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Kenneth Dowst reviews a damning but humorous nonfiction book, "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People," by Peter Van Buren (Metropolitan Books [hardcover], 2011).
This scathing and very funny memoir is by a mid-level foreign service officer assigned to the provinces of Iraq for one year during the U.S. occupation. It is full of first-hand details of how the State Department botched Iraq reconstruction--written by a man who helped botch it.
In its wit and even in its "plot," the book is much like Joseph Heller's "Catch-22"--except that it's true, not fiction.
Summary judgment: 4 out of 5 (well worth reading).
This review is included in the radio program, New World Notes, #254, "Jobs," also available at radio4all.net: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/65470 .