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Father of Money: Buying Peace in Baghdad Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (June 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597975443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597975445
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"... a masterstroke of psychological and practical warfare..." - The New York Post

"The American led invasion of Iraq has spawned a flood of books on its causes and its course, but few have been as enlightening as this one." - Macleans Magazine

"If you read one book on what guys on the ground faced during deployments to Iraq (and presumably Afghanistan as I have not been there), Father of Money should be it" - Jason Fritz, Ink Spots

"The writing is good throughout, indeed sometimes very good, and the audience benefits from a narrative that gradually inducts the reader into Iraqi society alongside a naïve Captain Whiteley."  - Jim Drury, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

"I strongly recommend this book to all junior and mid-level officers in preparation for future deployments where the army will likely be asked again to help establish local governance and jump-start the local economy." - Lt. Col. David T. Seigel, USA (Ret.), professor, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

"While I especially wish I had read this book before I went to Iraq, I am glad to have been able to read it after I came home." - Peter Van Buren, author of We Meant Well

"Father of Money tells the story of the Iraq war as it actually happened. Far from a tale of duty, honor, god, and country, Jason's year in Iraq was filled with moral ambiguity, and fraught with fragile loyalties and progress that was frustratingly ephemeral. He documents the momentous challenges of the U.S. occupation from the ground level, the brotherhood of war, and the imperfect compromises that marked the intersection of the U.S. government and Iraqi culture."—Garrett M. Graff, author of The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror


"Father of Money is a hugely enjoyable read, a profoundly honest and powerful memoir by a U.S. Army officer forced to negotiate the moral abyss that was Iraq in 2004. Further, it is a searing analysis of the institutional blunders and foolhardy policies that characterized Bush and Rumsfeld’s invasion and their devastating impact on brave men and women who went to Iraq to serve their country. Whiteley’s courage in writing this book is inspiring."—Tom Roberts, director, A Company of Soldiers, PBS Frontline

"While I especially wish I had read this book before I went to Iraq, I am glad to have been able to read it after I came home. Some other well-meaning American is there now, no doubt meeting some of the same questions, ignorant of the other Americans who walked those same streets. I hope he gets the chance to read Jason Whiteley’s book."—Peter Van Buren, wemeantwell.com Book Review, July 6, 2011



“After serving two year-long tours in Baghdad, including four months with Jason Whiteley in Al Dora in 2004, I can tell you that Father of Money is a riveting book that accurately describes what it was like trying to establish local governance after the invasion of Iraq. It was innovative junior officers like Captain Whiteley who first realized that ‘money is a weapon system’ that buys protection for U.S. troops, allegiance from local power brokers, and has the potential to douse the flames—albeit tragically only for a short period in this case—of ethnic violence and civil war. I strongly recommend this book to all junior and mid-level officers in preparation for future deployments where the army will likely be asked again to help establish local governance and jump-start the local economy.”—Lt. Col. David T. Seigel, USA (Ret.), professor, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

From the Back Cover


Father of Money tells the story of the Iraq war as it actually happened. Far from a tale of duty, honor, god, and country, Jason's year in Iraq was filled with moral ambiguity, and fraught with fragile loyalties and progress that was frustratingly ephemeral. He documents the momentous challenges of the U.S. occupation from the ground level, the brotherhood of war, and the imperfect compromises that marked the intersection of the U.S. government and Iraqi culture." -- Garrett M. Graff, author of The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror

More About the Author

Jason Whiteley was born and raised in Lumberton, Texas, a small community near the Gulf Coast. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1999.

From 2004 to 2005, he served in Baghdad as a governance officer in the Al-Dora District of Southern Baghdad. He left the Army in 2005 to pursue a law degree and a master of science in foreign service at Georgetown University, both of which he received in 2009.

Since then, Jason has practiced law in London and Washington DC, but he stills finds time to do what he loves - tell good stories.

