The Iraq War, 2003-2011

Staff Picks

The Iraq War, 2003-2011

Although the Iraq War ended ten years ago, its effects and aftermath are still felt today. These books present a general history and overview of the United States' most controversial foreign policy action since the Vietnam War. All books on this list are works of non-fiction, including two titles that consist of candid interviews with Iraqi citizens.

All titles are linked to their physical copies, and many are available as library e-books or e-audiobooks with OverDrive and its app Libby. Visit our online catalog for other titles, and stream documentaries about this fascinating topic with Kanopy.

The Assassin’s Gate by George Packer
Packer, a staff writer for The New Yorker, chronicles the ideological and political battles in Washington that led to the Iraq War. Named a Best Book of the Year in 2005 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and several other major newspapers.

The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
This highly-acclaimed book written by journalist Dexter Filkins examines the chain of events following the 9/11 attacks that led to the Iraq War. Written in 2008, Filkins’s work is known both for its breadth and attention to human experience.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Chandrasekaran, a writer for The Washington Post, reports on life in the Green Zone, the American sector in Baghdad, and the endemic corruption he found there. Chandrasekaran also writes about failed American policies to change the Iraqi government.   

Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War by Anthony Shahid
Shahid, an Arabic-speaking reporter for The Washington Post, won the Pulitzer Prize twice for his reporting during the Iraq War. Night Draws Near (2005), tells the story of the Iraq War from the perspective of Iraqi citizens.

To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq by Robert Draper
Seventeen years after American forces invaded Baghdad, Draper presents an account of the decisions that lead to war. The causes Draper outlines include groupthink and a fear-driven response to 9/11.

Voices from Iraq: a People's History, 2003-2009 complied by Mark Kukis
Kukis gathers interviews about the war from several Iraqis, including civilians, military personnel, and the former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.