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A major New York Times bestseller by NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel—this riveting story of the Middle East revolutions, the Arab Spring, war, and terrorism seen close up “should be required reading” (Booklist, starred review).

In 1997, young Richard Engel, working freelance for Arab news sources, got a call that a busload of Italian tourists was massacred at a Cairo museum. This is his first view of the carnage these years would pile on. Over two decades he has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, and taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war, covered the shooting match in Iraq and the Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, and was kidnapped in the Syrian cross currents of fighting. Engel takes the reader into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. In the page-turning And Then All Hell Broke Loose, he shares his “quick-paced...thrilling adventure story” (Associated Press).

Engel takes chances, though not reckless ones, keeps a level head and a sense of humor, as well as a grasp of history in the making. Reporting as NBC’s Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time. His vivid story is “a nerve-racking...and informative portrait of a troubled region” (Kansas City Star) that shows the splintering of the nation states previously cobbled together by the victors of World War I. “Engel’s harrowing adventures make for gripping reading” (The New York Times) and his unforgettable view of the suffering and despair of the local populations offers a succinct and authoritative account of our ever-changing world.
In the most dramatic and intimate account of battle reporting since Michael Herr's classic Dispatches, NBC News's award-winning Middle East Bureau Chief, Richard Engel, offers an unvarnished and often emotional account of five years in Iraq.

Engel is the longest serving broadcaster in Iraq and the only American television reporter to cover the country continuously before, during, and after the 2003 U.S. invasion. Fluent in Arabic, he has had unrivaled access to U.S. military commanders, Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias, Iraqi families, and even President George W. Bush, who called him to the White House for a private briefing. He has witnessed nearly every major milestone in this long war.

War Journal describes what it was like to go into the hole where U.S. Special Operations Forces captured Saddam Hussein. Engel was there as the insurgency began and watched the spread of Iranian influence over Shiite religious cities and the Iraqi government. He watched as Iraqis voted in their first election. He was in the courtroom when Saddam was sentenced to death and interviewed General David Petraeus about the surge.

In vivid, sometimes painful detail, Engel tracks the successes and setbacks of the war. He describes searching, with U.S troops, for a missing soldier in the dangerous Sunni city of Ramadi; surviving kidnapping attempts, IED attacks, hotel bombings, and ambushes; and even the smell of cakes in a bakery attacked by sectarian gangs and strewn with bodies of the executed.

War Journal describes a sectarian war that American leaders were late to understand and struggled to contain. It is an account of the author's experiences, insights, bittersweet reflections, and moments from his private video diary -- itself the subject of a highly acclaimed documentary on MSNBC.

War Journal is the story of the transformation of a young journalist who moved to the Middle East with $2,000 and a belief that the region would be "the story" of his generation into a seasoned reporter who has at times believed that he would die covering the war. It is about American soldiers, ordinary Iraqis, and especially a few brave individuals on his team who continually risked their lives to make his own daring reporting possible.
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