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Iraq: Then & Now: The Ancient Sites & Iraqi Kurdistan (Bradt Travel Guide) Paperback – June 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Bradt Travel Guide
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides; 1st edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841622435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841622439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,136,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Dabrowska is a New Zealander journalist living in London who focuses on Islamic culture and conflicts. Geoff Hann runs his own tour company in the UK, specializing in Iraq and the more unusual destinations.

Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Miska on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
With over 32 months of time spent in Iraq in the last five years, I found this "travel guide" extremely interesting. My soldiers and I spend months trying to determine various aspects of the culture and attempting to minimize our impacts. We have partnered with cultural anthropologists and other experts to help us understand subtleties between Sunni and Shia, urban and rural, sheiks and clerics. Much of our information collection centers around Islamic holidays and practices in order to maintain stability and promote Iraqi rule of law. This book serves as a useful reference for a variety of cultural and historic matters within Iraq.
I have purchased numerous copies of this book to provide to my leaders to help sensitize them to issues like preserving historic sites, understanding refugee issues, and internally displaced persons. In one instance a young company commander stopped digging at a local Iraqi patrol base after finding shards of pottery and other possible historic remnants. Although the local Iraqi Army leader told him not to worry about it, the company commander reported the incident. After bringing scientists from Hilla, the team declared that the artifacts could potentially date back to Alexander the Great. The US Forces stopped digging and roped off the area to prevent any possible damage from military operations.
I found this publication a timely addition to my bookshelf and have opened it frequently to inform my soldiers about various cities and provinces in Iraq. Geoff Hann just led the first authorized western tour of Iraq since the start of the war, with the exception of his forays into Kurdistan in 2007. The ministry of tourism continues to grow capacity in order to maintain and improve cultural heritage sites, while welcoming travelers into the country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A.D. on May 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Iraq: Then & Now provides a comprehensive look at the history, culture, and current events of Iraq. It is not as dry as a textbook although due to Iraq's status as a conflict zone, the book isn't quite as fun as an ordinary Fodor's or Lonely Planet guide. Except for a 14-page appendix, authors Dabrowska and Hann generally exclude information that would be useful to Western tourists because it is still mostly unsafe to travel there, except possibly to Kurdistan, as of its writing. The guide is fairly well-organized and easy to follow with good but small maps, a few nice photos, and a useful table of contents and index. The authors' discernible political bias against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 does not ruin the book--Iraq: Then & Now is still useful and informative.

The book also includes delightful little sidebars such as this one on Iraq's fauna about the post-invasion reemergence of honey badgers in Basra and the marshlands of the South: "The rumour mill became active and the British were held responsible for releasing the creatures to frighten the locals. The honey badger weighs up to 13kg [29 lbs], is one of the world's most fearless creatures and preys on jackals, antelope, foxes, crocodiles and snakes." The British Army denied the accusation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book, both educational and entertaining. Should be helpful for planning a trip to Iraq. The only thing I didn't like were some parts tended to drag on for a while and were boring and full of unnecessary information and details, the parts describing graphic violence were the most entertaining, but more would have made this a better book, for me at least personally.
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