182 Days in Iraq, 2nd edition
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Author: Phil Kiver
Publisher: Word Association.com (2006)
Binding: Paperback, 266 pages
Phil Kiver's real-life, moment-to-moment journal of his assignment as an Army journalist in Iraq is honest, irreverent gripping and emotional one moment a howl the next. Kiver's journals are raw reaction, impression, and introspection. This, folks, is what it feels like to be Phil Kiver in this war in Iraq missing home, lounging at one of Saddam s pools, angry with the brass, witnessing the deaths of children and comrades, nighttime explosions too close for comfort, pasta with the Italians, toasting the fallen with the Ukrainians. It s a delirium of experience with this journalist sorting through the rubble and smoke in search of the story that will one day be history.
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Reviewed by: Reviewer's name (date reviewed)
This is an outstanding book in its honesty, humor, and style!
I had the pleasure and good fortune to serve with the author in Iraq during his combat tour.
As a US Marine colonel, it was fascinating and refreshing to see Phil Kiver doing all America asked of him and more. This did not always fit in well with the US Army bureaucracy, but thank God we have Warriors like this who make good things happen. Kiver's initiative, skill, sense of humor, and determination to do what was right in furthering the American cause for a better Iraq vs simply being "PC" by Army standards and playing it safe, is to be highly commended!
His book is a must read for Americans really wanting to know what duty is like in and around Baghdad. From the senior Army HQ down to the USMC squad level in Fallujah, Kiver is refreshingly honest. He calls 'em as he see's 'em and the reader will appreciate this. This Soldier can think and write, doing a tremendous job describing a complex situation in a clear, fresh, and rewarding manner.
Some in his chain of command were obviously intimidated by his brain, energy, determination, and outspoken style, but shame on them. As WWII US Army legend, Gen George S. Patton, once said: "If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking."
Kiver would have made a great Marine, for we tend to protect our "unique" types who think out of the box and may be a bit eccentric! Enjoy this book and know that the author is in my opinion, one of the best representatives of a new "Greatest Generation."
A special thanks for him going the extra mile to risk a dangerous visit to Fallujah, where on the eve of battle in November 2004, he took time to personally interview dozens of US Marines about to go into harm's way. I will always be indebted to him for covering this unique combat engineer story surrounding Israeli D-9 armored dozers.
God Bless the United States Army for doing the "heavy lifting" in Iraq (i.e.: 70% of the casualties). As a US Marine, I was proud to serve alongside my Army brothers for two combat tours.
Hang in there Kiver and whatever you do, KEEP WRITING and being yourself!
- Col Michael C. Howard, US Marines, I MACE G-3 Engineer Camp Pendleton, California (Home: Portland, Oregon)
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"182 Days in Iraq" is Phil Kiver's revealing account of his tour of duty as a military journalist in theatre, on the ground, in the air, wanting to see it all, going places so dangerous he carried a hidden knife to kill himself so terrorists could not take him alive.
Kiver is without pretense. He tells you his politics, reveals his fears, tells tales on soldiers he thought incompetent, praises those he admired. He covered the coalition war, not only Americans, got to know the Ukrainians and Italians - gives us their take on the war, shows them with their guard down, guzzling vodka and emptying bottle after bottle of wine.
What I found most revealing was the things major media never reported, the many projects of soldiers and contractors to improve the lives of ordinary Iraqis. We see Kiver's affection for the children, his honest disgust for aspects of Iraqi life and culture that has him calling them savages.
Kiver did not tell his story to pat himself on the back or glorify the war; he is too brutally honest about his own failings, tells us repeatedly about military screw-ups.
He shows us who his is, warts and all; what he saw, the good and the bad, and simply wants us to know what it is like to be there.
It is rare reporting, not seen on the networks, right wing or left. Kiver lets you judge for yourself.
Dr. Keith Quincy
Eastern Washington University