Martyrs' Day: Chronicle of a Small War
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Martyrs' Day: Chronicle of a Small War

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In this classic account of the Gulf War from all sides of the conflict, Michael Kelly brings Operation Desert Storm to vivid life. He watches bombs fall on Baghdad; waits for Scud attacks in Tel Aviv, hears horrific tales of rape and torture in Kuwait, and travels with Kurdish rebels at war with Saddam Hussein themselves. In the new foreword and afterword, Kelly places the...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 26th 2001 by Vintage (first published March 29th 1994)
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Bought this book after reading the late Michael Kelly's accounts of the war in the newspaper. He was an excellent journalist and this is an outstanding work which brought insight into the continual struggles in the Mideast. I learned more about Iraq from his account than I had from any other source. His death there a few years ago, is so sad.
4/16/2013: I know so little about the Middle East and the United States' presence there over the last 20 years, and the best part of this book is that it made me want to read more about it. Written during Kelly's travels through Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Israel, and Egypt, during the Gulf War in 1991, this chronicle strikes a wonderful balance between the facts and numbers, stories from all the people he talked to, and his opinions of what was happening.

Kelly is an amazing journalist, able to descri...more
This is a recap of the travels of the author around the Middle East during the first Gulf War. He begins in Iraq, followed by Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, before entering Kuwait with the Arab forces. He completes the book by revisiting the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, a year later and reporting on the worsening conditions there. A very detailed look at an almost forgotten war. Kelly later died during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
I read this shortly after it came out in the early nineties and again after the author was killed covering the Iraq War. Its an enlightening look at the results of war on an underdeveloped country. Its balanced and brutal. His descriptions of the highway of death left me shaken. I would recommend this today as strongly as I would have (more so probably) when it was first published.
More great work from Kelly. If you want a true account of war and to start really thinking about the Mid-East (not just to win arguments), please read this book. He brings historical insight and humanity to a situation that seemed confusing and cruel: the 1st Iraq War.
Account by a journalist who snuck into the combat areas of Iraq during the first gulf war. ends up in Kurdistan when they revolt, but no US forces show up.
I. J.
This book is the reason I went into the journalism program at the university. Kelly's death is one of the great tragedies of the current Iraq war.
This made a big impression on me in '93. I was sorry to part ideological ways with Kelly in his later years.
Mar 06, 2007 Ethan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2006
Not enough character development. Too jumpy. More travel writing than war reporting.
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Michael Kelly is a freelance contributor to The Irish Times. He writes columns including ‘My Big Week’ and ‘What’s On’ for the Irish Times Magazine, ‘A New Life’ in the Health supplement and ‘The Irishman’s Diary’. His column ‘Giving Up’ in the Irish Times Magazine saw him forsake each week some of the essentials of modern life electricity, mobile phone, shaving, coffee etc. He also writes for The...more
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