Bicycle Diaries: <i>Baghdad blues</i>

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Baghdad blues

back to the future

Timothy Stewart-Winter, a Ph.D. Candidate in American history at the University of Chicago, writes on Sam Greenlee's 1976 mass-market paperback novel Baghdad Blues, a book that should be on President Bush's reading list.

Greenlee, a Chicago native, gives his characters a perspective of the Iraqi landscape that is deeply shaped by the radical internationalism cultivated by post WWII decolonization. Reporting on the Americans' surprise at the Iraqi coup, the book's main character concludes,
Only a bunch of white folks, so hung-up on always being right about everything, so hung-up on themselves, could have been surprised about what had happened. The signs had been everywhere, and it really took talent to avoid them, to turn the facts into something entirely different.

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