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The Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind

By Kirk W. Johnson

Narrated by Kirk W. Johnson

Your prices reflect a discount of 20%
9 Audio CDs
(Library Edt.)
List Price: $83.99    Your price: $67.19
EAN: 9781452645599
9 Audio CDs List Price: $39.99    Your price: $31.99
EAN: 9781452615592
Mp3-CD List Price: $29.99    Your price: $23.99
EAN: 9781452665597
Publication Date: 09/03/2013 Running Time: 10 hrs 34 min


In this stunning memoir of "one of the few genuine heroes of America's war in Iraq" (Dexter Filkins), Kirk W. Johnson provides a rare glimpse into the perspective of the Iraqi people, and a searching exploration of America's moral obligations to those Iraqis who stepped forward to help.

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Review Excerpts

"The emotionless voice that Johnson employs for the many bureaucratic emails responding to emotional pleas from fearful Iraqis being threatened with death is disturbingly appropriate." ---AudioFile

"What separates the memoir from the rest is the impassioned plea that the author makes about the desperate plight of the Iraqis who aided and worked with the U.S. forces and the daily dangers they face." ---Library Journal Audio Review

"Kirk Johnson is one of the few genuine heroes of America's war in Iraq. . . . Johnson's story is about America's shame, and also its honor. This is an essential book." ---Dexter Filkins author of The Forever War

"To Be a Friend is Fatal is a deeply personal and poignant story about how one young American's passion and curiosity lead him to a distant and troubled land, where his empathy and sense justice prevent him from giving up on the people abandoned by the U.S. government." ---Azar Nafisi author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

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PDF Sell Sheet for To Be a Friend Is Fatal

In January 2005 Kirk Johnson, then twenty-four, arrived in Baghdad as USAID's only American employee who spoke Arabic. Despite his opposition to the war, Johnson felt called to civic duty and wanted to help rebuild Iraq.

Appointed as USAID's first reconstruction coordinator in Fallujah, he traversed the city's IED-strewn streets, working alongside idealistic Iraqi translators—young men and women sick of Saddam, filled with Hollywood slang, and enchanted by the idea of a peaceful, democratic Iraq. It was not to be. As sectarian violence escalated, Iraqis employed by the U.S. coalition found themselves subject to a campaign of kidnapping, torture, and death.

On his first brief vacation, Johnson, swept into what doctors later described as a "fugue state," crawled onto the ledge outside his hotel window and plunged. He would spend the next year in an abyss of depression, surgery, and PTSD—crushed by having failed in Iraq.

One day, Johnson received an email from an Iraqi friend, Yaghdan: People are trying to kill me and I need your help. After being identified by a militiaman, Yaghdan had emerged from his house to find the severed head of a dog and a death threat. That email launched Johnson's mission to get help from the U.S. government for Yaghdan and thousands like him abandoned in Iraq. The List Project has now helped more than 1,500 Iraqis find refuge in America. To Be a Friend Is Fatal is Kirk W. Johnson's unforgettable portrait of the human rubble of war and a book that "redeems a measure of pride from a national episode full of tragedy and shame" (George Packer).

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HISTORYMilitaryIraq War (2003-2011)

To Be a Friend Is Fatal

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