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I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story [Kindle Edition]

Michael Hastings
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

At age twenty-five, Michael Hastings arrived in Baghdad to cover the war in Iraq for Newsweek. He had at his disposal a little Hemingway romanticism and all the apparatus of a twenty-first-century reporter -- cell phones, high-speed Internet access, digital video cameras, fixers, drivers, guards, translators. In startling detail, he describes the chaos, the violence, the never-ending threats of bomb and mortar attacks, the front lines that can be a half mile from the Green Zone, that can be anywhere. This is a new kind of war: private security companies follow their own rules or lack thereof; soldiers in combat get instant messages from their girlfriends and families; members of the Louisiana National Guard watch Katrina's decimation of their city on a TV in the barracks.

Back in New York, Hastings had fallen in love with Andi Parhamovich, a young idealist who worked for Air America. A year into their courtship, Andi followed Michael to Iraq, taking a job with the National Democratic Institute. Their war-zone romance is another window into life in Baghdad. They call each other pet names; they make plans for the future; they fight, usually because each is fearful for the other's safety; and they try to figure out how to get together, when it means putting bodyguards and drivers in jeopardy.Then Andi goes on a dangerous mission for her new employer -- a meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters that ends in catastrophe.

Searing, unflinching, and revelatory, I Lost My Love in Baghdad is both a raw, brave, brilliantly observed account of the war and a heartbreaking story of one life lost to it.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In his powerful debut, a young Newsweek reporter details two tumultuous years covering the war while falling in love with his long-distance girlfriend Andi, who would join him in Iraq only to be killed in a botched kidnapping. Largely concerned with describing on-the-ground conditions, Hastings reports with insight and grim humor from the front lines, embedded with soldiers in "a world with its own language and geography." Hastings handles the grisly particulars directly, the way he talks with the troops; the account is pocked with their tales, short bursts of heart-stopping sadness ("One American and at least fifteen Iraqi children killed") with no lesson or redemption indicated, and often without follow-up. The chaos is given shape by Hastings' romance with Andi, who remains in New York for a year before joining him in the Green Zone; dates, emails and instant messages provide a welcome reprieve, and drive the narrative toward its devestating conclusion like a tightly-plotted thriller. Like Mariane Pearl's A Mighty Heart, this is a tragic love story with broad appeal married to an unflinching account of wartime violence and brutality; as such, it should do even more than that bestseller to fill in a general audience on the dire state of Iraq. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 2005, at the age of 25, Hastings was sent by Newsweek to cover the war in Iraq. Eventually, his girlfriend, Andi Parhamovich, joined him, working for the National Democratic Institute to try to create democratic institutions. The story of their moving and ultimately tragic relationship forms the core of Hasting’s account. The book begins and ends with the horrifying terror attack that killed Parhamovich. In between, Hastings describes how two young, almost hopelessly idealistic people try to nurture and maintain a relationship amid the daily carnage in Baghdad. This is no sappy love story. There is, of course, affection, but there is also conflict as both show the stress of constant fear for their personal safety. This is also a rather brutal story of a society ripping itself apart. Particularly after the March 2006 bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, sectarian violence rages with increasing savagery. No one is immune. Supposed noncombatants must travel in security convoys protected by private security firms. Parhamovich’s death is emotionally wrenching, but it seems almost predictable in this moving but deeply disturbing story. --Jay Freeman

Product Details

  • File Size: 998 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (May 11, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DWKRM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, emotional story - a must read April 28, 2008
Format:Hardcover
This truly amazing book tells two stories. The main story is of course the beautiful, modern love story between Michael and Andi. Everyone that has been in love can relate to the stories of their first couple dates, the playful yet intense arguments that you get into when first finding out about each other and the overall feeling of just wanting to be next to the person you love. The tragic end to their relationship literally made me break down and cry. It only took me a couple days to read most of the book, but it took an additional couple days just to read the last couple chapters. The final chapters are so overwhelming that I needed to stop reading every so often just to collect myself.

The second story is about the war in Iraq. I have read hundreds of books and stories about the current conflict and no other book so fully explains the war better than "I Lost My love In Baghdad." Everyone should read this book in order to fully appreciate what is happening on a day to day basis to our troops and the Iraqi people.

I fully recommend this book and encourage everyone to read it. You will not be able to put it down.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By dirtymc
Format:Hardcover
The tragedy of losing someone as close to you as your first love is unimaginably painfull. It is made even more grueling if it is under the conditions that his fiance passed away in. There are those reading this book that forget that message. I am not one of those individuals. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. Nothing could ever bring her back but maybe telling her story will make you whole.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book, entertaining and tragic April 20, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Hastings' book is a phenomenal introduction to young love and life in Baghdad. Throughout his story, there is a unique perspective on Iraq and daily life there. I could sense the intensity and constant danger ubiquitous in the country. More importantly, this story really makes me regret not having the opportunity to ever meet Andi Parhamovich. He portrays her as a beautiful, noble, vibrant young woman and her loss feels tragic even to the reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad end when a good man goes down June 19, 2013
Format:Paperback
Good man down........Michael Hastings death is a loss to us all. He spoke the truth to power....and now he is gone.....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Story July 26, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very touching book written by the reporter who outed General McCrystal. It's the story of his romance, how his fiancee followed him to Baghdad, and how she died there--senselessly. It is an anti-war book, and emphasized for me why we have to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We should never have gone there in the first place.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent January 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I just finished reading this book. It was excellent and a must read for EVERYONE, alot of lessons to be realized in this book. It descibes life in Iraq very realisticly. Of course people are always quick to judge and put others down, however this is his story and we must remember the Author has just and still going through the unthinkable, that FORTUNATLY most of us will never have to go through, losing the Love of our Life in a war zone. I have read many many books in my time, and have NEVER been touched by a book as I was by this one, I cried like a baby, extremly sad!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educatonal and Emotional August 6, 2009
Format:Hardcover
Every once in a great while, I come across a book that makes me want to grab those I love most, look them in eye, and tell them that they've GOT to read this book. "I Lost My Love in Baghdad" is one of those books.

