Title: STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE - Rare Pristine...
Publisher: New York City, NY: The Penguin Press, 2008
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 287 pages. Published in 2008. The authors' account on the Iraq War. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Philip Gourevitch's and Errol Morris' "Standard Operating Procedure". Gourevitch and Morris focus on the American soldiers who were sent to Iraq as liberators only to find themselves turned into jailers in Saddam Hussein's dungeons, responsible for implementing a practice they were sent to fight against. "The story of the defining moment in the war, the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs of prisoner abuse, as seen through the eyes, and told through the voices, of the soldiers who took them and appeared in them. In the tradition of powerful storytelling that runs from Joseph Conrad's 'The Heart of Darkness' and Fyodor Dostoevsky's 'The Grand Inquisitor' to Norman Mailer's 'The Executioner's Song', Philip Gourevitch has written a relentlessly surprising and perceptive account of the front lines of the War on Terror" (Publisher's blurb). Gourevitch relies heavily on Errol Morris' recorded interviews with the soldiers (hence the shared credit), that are also the basis of Morris' documentary, which is excruciating to watch. No theater in the United States has screened it, but it has been shown in Europe. Susan Sontag's last essay, "Regarding The Torture of Others" (2004), argued that Abu Graib will remain the most iconic image of the war in Iraq long after the war itself is finally over. Gourevitch and Morris evidently agree, but see the scandal from the most painful perspective of all: The soldier-photographer-torturers themselves. "There is no keeping our hands clean of Abu Graib. Ignoring it doesn't work, nor does denouncing it, and there is no disavowing it, never mind denying it. The stain is inescapable and irreversible and it is ours, and if we have any hope of containing it and living it down it can only come from seeing it whole" (Philip Gourevitch). An absolute "must-have" title for Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and dated (in the month and year of publication) in black ink-pen on the title page by the author: "Philip Gourevitch 5/08". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. It is also very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the same page by Errol Morris. This title is a great book. As far as we know, this is the only such double-signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Errol Morris, the greatest living documentary filmmaker, rarely does public signings. So this signed copy is exceptional. A rare signed copy thus. Two of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER PHILIP GOUREVITCH TITLES AND OTHER COPY OF THIS TITLE IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 1594201323. Bookseller Inventory # 13394
Synopsis: An utterly original literary and intellectual collaboration by two of our keenest moral and political observers has produced a nonfiction Heart of Darkness for our time: the first full reckoning of what actually happened at Abu Ghraib prison, based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with the Americans involved.
The Ballad of Abu Ghraib reveals the stories of the American soldiers who took and appeared in the iconic photographs of the Iraq war-the haunting digital snapshots from Abu Ghraib prison that shocked the world-and simultaneously illuminates and alters forever our understanding of those images and the events they depict. Drawing on more than two hundred hours of Errol Morris's startlingly frank and intimate interviews with Americans who served at Abu Ghraib and with some of their Iraqi prisoners, as well as on his own research, Philip Gourevitch has written a relentlessly surprising account of Iraq's occupation from the inside out-rendering vivid portraits of guards and prisoners ensnared in an appalling breakdown of command authority and moral order.
What did we think we saw in the infamous photographs, and what were we, in fact, looking at? What did the people in the photographs think they were doing, and why did they take them? What was "standard operating procedure" and what was "being creative" when it came to making prisoners uncomfortable? Who was giving orders, and who was following them? Where does the line lie between humiliation and torture, and why and how does that matter? Was the true Abu Ghraib "scandal" a result of an expos or a cover-up?
In exploring these questions, Gourevitch and Morris have crafted a nonfiction morality play that stands to endure as essential reading long after the current war in Iraq passes from the headlines. By taking us deep into the voices and characters of the men and women who lived the horror of Abu Ghraib, the authors force us, whatever our politics, to reexamine the pat explanations in which we have been offered-or sought-refuge, and to see afresh this watershed episode. Instead of a "few bad apples," we are confronted with disturbingly ordinary young American men and women who have been dropped into something out of Dante's Inferno.
The Ballad of Abu Ghraib is a book that makes you think and makes you see-an essential contribution from two of our finest nonfiction artists working at the peak of their powers.
About the Author: Errol Morris is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Wilderness of Error and the Academy Award???winning director of The Fog of War, among other films, including Standard Operating Procedure; Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control; and The Thin Blue Line. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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