Monday, January 15, 2007

A book review: "Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq"

I wrote a review of "Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq" by Ahmed Hashim that will be translated and published in Finnish in the next edition of Ulkopolitiikka (Foreign Policy) magazine. As ever, when I first submitted it to the editor her response was "Great, thanks, but too long. Cut it to 3600 characters." Has any editor of any magazine or journal anywhere, ever, been known to say: "too short"? It seems to be a universal law that no matter what you write for an editor, the first time it's always a bit too long. They must teach editors this default position in editor school.

Anyway if anyone cares to read the review in its very slightly longer original English version, you are welcome to. Here's a "teaser" - click on it to go to the full review:
"Hashim provides a guide to the intricacies of the Sunni insurgent groups that operate predominantly in Baghdad itself, the Sunni towns surrounding the capital and in al-Anbar province stretching to the western borders of Iraq – looking at the disparate groups, their origins and motivations, and their support bases. There are no simple answers of the type favoured in west by those debating the war on either side of the argument: the insurgency is both a national resistance movement and an expression of an extreme religious ideology."
It's a good book. I really recommend it to anyone who wants to try and understand what is happening in Iraq. If anyone has an incredible urge to buy it you can do so by clicking this linkand hopefully Amazon will give me enough money money to a buy half a pint. Well, almost half a pint...

1 comment:

ed said...

Ask any editor what they want from a writer and they will say 'On time and to length'. It really is 80% of the job. (Or maximum 10% over - never under). Barbara Amiel, once a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, used to be hated by the subeditors. Each week she would file 800 (late) words for a 500-word column then later publicly harangue the sub who had the unenviable task of cutting her copy to fit. She got away with it of course - her husband, Conrad Black, owned the paper.

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