Michael's story is riveting, topical, and also very personal. It's a veritable balancing act between risk and reward. This book will stay with me for a very long while.

It helped me to understand what being there is really like. The fact that you woke up this morning doesn't mean that you will again tomorrow. I can't imagine living in that kind of stress every single day, or the toll it takes on the body as well as the psyche.

I have a new found respect for Journalists who are trying to do a good job while trying their best to survive. Seriously, "You have GOT to read this book."
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for journalistic war reportage, but... January 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Maybe two-and-a-half stars:
While the author's personal story, the loss of his fiancée, is certainly nothing less than tragic, the manner in which it's interwoven with the war reporting didn't work for me (not just the details of the relationship, but the way in which those details are often presented via emails, texts etc.). There were so many times when, rather than admiring him for his candor regarding his relationship issues, I sort of cringed in embarrassment at their telling. Couldn't help but wonder if he realizes how unflattering a portrait he paints of himself? With obvious hindsight, he acknowledges the folly of the Iraq invasion but that certainly doesn't stop him from seeming to revel in the whole "glamorous war correspondent" stereotype and the attendant macho man fantasies. I certainly feel compassion for the murder of this young woman and can understand that he was seeking to honor her memory in some fashion, but his often smug and self-absorbed take on the events related didn't do her memory adequate justice in my opinion despite what may have been his best intentions.

As far as the war reporting from Baghdad, there are many better accounts, Dexter Filkins' _The Forever_ War comes immediately to mind, and when in the early pages one finds such a glaring factual error as the date of the first Iraq (Gulf)War (cited herein as beginning in January 1992--it was a year earlier, it may make one question other aspects of credibility and carelessness. The fact that the author, seeking to somehow "personalize" the event of the war's start date, ties it into to his being in fifth grade at the time, may be that's part of the problem?

There are always some issues, I think, when journalists put their experiences into book form, but there are also examples (Filkins' account as noted) that show that it can be done right.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars More touching because it's real
A page-turner from the start. Even though I knew what was going to happen, you keep hoping for a different ending. Keep a box of tissues near - you'll need them. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Cynthia A. Shelton
4.0 out of 5 stars Anthem for Doomed Youth
This is an intensely personal account of the Iraq War and a turbulent love affair between two young Americans that is well worth reading. Read more
Published 15 days ago by John
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, sorrowful love story
Insightful view of the war in Iraq, with a sorrowful love story as the backdrop. The saddest part is that Michael Hastings is now longer with us to share his reporting.
Published 16 days ago by Larry Kosson
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense
Michael Hastings was such a gifted writer, and his ability to weave together the tragedy of Iraq with the intense grief he experienced with the death of his fiancee in that war has... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Rev. Judith Kelsey-Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and War
Excellent day to day reporting of the horrors of the Iraq War...But,,a even better Love Story. Michael Hakstings was well on his way to becoming one of our greatest writers..
Published 25 days ago by R. L. Olsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Moving.
I was surprised at what really happened to Michael's true love. I was actually shocked as I did not know the history of these two people and did not expect this type of tragedy.
Published 27 days ago by Judy McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Great love story
I loved this book. The description of the war in Iraq was well told and truthful.
The regular press in the states were dishonest about the war. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PATRICIA G. HARRIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and sickening beyond words
Beautifully written and very disturbing account of life in Iraq during the war and ththe author's tragic loss of his fiancé there.
Published 1 month ago by rick_kremer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time
I've been trying to learn about the different factions fighting in Iraq as I've followed the news the past few days, had no idea this book would be so pertinent! Read more
Published 1 month ago by babybmr
5.0 out of 5 stars The madness of war....
I knew Mike Hastings and considered him a friend, but I'm not giving this five stars out of a nepotistic star bumping scheme for my late friend. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matthew P. Hoh
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More About the Author



Michael Hastings was a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and a correspondent at large for BuzzFeed. Before that he worked for Newsweek, where he rose to prominence covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the recipient of the 2010 George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone magazine story "The Runaway General." Hastings was the author of critically praised three books: I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Panic 2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story of Obama's Last Campaign and the New York Times bestseller The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, which was optioned for film by Brad Pitt's Plan B Productions. In 2010, he was named one of Huffington Post's Game Changers of the year. In 2009, his story Obama's War, published in GQ, was selected for the Best American Political Writing 2009 anthology. Hastings died in 2013, and was posthumously honored with the Norman Mailer Award for Emerging Journalist. His novel The Last Magazine (Blue Rider Press) will be released on June 17, 2014.

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