Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Military History Reading Challenge: Book Review 2

For the second military history book that I had to read, I chose Because Each Life Is Precious: Why an Iraqi Man Risked Everything for Private Jessica Lynch by Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehaief and Jeff Coplon (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003). Although I am not completely sure if this book would fit into the military history category, I chose to read this book primarily because I had wanted to read this book for some time and because this book is a recounting from a civilian's point of view an event that occurred a few years ago during the Iraq War.

This book, though, is just more than about why Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehaief chose to help Private Jessica Lynch; it is also a book about his life under Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqi culture and his experiences of life during the three most recent wars Iraq had been involved in. In short, the book is part autobiography and part memoir. Additionally, his description of how life was under Saddam's government does make it very clear that his decision to help Private Lynch was putting whole family at risk; his wife, daughter, siblings and father also could have faced reprisals for what he did. And even if he did have some legitimate grievances against Saddam's government, I did not feel that that was his main motive in wanting to help Private Lynch. From my reading, I gather that he was motivated more by compassion and humanity than anything else.

Of course, this is just my opinion of the book. I think it is a very good and interesting book, and I enjoyed reading it.

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