Book Fight

Kanan Makiya is probably best known for his 1989 book, Republic of Fear, a nonfictional account of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. He's also known as one of the key Iraqi agitators for the U.S. invasion, arguing to America's political elite that Hussein's regime needed to be toppled. It was Makiya, in fact, who told White House officials that the U.S. would be greeted with "flowers and sweets" by the Iraqi people.

That prediction turned out to be wildly inaccurate. Now, a decade after Saddam Hussein's execution, Makiya has written a novel that serves as an examination of what went so terribly wrong.

We talk about whether a book can succeed if it's trying to advance a particular political argument. Or is that project doomed from the start, as many of us learned in creative writing classes? Plus: Mike takes a deep dive into the life of a prolific Amazon reviewer.

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Direct download: Ep132_Makiya_TheRope.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT