The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory StewartThe Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory Stewart

The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq

byRory Stewart

Paperback | March 4, 2007

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In August 2003, at the age of thirty, Rory Stewart took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad. A Farsi-speaking British diplomat, he was soon appointed deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. He spent the next eleven months negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure for a population of millions teetering on the brink of civil war. The Prince of the Marshes tells the story of Stewarts year. As a participant, he takes us inside the occupation and beyond the Green Zone, introducing us to a colorful cast of Iraqis and revealing the complexity and fragility of a society we struggle to understand. By turns funny and harrowing, moving and incisive, this book amounts to a unique portrait of heroism and the tragedy that intervention inevitably courts in the modern age.
RORY STEWART is the author of the national bestseller The Places in Between and a recipient of the Order of the British Empire. He lives in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he has founded the Turquoise Mountain Foundation.RORY STEWART has written for the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books, and is the author of The...
Title:The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in IraqFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.9 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.3 × 0.9 inPublished:March 4, 2007Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0156032791

ISBN - 13:9780156032797


Read from the Book

THE BRITISH CAMPA Prince cannot avoid ingratitude.Machiavelli, Discourses, Book I, Chapter 29Pursuant to my authority as Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1483 (2003), and the laws and usages of war, I hereby promulgate the following: The CPA is vested with all executive, legislative, and judicial authority necessary to achieve its objectives . . . This authority shall be exercised by the CPA Administrator.Coalition Provisional Authority (Iraq)Regulation Number 1Monday, October 6, 2003On the three-hour drive north from Basra to take up my post in Maysan, I passed through the territory the Prince of the Marshes claimed to control. I saw the canal Saddam had dug: some reeds, a few fishermen in tin boats and some water birds. Long parallel lines stretched for miles across the drab earth. There were very few people to be seen: most Marsh Arabs now lived in slums on the edge of cities. Boats were no longer the standard method of transport and the buffalo herds had gone. The thicket of six-foot reeds in chest-deep water that once covered thousands of square miles had become parched and barren mud.We turned off the highway down an avenue guarded by two rusting Iranian tanks kept as souvenirs, one with a drunken turret. We passed buildings whose roofs had collapsed under the impact of American J-Dam explosives, came up along the edge of a bastion wall serving as protection against car bombs and stopped at the guard house of Camp Abu Naji. Six months earlier it had been the base of the semi-mystical Saddam-funded terrorist group, the Mujahaddin-el-Halq.A private from the Kings Own Scottish Borderers approached the car, recognized the driver, saluted, and lifted the drop bar for us. On either side were low, shabby concrete buildings, rolls of barbed wire, and corrugated iron. There were soldiers on the roofs, presumably sleeping outside because there was no air-conditioning in the tents. I dragged my bags out of the Land Rover and was shown to a room.Pushing back the heavy black curtain that served as a door, I lifted the nylon mosquito net and put my sleeping bag on the camp bed and brushed some sand off the tin trunk. The window frames were lined with duct tape and the curtain-door stretched to the floor but, as I was to find over my next six months in the camp, nothing was able to exclude the sand, which accumulated in a thick yellow film across the cement floor and the canvas chair.We ate at six-thirty. At the entrance to the cook-house an Iraqi in a blue boiler suit was pouring bottled water into a large tea urn. A private stood next to it, making sure that everyone, officer and civilian alike, washed their hands from the urn to prevent the spread of diarrhea.I sat with a group of young officers and the regimental padre. A subaltern barked, Red or green? and returned with plastic cups filled with juice of the relevant and astonishingly intense

Table of Contents

CONTENTSForeword Dramatis Personae TimelineIntroductionCapitalist-Imperialist-Crusader Waking Up Dead Mordor Part One: The Prince of the MarshesThe British Camp Regeneration The General Civil Affairs Persia Ice Cream Baklava Pagoda The Supervisory Committee High Command Part Two: Death of a HeroFriday Prayers And Would Not Stay for an Answer Resolutions Blood Money Resignation Summit Part Three: Iraqi PastoralAl-Mutanabi Street Rural Rides Deputy The Paths That Lead to Destruction Import Substitution Industrialization Jobs Mutiny Sheikhs Precautions The Islamic Call Sadrines Majority and Minority Poet Our Successors Departures Trust A New Chief Death by the Office Wall Credibility Part Four: NasiriyahArrivals Morning Meeting A Second Governor Sage of the Assembly Mudhif Ali Zeidi Police Echoes from the Frontiers Kidnapped Rewarding Friends Foreign Elements Return to the Green Zone The Rule of Law Part Five: BesiegedThe Quick Reaction Force Kabul Reprise Final Days Leaders Last Days in Amara Handing Over Afterword Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"Both shrewd and self-deprecating...Recalls an earlier generation of British travel writer."