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Tell Them I Didn't Cry: A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss, and Survival in Iraq
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Tell Them I Didn't Cry: A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss, and Survival in Iraq

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  36 reviews
In her gripping account of the Iraq war, Jackie Spinner goes beyond the headlines to reveal the challenges of reporting news in a place where danger and fear accompany journalists everywhere. This is a vivid and personal story of her time in Iraq -- where for thirteen months she covered the war from its center in Baghdad, Fallujah, Kurdistan, and Abu Ghraib -- and of being ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Scribner (first published January 31st 2006)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
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Start your review of Tell Them I Didn't Cry: A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss, and Survival in Iraq
Margaret
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2008
This book was hardly what you might expect when you learn that it's a journalist's account of her time reporting in Iraq. Jackie is hardworking, down to earth young woman raised in the Midwest and educated at Berkeley, someone who attends church regularly but is also routinely criticized by conservative bloggers for being too liberal in her reporting. First and foremost, though, she's someone dedicated to her vocation and who finds her place in the world in a war zone. I loved that her twin sist ...more
Jordan
May 29, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely nobody
This was one of the worst war correspondence books I have ever read. Its dispassionate style and frankly boring structure made it hard to get through. It is hard to make something like the Iraq War seem trivial in light of 'the love of two sisters', but the Spinner twins managed to do just that. That is not a compliment. ...more
Stacey
May 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the thing about journalism and writing about it --- most of the time it's ego in the way, or standing in the shadows of it.

The parts where her sister writes of her worries is awfully sappy each and every time.

I would've liked less of Spinner and more of her Iraqi coworkers...they at least are truly interesting.
...more
Stephanie
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have gotten so wrapped up in the economy that you have forgotten about the Iraq War you should read this as we are still there.
Kimberly Boenig
For some reason I expected this book to be more exciting. Sometimes it would pick up, but those times were often abruptly ended. Honestly, this book could have been half as long with the content of has, and everything meanders. Overall, this book felt unstructured.
Yvonne Crawford
Good book but sick of war but I understand
Katy
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My sister gave me this book for Christmas because she had read it and loved it. I, too, read and loved it. It's about a young journalist who's covering the Iraq war for a newspaper (can't remember which one). It's a true story which makes it call the more compelling.

The book is not political at all. It's simply her experiences and thoughts about what SHE went through while over there. She talks about feeling hungry, missing family during holidays, becoming family with her translator and other Ir
...more
Francesca Favila
I give this book a 3.5. I loved the rawness with which she portrayed her own insecurities and fears throughout her time in Iraq. I was captivated throughout, but I felt like the ending was unresolved and I really just wanted more. I want more dealt and more time spent describing the staff and the field missions that she went on. I felt there was so much more material that she could of drawn from. However, I think my largest critique would have been the sense of time. She flitted back and forth b ...more
Jill Koren
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My cousin Chris recommended this book to me. I really liked it because it gave me a perspective on Iraq that I wouldn't have otherwise. I feel like Spinner (well, both Spinners) were earnest and tough (though I didn't enjoy Jenny's as much as I did Jackie's; they took me out of the narrative a little too much, and how could they not be melodramatic?). The writing had its flaws (a lot of repetition of how the staff felt like family) and the voice seemed young, but I wasn't too put off by the flaw ...more
Mary Snedden
Jackie Skinner was in Iraq recently and was escorted by my daughter in Baghdad so I was curious to read her book. The book was written in 2004 and really I was impressed that it seems more dangerous there now then it was in that year. Jackie's relationships with the translators and fellow Iraq reporters is an intimate human relations portrait. I couldn't help but note that both she and Anderson Cooper, in his book, Dispatches from the Edge" get "hooked" on the war environment and returning to th ...more
David Gallianetti
As much as this is a behind the scenes of life as a war correspondent, it's a very personal story by an author who falls in love with her surroundings and the new people in her life. We get to know the people who run the Post bureau in Iraq as the author gives us a series of short feature stories. The book reminds you how much we in America take what we have for granted and how easy it is to tune out what's happening globally and unfortunately on the political talking heads for our perspective. ...more
Francine Uenuma
This book is chick lit meets war stories. It's life in a battle zone from a female perspective, and she's pretty honest about how hard it was. I enjoyed reading it, although I was partially biased because some of what kept me reading was getting the skinny on people from work in the book. ...more
Amanda
Sep 19, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
did make me wonder what i'm doing sitting here just existing, when one could be there living the experience i'm reading about.

but then i remembered that i've grown out of that particular journalistic deathwish period of my life.
...more
Andrea
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
The benefit of reading this book is the culture in a country that we hear so much about. Ms. Spinner wrote wonderfully about the side of this country I wondered about and now understand why Americans are so widely misunderstood and resented.
Sheena
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart-wrenching account of a woman's struggles as she tries to survive in a male dominated job while in a male-dominated country. Truly humanizing story of those in Iraq, from all sides and perspectives.
...more
Angie
Jul 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book to compare/contrast with Eat Pray Love, recounting the 2004/2005 escalating violence in Iraq as seen from the eyes of a young, female Washington Post reporter. ...more
Karen
Jun 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A first hand insight into covering the war, from a young woman's perspective. In my reading of this, Jackie Spinner did not let any political biases into her reporting, which is refreshing. ...more
Kyra
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in my book club. Very interesting and incredible book about a woman reporter in Iraq.
Melissa
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the honesty with which Jackie Spinner talks about her time in Iraq and found I had a hard time putting this book down.
Abdullah
Jan 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition


The worst ever boring to death
Trace
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book did make me cry. A wonderful portrait of journalism in Iraq, and how you create a life in the most extraordinary situations.
Caroline
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, I can't put it down ...more
Ruth
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-read
One of the best personal accounts of the Iraq war.
Andrew
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
written by my international reporting professor (and her twin sister) who covered the war in iraq in 2004 for the washington post and other media.
Toesnorth's mom
journalist for Wash. Post, her tour in Iraq, interesting, but why?
Cindy
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Interesting insider's view of Iraq, often bogged down in details. ...more
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Non-fiction. I really liked this. Reporter for Washington Post goes to Iraq. Gets to know the Iraqi people really well. Has a twin sister Jenny at home from Illinois.
Ashley
#
CompNtBk
Borrowed from the library.

FS:

LS:
Bob Daugherty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-memoirs
Incredible memoir of a journalist's time in Iraq. ...more
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Jackie Spinner is an American journalist who worked for The Washington Post from 1995 to 2009.

Spinner grew up in Decatur, Illinois, the daughter of a pipe fitter and a schoolteacher. She has a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a master's degree at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

Spinner was a U.S.
...more

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