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Baghdad Blues (Paperback)

A Novel of the Iraq War

Historical Fiction World History > Middle East

By Paul Kendel
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781636241722
Published: 15th November 2022


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At a dusty intersection in Baghdad, Sergeant Thomas Kirkland is seconds away from unleashing a hail of bullets on a possible suicide bomber when he's stopped by the unexpected — the piercing dark eyes of a young girl sitting on her mother's lap in the passenger seat. For a split second he'd held the life of this child and her family in his hands. Plagued by fear and anxiety, Sergeant K struggles with his own inner demons as he confronts a population around him that wishes him dead. But he confronts more than just an external enemy, as he discovers the darkness that exists not just within himself, but in his fellow soldiers.


A starkly honest and gut-wrenching account of the Iraq war from the perspective of an infantry soldier patrolling the dusty and lethal roads of south-west Baghdad. The threat of IEDs and ambushes are ever-present, but as Sergeant K and his comrades soon learn, modern war can take many shapes and forms. Grappling with a myriad of emotions — fear, anger, confusion, and anxiety — they face many external threats, but they begin to discover that the enemy within themselves can often be more challenging and dangerous than the one they were sent to fight.


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About Paul Kendel

Paul Kendel was born in Hawthorne, CA, in 1967. Following a three year service in the active army, he graduated from college with a master’s degree in both History (emphasis in the Middle East) and Anthropology. Following the 9/11 attacks he deployed in early 2002 to Saudi Arabia with the California National Guard. In January 2005 he started his training for deployment to Iraq with the Georgia National Guard. In 2011, he retired from the army and his book Walking the Tiger’s Path: A Soldier’s Spiritual Journey was published. He has been working with Mindfulness Peace Project, a nonprofit organization based in Niwot, Colorado, to develop secular mediation programs for combat veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He has also participated in nondenominational mindfulness based meditation workshops for incarcerated prisoners across the country.

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