Muqtada al-Sadr's men are killing more British troops than any other group in the world today. Cleric, militia leader and fiercely anti-American politician, Muqtada's combination of nationalism and religious fervour appealed to countless angry and impoverished Shias, and as US control of Iraq disintegrates, the likelihood increases that he will assume total power in the Shia areas of the country.
In a compelling narrative, award winning war correspondent Patrick Cockburn charts Muqtada's rise to power, his links with Hizbullah and the Iranians; and his confrontation with the American and British military. Cockburn has reported from Iraq since the 1970s (often at great personal risk), and combines first hand accounts of his investigations into Muqtada with vivid and dismaying reportage of the civil war now raging in a fractured country.
Patrick Cockburn was born in Cork in 1950. He divides his time between London and Iraq and is one of the very few Western journalists who still travel outside the Green Zone in Baghdad without an armed escort. He is a foreign correspondent for the Independent newspaper and has worked in Moscow, Washington, Jerusalem, Belfast, Beirut and Baghdad. His books include The Occupation and The Broken Boy,and he was the recipient of the Martha Gellhorn Award in 2005 and the James Cameron Award in 2006.