A Fist in the Hornet's Nest: On the Ground in Baghdad Before, During & After the War
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A Fist in the Hornet's Nest: On the Ground in Baghdad Before, During & After the War

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  23 reviews
When war broke out in Iraq, every major U.S. network pulled its correspondents from the scene. Despite the risk, Richard Engel stayed. As our tanks entered Baghdad in April 2003, he was there, bringing the Iraqi war into American homes as a stringer for ABC news. Determined to deliver the whole Middle East story, Engel moved to Cairo in 1996 after graduating from Stanford...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published (first published February 25th 2004)
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Daniel
A Fist in the Hornet's Nest by Richard Engel is an interesting book. It is essentially a journal about his experiences being a reporter in Iraq and the Middle East in general. The book flows with time, starting as he embarks to Egypt beginning his career, and ending about a year or so after the fall of Saddam. There are stories about how he lived and worked in the region and, more importantly, how he survived. I read Richard's first book "War Journal" before this one. That book easily picks up w...more
Mary
I've become fascinated with Richard Engel after watching all of his reporting from Egypt on MSNBC and NBC. I discovered he wrote two books. Just finished his first one and have started his second one. Very interesting accounts of the Iraq War from a reporter's perspective. I've gotten used to little soundbites about the war, so it was pretty enlightening to read more in-depth coverage. I think what makes this even more compelling is the fact that he has lived in the Middle East for quite some ti...more
Lauren
Let's start with the bad: the subtitle. After the war? Really? Published in 2004, this book came out over seven years before the actual end of the Iraq War. In other words: children born when this book was published were in elementary school when the Iraq War actually ended. In those seven years, thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens died. Billions of dollars were spent. I wish 2004 had been the end.

Luckily, the subtitle is the worst part of this book by a long shot. While the writin...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
A deeply engrossing look at the Middle East a few years before, during, and then very shortly after the Iraq War. Richard Engel moved to Egypt in 1999 to become a journalist. He felt the next great stories would happen in the Middle East, and he wasn't wrong. It's an interesting book, somewhere between personal and professional, as he tells stories about his day-to-day life and also stories of how he got the information he did. His insights on the American military presence are rather beautifull...more
Nick
The author does an excellent job sharing his feelings and experiences during the first couple of years in Iraq. For the most part it was more of a memoir instead of a political commentary. I especially liked that he was balanced in his view and did not seem to have an agenda. Most books which either pretend the U.S. is perfect or others that pretend Bush is the great Satan. Engel was optimistic that Iraq would take a long time but become a success, but at the same time he wasn't afraid to point...more
Stephanie Bluth
A must read if you struggle to understand the conflict in Iraq. I struggle keeping everything straight in my head, but having read this, I now have a much better understanding. I'm so thankful for that. Also, it's just a really compelling page-turner. I highly recommend it.
Amy
I knew I had something of a plutonic "concerned crush" on Richard Engel long before reading this - "concerned" in that every time I saw him reporting from Fallujah or embedded within the most dangerous of infantries, I would let out an audible 'be careful Dick'. But after reading about his personal journey, my crush is much more developed and meaningful. What this guy went through just to be allowed the priviledge of telling first hand accounts that no one else had the stones to tell is nothing...more
Linda
This is a carefully considered documentation of Engel's time in the Middle East leading up to and during the 2003, "shock and awe" campaign of the U.S in Iraq. Engle has a compelling writing style and this text is taken from diaries he kept and interview that he did during that time. I believe that Engel is as near to an expert in Middle East affairs that we have and that the U.S. government should pay rapt attention to his ideas and analysis of the Middle East. A good book for Middle Eastern ba...more
Beth
Richard Engel pretty much shares his unfiltered views, in this bit of war reminiscence. I dont always agree with him, but I definitely wholly respect his opinion. He goes where others wont and shares the thoughts and feelings of people who most of us will never meet. its an interesting, read, fairly quick as well, and possibly thought provoking.
John
Mar 22, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any one that would like to know more abnout the Middle East.
Shelves: excellent-books
This book was just absolutely fascinating to me. It’s about a journalist’s story of during and before the Iraq war. It gave me a real insight on the Middle East. But since he was only in Bagdad during the war, his report on the war was a bit narrow but otherwise great. Very interesting and well written, I enjoyed it immensely.
Jeannine
He is very open & honest about what's really going on in Iraq & how this war has affected him & his relationships with family, friends, & ex-wife (due to the stress resulting from his time in Iraq, his marriage ended in divorce). He really does know how to affect readers in a deeply profound way.
Henri Moreaux
Good read about the Iraq Gulf War II from the perspective of a journalist who was there. Covers a brief picture of his career beforehand, preparations before the war, circumstances during and an overview of after. A good read both from an entertainment and learning perspective.
Jason Stephan
An up and down action accounts of how life effected the iraqi people during, and after the war. Also interesting on how life was prior to the fall of saddam hussian. A quicker easy read that gives a little insight on life in the Middle East.
Leticia
Phenomenal just like his book, "War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq." He has seen so much and is such an amazing journalist and writer. Also has no fear to do a lot of the things he has done to get information and report the news.
The Restless Rani Mythili
For those who want a real, unbiased look at the beginnings of the war in Iraq this is the book to read. Kind of carries more weight given the fact we are still there 10 years later. His writing is simple, easy to follow.
Kathy
I read this while I was waiting to read his latest book. He is a report in Iraq at the beginning of the war. Very real and interesting. Well written.
Beth Albers
so many names of various factions, it was difficult to keep straight. need an entire class on the subject! Glad I read it.
Kevin Miller
NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent. On colbert - super cool - got kidnapped in Syria.

Shit fire, this foos cool.
David
This guy is a brave man, and I really can't recall when I last thought that about a specific reporter.
Adam Gott
An interesting, although somewhat incomplete, look at the US-Iraq war from inside Baghdad.
Kristen Holland Shear
Interesting read of what happened in Iraq from a veteran reporter.
Derek Attico
Derek Attico marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
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Richard Engel is an American television journalist and author best known as NBC News's chief foreign correspondent. He was assigned to that position on April 18, 2008 from being the network's Middle East correspondent and Beirut Bureau chief. Engel was the first broadcast journalist recipient of the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism for his report "War Zone Diary."

Prior to joining NBC News in...more
More about Richard Engel...
War Journal: My Five Years In Iraq Fist in the Hornet's Nest, A: On the Ground in Baghdad Before, During & After the War

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