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 from Rory Stewart, bestselling author of Politics on the Edge and host of hit podcast The Rest Is Politics.

By September 2003, six months after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the anarchy had begun. Rory Stewart, a young British 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.