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They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A searing narrative of the Battle of Mosul, described by the Pentagon as “the most significant urban combat since World War II.”

In this masterpiece of war journalism based on months of frontline reporting, National Magazine Award winner James Verini describes the climactic battle in the struggle against the Islamic State. Focusing on two brothers from Mosul and their
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by W. W. Norton Company
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Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm having a hard time beginning my review because this book is so much more than just the fight for Mosul. How the coalition forces worked to retake the city from the Islamic State is covered. The tragedies of the death and destruction is covered. But perhaps the greatest information this reporter gives us is the culture of the people who are fighting this war.
Learning from a first hand account how air strikes are called in, how the military is organized & commanded and the troops on
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Perfectly balanced explaining the history, religious aspects, modern day battles and stories of actual people and their struggle for survival. I would have liked some pictures of some of the people or areas, or perhaps a few maps. Maybe they will put those in the finished copy.
Max Entropy
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I first learned of “They Will Have to Die Now” from hearing James Verini interviewed by Ari Shapiro on NPR a month ago and found him incredibly well-spoken. Having published a novel with Mosul and Isis as its backstory, I was eager to read it, and when I did I was figuratively blown away by the story and the prose. Jonathan Franzen is right; this book is a thing of terrible beauty.

I cannot imagine how harrowing, heart-rending, and puzzling it must have been for James Verini to report from those battlefron
Nathan Schmidt
Aug 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an advance copy through Goodreads First Reads and am most grateful for the opportunity.

This is a very interesting and emotionally moving story that explores Mosul (and the surrounding region's) history of being at the periphery of conquests for various conquerors and empires throughout the centuries. While on the one hand showing the nasty and hypocritical side of ISIS, the book also shows the humanity of those who came to see it as a hope for a better future, after the te
Walter Francis
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the most interesting themes echoing throughout James Verini's important book on the Battle of Mosul in 2016-2017 and the war efforts against Daesh in Iraq and Syria is that of the collapsing of time. "It's all the same, history and now," one of the Kurdish generals tells Verini toward the end of the book. This schematic allows Verini to create some truly wonderful passages about the Middle Eastern experience of time, which rather forcefully bring to the reader's attention how devastating ...more
Holly Morrow
It was with some trepidation that I opened this book written by a good friend of mine. What if I didn't like it? What would I say to him?

Thankfully, that wasn't a problem. Its really, really good - better than I'd even hoped.

James spent over a year embedded with Iraqi forces retaking city after city from ISIS in 2015 and 2016. This book is the story of those battles, and also the story of war-weary Iraqis' complicated relationship with the United States - which they understandably both hate an
Anya Zhang
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I got this book as an ARC from a WWNorton Goodreads Giveaway, so thank you guys for this amazing read! I have to say that this book changed my view on the war in Iraq to a totally new perspective and it really clarified the details of the war. I have to say at some times, the book would seem detached and then I would be lost for a few pages or so. Sometimes, I wouldn't quite be able to figure how pieces of information fit together and how it added to the book, but then again, I don't tend to rea ...more
Evocative description of a scene or scenes. Also useful material to understand the ongoing protests through. Provides a different, closer angle than Black Flags.

I didn't care for the Assyrian or other ancient history framing, as if that determined what has happened since 2011. Perhaps that's my bias against determinism or older history!

The book hints at and asks questions about how the United States's intervention in 2003 and 1991 led to the present moment, but does not t
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This journalist came to Iraq in 2016 to report on the islamic state and stayed to ducument the recaputure of Mosul and the defeat of Jihadists. It is an intense book deftly describing the relevant histories, skirmishes, beliefs, humanity, inhumanity and allegances of the times. The author supplies an excellent map of the region that he discusses but I wish he had also added a glossary as I spent much time looking things up.
Verini connected his observations to the history and culture of Iraq gracefully. Taking in both the inhumanity of war and the humanity of the people living within it was often a challenging, but Verini proved to be a wise and humble guilde. The writing was outstanding.
Steven Ridgely
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
War is tragic and sorrowful
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The winner of a National Magazine Award and a George Polk Award, James Verini is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, and is a National Geographic staff writer.