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The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq Hardcover – May 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; First Thus Used edition (May 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570759510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570759512
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Vividly told, with extensive research into the background of the war, this is a story of friendship that breaks through national definitions of enemy and pierces the myths of war.--Conspire Magazine
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What happened in Rutba is extremely moving to read--I challenge you not to shed a tear. --The Englewood Review of Books

Greg Barrett has written with passion and solid research the Rutba story of the Good Iraqis. It is the best translation one could hope for of Jesus' good news . . . --Jim Douglass, author, JFK and the Unspeakable

To have amazing, important, surprising, disturbing, and inspiring stories to tell, and to have the gift and craft to tell thsoe stories masterfully [is] a rare combination and you'll find it in Greg Barrett. Readers of these pages can become witnesses to amazing grace in an unexpected place." --Brian McLaren, author, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?

There are some stories that you wish had never happened. And there are other stories that you hope you never forget. The story of Rutba is a story that the world cannot afford to forget. --Shane Claiborne, author, The Irresistible Revolution

Complete with pictures, "The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq (Orbis, 2012), by Greg Barrett, details a remarkable story of generosity, hospitality, and community between the citizens of two warring nations. After three U.S. Christian peace activists visiting Iraq were nearly killed in a car accident outside the bombed-out town of Rutba, Iraqui Muslims came to their aid and initiated a sacred friendship. This "good news" amidst war is a gospel worth retelling --Sojourners

Complete with pictures, "The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq (Orbis, 2012), by Greg Barrett, details a remarkable story of generosity, hospitality, and community between the citizens of two warring nations. After three U.S. Christian peace activists visiting Iraq were nearly killed in a car accident outside the bombed-out town of Rutba, Iraqui Muslims came to their aid and initiated a sacred friendship. This "good news" amidst war is a gospel worth retelling --Sojourners

About the Author

Greg Barrett is a twenty-year veteran of local, national, and foreign reporting for wire and newspapers in Georgia, the Carolinas, Hawaii, and Maryland. He was a roving correspondent based in the DC bureau for Gannett News Service/USA Today. He is the author of The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok (Josey-Bass, 2008). He lives in northern Virginia.

More About the Author

Greg Barrett is a twenty-year veteran of news correspondence for US wire services and newspapers. Prior to writing The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq (Orbis, 2012) and The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions & Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok (Wiley, 2008), he was a print journalist working in towns small and large, from Loris, S.C. to Augusta, GA., Rock Hill, S.C., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., and, Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was entered for a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation into the Bishop Estate's mismanagement of Kamehameha Schools.

In 2000, Barrett was a national correspondent in the Gannett News Service/USA Today Washington bureau when he was sent to Thailand to investigate human trafficking. It was in those reports that he met Father Joe Maier and saw his Mercy Centre orphanages and schools. Surprised by the magnanimous Bangkok charity that lit an otherwise dark corner of the world, Barrett returned five years later to find out why the poor, abandoned, abused, HIV-infected children at Father Joe's charity hopped, skipped, whistled and played at a clip faster than the children in his own relatively affluent cul-de-sac near Washington, D.C. The Gospel of Father Joe became his first nonfiction book. It won a Nautilus Book Award Silver Medal in the category of Conscious Media-Journalism-Investigative Reporting.

In January-February of 2003, Barrett reported from the streets of prewar Iraq during the buildup to the US-led invasion. Seven years later, he returned to Iraq with Shane Claiborne and several other peacemakers to tell the story of how Iraqi Good Samaritans in the rugged desert town of Rutba, Iraq had helped rescue Shane and two other Americans during the Shock & Awe bombing of March 2003. The Gospel of Rutba was first released in June 2012. It paperback edition released in January 2013.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Barrett's writing is highly readable and his story inspiring.
Luke Wilcox
I imagine that I will be processing this book for the days, weeks, months and possibly years to come.
Steven Graybill
For anyone of any faith who is serious about their walk with God, it's a must-read.
Hannah West

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hannah West on June 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Barrett's style reads as if he were sitting across the table telling you the story; it comes to life in your mind. Honest, well researched and, well, what an experience - both the account shared in the book and that of reading it. It would have to be with a foreword written by Archbishop Tutu, right? It's everything you'd hope for in fiction, yet it's all true. Powerfully, movingly true. Today I "played hookie" from work (I work at home) to read the last chapters on the back porch. The first few were so riveting (I immediately sent copies to three special people in my life!) I just couldn't resist the urge. The players, including the writer, are all admirable people of conscience with fascinating back-stories of their own, each in their own ways fierce warriors for peace and such gentle, courageous human beings that I just had to know what else happened. After finishing their story I'm still drying the tears. After reading it through, the simply stated but unspeakably profound exchange between a Chaldean Christian bishop and peace activist Shane Claiborne at the end really got me, and the closing lines just took me apart. My hope for humanity is renewed and so is my own heart.

For anyone of any faith who is serious about their walk with God, it's a must-read. For anyone looking for a more personal view and a fair dose of little-known information about the war in Iraq - you must read. For any compassionate soul looking for inspiration, strength, hope - you really must read. For any American who doesn't understand the views people in other countries have of the USA or why, definite must-read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luke Wilcox on September 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After so many years of war and occupation in Iraq, the image of Iraqis in the American consciousness has become wildly skewed from reality. The Gospel of Rutba provides a timely account of ordinary Iraqis providing hospitality to Americans, despite the violence and destruction happening throughout their country. Barrett's writing is highly readable and his story inspiring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Michaels on September 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Gospel of Rutba is a must read regardless of your views on the invasion of Iraq and in spite of the fact that many of us would prefer not to dwell on that topic if we can avoid it. The book examines just one life-threatening incident -- among literally countless others across war-torn Iraq -- and invites us into the lives of those who lived through it. The reporting and research are first rate (even the footnotes are jaw-dropping) as one might expect from Barrett, a former journalist. However, the book is much more than a purely objective chronicling of events. Gospel of Rutba will make you care more deeply about "collateral damage" and about the innocent civilians whose lives end or just get turned upside down when America goes to war. Absolutely riveting!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TCoombs on March 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You get more than the story of the Christian Peacemaker Team and the Good Samaritan actions of the desert town of Rutba in this book. It is loaded with detailed footnotes and plenty of back story about each person as well as descriptions of the war we did not see or hear from from American journalists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Graybill on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I finished Greg Barrett's "The Gospel of Rutba" yesterday. I imagine that I will be processing this book for the days, weeks, months and possibly years to come. It evoked sadness, anger, disgust, guilt, as well as joy, hope and peace within me. In Rutba, Barrett juxtaposes the macabre realities of war with one of the most amazing stories that you will ever hear of grace, friendship, forgiveness, inclusivity, hospitality and peacemaking.

After reading about the lives of Shane Claiborne, Cliff Kindy, Weldon Nisly, Peggy Gish, Logan Mehl-Laituri, Kathy Kelly, and Sami Rasouli, the primary subjects from the West in the book, and their demonstrations of loving the enemy I am embarrassed to self-apply the term Christian. Reading this story has challenged me to my core.

With a ridiculous amount of research--the endnotes amount to about a 1/3 of the text--Barrett exposes the tyrannical "Domination System" that the United States has become. Rutba is the story of Iraq that you do not get on CNN or Fox or even Al Jazeera for that matter. However, it is the stories like these that need to be told. If enough of them were told we might begin to see the humanity in people--even those that we call our enemy. It is far from an easy read, but every American needs to read this book--and not just the chaptered section, but endnotes too.

In fact, I plan to buy a case to give to friends for Christmas presents--perhaps it will help "sow the peace."
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