Occupational Hazards

Rory Stewart

2007 Nominee

John Llewellyn Rhys Prize

04 May 2007
464 pages


A fascinating insight into the complexity, history and unpredictability of Iraq.

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.

Occupational Hazards is Rory Stewart's inside account of the attempt to rebuild a nation, the errors made, the misunderstandings and insurmountable difficulties encountered. It 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

Beautifully written, highly evocative . . . a joy to read.
A marvellous book . . . a devastating narrative.
Absolutely absorbing.