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Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq
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Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In the tradition of Andy McNab's Bravo Two Zero comes an explosive insider's account of life as a private soldier in Iraq. In September 2003, James "Ash" Ashcroft, a former British Infantry captain who served in West Belfast and Bosnia, landed in Iraq as a gun for hire. It was the beginning of an 18-month journey into blood and chaos. Ashcroft provides a firsthand view of
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Virgin Books
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Aug 07, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brian by: ex roommate
This is a easy yet entertaining book. It takes a look at the Iraq war from a somewhat outsiders point of view through the eyes of an ex-British officer, John Ashcroft, hired as a private security defense contractor. The main body of the story is about some of his more exciting actions and experiences in Baghdad which are well expressed and vividly written. Weaved into the stories he gives his opinion on the failings of the American Government as well as the bias representation in how the war was ...more
Myles Miller
May 18, 2014 Myles Miller rated it really liked it
In the early to mid 2000's, Private Military Contractors/Companies(PMCs) were a very prevalent part of the conflict in Iraq, specifically Baghdad. The media portrayed these "mercenaries" as ruthless privatized killers, who traded blood for money. Making a Killing simply and accurately showcases the lifestyle and motives of someone who was a PMC, James Ashcroft. This memoir of Ashcroft's time working in Baghdad, mostly around The Green Zone, or the center of the Coalition Provisional Authority. ...more
Jan 07, 2010 Brett rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. I got kinda caught up in the Blackwater (trial) thing, so I read this to see what they were doing over there. Pretty informative.
James Piper
I found it an interesting read. So much behind the scene action of mercenaries in Iraq.
Alejandro Shirvani
May 16, 2014 Alejandro Shirvani rated it really liked it
Lively and interesting insight in to the life of a private military contractor which reveals what the situation was like on the ground in Iraq during the first year or so after the invasion when the situation gradually deteriorated and went out of the Coalition's control. James Ashcroft is honest and articulate, a soldier doing an honest job. Lots of action scenes and detail on coming in to 'contact' with insurgent attacks as well as the difficulties in training and trusting the Iraqi guards the ...more

The book is best when the author describes the street level day to day life of a security contractor. His description of navigating between the Coalition Authorities and the Iraqis, the types of jobs his group handled (guarding visiting journalists, maintaining security of a water treatment plant) as well as the type of personalities who are drawn to the industry are interesting.

The book loses something when the author vents his frustration about the overall war in Iraq. The book is fille
Angus McLean
Jan 30, 2016 Angus McLean rated it really liked it
Entertaining with plenty of action and insight into the reality of the scene in Iraq in 2003-04.
Huge risks, huge pay and big thrills for those that were there. Probably he made it through such an intense time without the team experiencing a real tragedy, given the environment they worked in.
Well written and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a look inside a PMC team in Iraq at that time.
Sep 22, 2015 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Great read, this!

This is the true story of a former soldier, turned white collar worker who turns his back on a steady, stable job to go to Iraq as a contractor working for Spartan.

The book gets straight into the action, unlike many of the military books I've read over the last few years, it doesn't dawdle over the author's life before the army.

It's non-stop action, well written as well.

If you're into your military books, especially about Iraq / Afghanistan then I can recommend this book.
Bjorn Hardarson
Jan 04, 2013 Bjorn Hardarson rated it liked it
I don't know I do not understand Iraq and I believe many of the things are true Michael Moore says. Making a killing gives a true real insight into post war status in Iraq has been. Captain James Ashcrot "Ash is a mercenary (is that what the call it?) a part of contractors in Iraq playing bodyguard to press and et.c. Lots and lots of dollars are being spent on the problem USA made in Iraq and there is no stop in the problems, riots and...
Chloe Thurlow
Jan 20, 2011 Chloe Thurlow rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most important and informative books to come out of the Iraq so far. By describing exactly what's going on 'on the ground', rather than behind the bomb-proof barriers of the Green Zone, Ash Ashcroft brings us a clear picture of the day to day life in Baghdad where ordinary people are trying to weave a path among the terrorists, troops and private security forces fighting over their city.
Apr 01, 2008 Harrison rated it really liked it
There are 70,000 Private Military Contractors (or PMC's) in Iraq now with at least 30,000 in active combat. Though personally, the idea of private armies scares the crap out of me, there are many reasons why it also makes sense economically and politically. This book is a memoir of a British PMC who writes about the good and bad intentions of good and bad people in Iraq.
Jun 03, 2012 Gary rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
An entertaining easy read that gives an insight into daily life for a PS team in Iraq and dispells the popular bleeding heart myth that PSC,s are no more than mercyless blood thirsty killers, willing to work for the highest bidder. Like the idea of private security contractors in war zones, or not, they have a conscience and they earn their pay.
After reading "Blackwater", I wanted a first hand account from a merc on the ground. This is is a no nonsense and at times quite touching account of a former soldier turned contractor working in Iraq just after the war had officially ended. I liked it a lot and would definitely recommend.
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