to make meaning of experiences. This is probably what makes Garells a great reporter, but it made the book a bit flat.
Sarah
This book takes place leading up to the Iraq War and the very beginning of the US invasion. Anne gives us insights into the life of a reporter as well as insights to the lives of the Iraqis she was meeting. You get a good sense of the feelings, thoughts, and struggles that were infiltrating that country at the time.
Sue
This was an amazing book about an NPR journalist in Baghdad at the start of the war. It is an incredible first-hand account of the build up to the war, Iraqis' expectations for this war, life as a war correspondant and life as a war correspondent. Well-written, slim. I can not give this high enough praise.
Maureen M
Garrels takes us inside her life as a journalist scrambling for stories in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq, and her husband sheds light on the 50-year-old woman who would take such risks. It ends with the invasion and fears of what would happen in the aftermath, much of which unfortunately did happen.
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