Customer Reviews

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I was impressed with the author's writing style from page one on.
Sean Hicks
His job was to work as a type of liaison between the army and the citizens of Bagdad in order to develop trust and cooperation.
Sharon Henning
The reader feels like he or she is right there in the midst of the chaos in Baghdad.
Danese Fondren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brenda on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have known soldiers serving in battles from WWII to Iraq and have heard and read their stories. Former Captain Whiteley is unique in his ability to articulate the depth and intensity of the moral conflicts he faced in Iraq. In addition to his excellent skills as a writer, in any genre, he was also educated at West Point and unlike some lower ranking soldiers, knew military and diplomat strategies. He was also intelligent enough to quickly see their deficiencies in this circumstance and immediately devised creative methods to cut through the bureaucratic tape that delayed the restoration of local utilities, sanitary services, security and employment opportunities so vital to the recovery of the average Iraqi family. I think all readers will share the writer's disillusionment, frustration and anguish for the victims of war as everything he accomplished for the locals was first hampered by well-meaning politicians and military consultants, and then almost completely destroyed in just a few days by nearby insurgents. Captain Whiteley further informs and alerts us on the intricacies of war in Iraq but in the end leaves us alone to wrestle for a clear and resounding answer as to whether the US troops should stay or withdraw.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joshua P. Illian on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In full disclosure, Jason is a friend and classmate from West Point. When I was informed he had written a book on his experiences in Iraq, I was honestly a bit hesitant to read it. I've read the books of other, admittedly less talented friends, and they were a struggle to get through. However, what Jason has put together here sucks you into his experience from page one. The writing style is fast-paced. The vivid characters and immersive settings effectively put the reader in the author's boots.

Jason brings the reader into stories that are absent from the headlines of the mainstream media. However, through my own experiences in a similar position in Iraq in 2003, and the anecdotes of fellow soldiers, I'd say his experiences are representative of many who have served there. This is the story of a motivated junior officer, given the ambiguous assignment of co-opting the local power brokers in his unit's area of responsibility. With few resources and little leverage, the author wheeled and dealed to create alliances, build trust, and develop the support of populace in a highly volatile neighborhood of Baghdad.

Read Father of Money. As an OIF vet, hearing stories that were similar to my own was extremely cathartic. As a student of history, this is the type of work that contains the stories of the little victories, lessons learned and unlearned, that will ultimately shape the way the Iraq War is perceived through the ages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jaybeemorgan on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is the examination of the human aspect of conflict that is the most riveting facet of this book. Whiteley's candid re-telling of his decision making process while faced with morale dilemma is not only fascinating, but refreshing. All too often authors today candy coat the facts to ensure they are politically correct. But war is not politically correct. War is ultimately a clash of cultures and Whiteley's discussion on the lack of cultural preparedness of Soldiers entering into Baghdad in 2004 is outstanding. He accurately articulates what many of us felt at the time - frustration with leadership, brotherhood forged in combat and ultimately the intense pain associated with shocking loss. This book is a must read...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gray on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having served in the same area as the author, I can confirm the level of social corruption and methods necessary to get the job done. Jason's way of telling the story is refreshing, in that there is no sugarcoating the facts; he presents the story as it unfolded. The transformation of his thought process and strategy is like nothing I've encountered in a book of this genre. This book easily transports you to Captain Whiteley's world of al Doura and challenges your conscience with respect to the rational and moral decisions you might make in his shoes. A job well done, sir.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Benigni on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Father of Money is a must read for all counter-insurgents. After commanding a tank company in a similar area during the same time period, I do not endorse this unit's decision to pursue effectiveness at the expense of legitimacy. It was short sited, unsustainable, and not representative of U.S. forces in Iraq. However, Whiteley's access to Shia leadership makes this book exceptionally unique. The narrative brings to life a complex, dynamic, and ruthless network that is often oversimplified and underestimated. I am thankful for his courage and transparency; all stand to learn from this account of trying to win in Iraq by the insurgents' rules.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob K. on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An outstanding book that should be required professional reading for military officers. I served with Mr. Whiteley during this time period in Iraq and I can't emphasize how "spot-on" it is. It's not your typical war book, but rather focuses more on the regional cultural/ societal norms and expectations that forced many of us to adapt outside of the Army's cold war cookie cutter, western and our own, definition of what is right/ ethical. Highly, highly recommend it if you want to have a better understanding of the frustrations we, American soldiers, felt with the Iraqis, the Army and ourselves. Jason illustrates the supposed learned lessons from Vietnam that were quickly forgotten as we were tasked with rebuilding and policing a country. It's a perfect microcosm case study for understanding why Iraq, as a whole, was not the "Mission Accomplished" we were told it was. Had a lot of emotions I'd suppressed for years come back reading it.
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