For every great historical event, at least one reporter writes an eye-opening account of such power and literary weight that it becomes joined with its subject in our minds – George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia and the Spanish Civil War; John Hersey’s Hiroshima and the dropping of the first atomic bomb; Philip Gourevitch’s We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families and the Rwandan genocide. Whatever else is written about the Iraqi people and the fall of Saddam, Jon Lee Anderson’s The Fall of Baghdad will remain the classic book about the Iraq War. No subject has become more hotly politicized than the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and so a thick fog of propaganda has obscured the reality of what the Iraqi people have endured and are enduring, under Saddam Hussein and now. Jon Lee Anderson has created an astonishing portrait of humanity in extremis, a work of great wisdom, human empathy, and moral clarity. In channelling a tragedy of epic dimensions through the stories of real people caught up in the whirlwind of history, Jon Lee Anderson has written a book of timeless significance.