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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2008
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
on 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
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.

I finally read this book after avoiding it and many other Iraq memoirs for the better part of the last decade. I served in Iraq in 2004-5 and then in 2006-7. When not there, I worked on Iraq policy in the Pentagon or State Department. For personal reasons I haven't had much of a desire to read about our great tragedy in Iraq, but last month I picked Mike's book up off of my shelf and began it.

First, Mike's details are spot on. His first initial experiences entering a Baghdad at war, his acclimatization to "normality" at war, and then his struggle with the dissonance between life in America and life at war are not just exacting and illustrative, but touching and sincere. To be short, his reporting of both the war and life at home during war, or America in exception to war, is excellent.

But, on top of outstanding war reporting, and what is lost, I believe, in so much of our discussion and understanding of war, is the personal story. War is above all else a human experience. The larger, macro examination and discussion of Iraq in its common form as geo-political, DC Beltway pundit banter is meaningless when compared with the millions upon millions of individual stories of men, women and children, most of them tales of suffering and grief, too many of them snuffed out and no longer continuing.

Mike's story is intimate, genuine, heartbreaking, and, as great writing does, transcends the immediate environment of the story to be understood as a universal truism that others can share in. While Mike's war reporting will explain and describe the events of that war to allow someone inexperienced with its madness, his personal story, of his love and relationship, will be readily identifiable by any of us who have loved and lost.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've read some previous reviews which complained about romanticism and machismo and an apparent "air" put upon by the (now deceased) author. As someone who was in Baghdad at the times that Michael Hastings was there, and more specifically, experiencing many of the same emotions he experienced, I can tell you those reviews are at best ignorant, and at worst, vapid. This story is so true it hurts. The emotions expressed here...all of them...are 100% real, and as raw as they get. Unfortunately, I fear only those of us who were there will know how true this story really is. Thank you, Micheal, for telling this story. May you and Andi both rest in peace.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was taken by the story in this book about Michael Hastings and Andi Parhamovich. This is a sad story of a pointless war, a reporter caught up in himself and a woman who did not fully understand the horrors of Iraq.

Michael deserves to be noted for his honesty. He writes freely about how he put his job as a reporter over his love of his girl, Andi. Over and over and over he picks his job over the woman who loves him. He leaves her for Iraq. He hardly sees her because he is so busy following stories when she gets a job in Iraq to be near her. He cuts short visits with her to go out on "embeds" with the military. He without question put his job ahead of his love.

Yet, Michael Hastings is not original in putting work ahead of love or family. We all do that at one time or another. His story is that he most likely had a more profound moral duty to examine the matter and decide one way or the other about Andi. He needed to either leave Iraq or fess up and tell her right now it's the job over you and that's that. Whatever the case this young and beautiful girl should not have been in a war zone on some romantic escapde. Michael owed her the duty to pick love over the job and get her back to the US or tell her that he couldn't get fully focused right now on her and that she needed to leave Iraq.

His inaction and allowing Andi to follow some love whim by taking a job with an inept effort of some organization in Iraq caused this beautiful soul to get caught up in a dangerous and hate filled place that took her life.

Andi died at the hands of crazed lunatics using God to kill someone they were insanely jealous of--a successful & lovely American who was free and had a lot that these killers did not. She was clearly set up by the people she was trying to help with this ineffective effort by the group she worked for in Iraq.

Andi's mistakes were not uncommon in life--people do all kinds of things for love--it's that the type of a mistake in her case had lethal consequences.

Michael was honest in his shortcomings in regard to Andi which were many. That is to be respected. In his own way he will have to come to terms in how he let her down and then live the rest of his life.
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