- Paperback: 126 pages
- Publisher: Perceval Press; Illustrated edition edition (August 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972143696
- ISBN-13: 978-0972143691
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,608,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation Paperback – August, 2004
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Amy Goodman's introduction at the start makes you start to think about the motives behind the war, and question what goes on behind the curtains. Then it's a look at Iraq itself, and at the damage wrought both by Saddam and by American troops. It's sobering, and more than a little shocking.
Mike Davis offers a rather stretched glance at empires, invasions, and the difficulties that come after them. Naomi Klein offers economic glimpses at financial motives behind attacking Iraq; women's activist Jodie Evans provides her journal insights from Iraq itself; and Ambassador Joseph Wilson puts his extensive knowledge of the Middle-East to use. Publisher Viggo Mortensen offers a quiet, bleak prose poem, "Back to Babylon."
No war in decades has inspired controversy the way the present Iraq war has. And the general reaction to it is to knee-jerk. But "Twilight" wisely avoids propaganda, whining, ranting and name-calling. Instead, most of these writers merely present their opinions and stimulate the readers' thoughts. Some have even been to Iraq to see what has happened with their own eyes.
Whatever your political leanings, it's impossible not to be shocked by the deterioration of Iraq that is shown to us here, a crumbling country which is being weighted down to the breaking point. The political commentary is secondary to the vivid pictures of Iraq -- a place most people have never seen -- and its struggling people by those who have seen the aftermath.
Lynsey Addario's photographs prove an effective illustration of the essays. They're bleak, stark, and often very disturbing. There are pictures that are saddening looks at the struggling Iraqi people, and some that are simply appalling on a moral level, like an soldier goofing off in Saddam's pool.
Whatever your thoughts on the Iraq war are, "Twilight of Empire" is worth checking out, if nothing else to make you think, reconsider, wonder, and sympathize. A powerful and disturbing book.
Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson lays out how the US deceived the American people into supporting a fallacious war and Naomi Klein's wonderful essay clearly defines who exactly stood to gain from the war in Iraq. In an interview with Kristina Borjesson, she explains how in order to gain accurate news reporting it is important to seek out more reliable sources, such as the foreign press, who aren't pressured by the administration to present a favorable view.
While all political books have agendas, Twilight of Empire strives to present information fairly and to connect the dots that are sometimes difficult to find. And Lynsey Addario's stunning and compelling photographs are not to be missed.
More specifically the musings of such international relations luminaries such as Viggo Mortensen and Ambassador Joe Wilson give this book a decidedly ideological rather than critical/academic analysis. If that's what you want, then you'll love the book.
If however you want something a bit more intellectually satisfying, try "Cobra II" or "Fiasco."