By September 2003, six months after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the anarchy had begun. Rory Stewart, a young Biritish diplomat, was appointed as the Coalition Provisional Authority's deputy governor of a province of 850,000 people in the southern marshland region. There, he and his colleagues confronted gangsters, Iranian-linked politicians, tribal vendettas and a full Islamist insurgency. Rory Stewart's inside account of the attempt to re-build a nation, the errors made, the misunderstandings and insumountable difficulties encountered, reveals an Iraq hidden from most foreign journalists and soldiers. Stewart is an award-winning writer, gifted with extraordinary insight into the comedy, occasional heroism and moral risks of foreign occupation.
'Beautifully written, highly evocative . . . a joy to read' John Simpson
'A marvellous book . . . a devastating narrative' Simon Jenkins
'Absolutely absorbing' Ken Loach
'Strikes gut and brain at once' James Meek
'Wonderfully observed, wise, evocative' Observer
Rory Stewart was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Malaysia. After a brief period in the British army, he joined the Foreign Office, serving in the Embassy in Indonesia and as British Representative in Montenegro, Yugoslavia. In 2002 he completed a 6,000 mile walk from Turkey to Bangladesh. His account of crossing Afghanistan on foot shortly after the US invasion, The Places In Between, was published in 2004, drew widespread acclaim, and was shortlisted for that year's Guardian First Book Award. He was awarded an OBE in 2004 for his work in Iraq. From 2006 to 2008 he lived in Kabul, where he was the Chief Executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation; in 2009 he was appointed to a professorial chair at Harvard University as the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights; and in 2010 he was elected as Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border.