Joan Baez; Albert V. Baez A Year in Baghdad

ISBN 13: 9780936784380

A Year in Baghdad

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9780936784380: A Year in Baghdad
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From Publishers Weekly:

Parents of the famous singer and pacifist tell of their year-long sojourn in Iraq in 1951 and how it helped to crystallize their family's values. A 10-year-old Joan drew the slight illustrations that decorate each of the short journal-like entries, where the warm, informal voices of the parents alternate in a medley of familial harmony. Albert Baez concentrates on describing his work as a physics professor and his wife on her efforts to create domestic comfort in their crude Baghdad house. We're steeped in details of trip preparations, private matters and itinerary that are the usual stuff of family vacations. Travails include their anxiety over attaining a functional bathroom, their clash with villagers who took offense at their photographing an historic site and their rainy-day outing to a movie house. One of the Baez family's ostensible motives is to register a vote for cultural diplomacy. The book, however, most resembles a testament to their beliefs, and they speak of their affiliation with the Religious Society of Friends. But, unfortunately, interest in their homey stories wanes too soon despite their good will, and readers, except those curious about the singer's upbringing, will be convinced that the treasure of these memoirs remains personal to the Baez family. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In 1951, Al and Joan Baez took their three young daughters to Baghdad for a year, where Al was on a Unesco mission to teach physics. Their experiences as a young and idealistic family in a strange, inefficient, and uncomfortable land make up this book. Alternate chapters by the two authors relate the difficulties in getting settled, the professional challenges, the many friends and kindnesses, the illnesses, and more. They conclude that the year was stressful for all, but valuable. The style is personal and prosaic, and the results are pleasant but not memorable. The only thing noteworthy about the book is that the illustrations were done by their daughter, the famed folk singer. Elizabeth R. Hayford, Associated Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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