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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The Spymaster of Baghdad is the gripping story of the top-secret Iraqi intelligence unit that infiltrated the Islamic State. More so than that of any foreign power, the information they gathered turned the tide against the insurgency, paving the way to the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019.

Against the backdrop of the most brutal conflict of recent decades, we chart the spymaster's struggle to develop the unit from scratch in challenging circumstances after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, we follow the fraught relationship of two of his agents, the Sudani brothers - one undercover in ISIS for 16 long months, the other his handler - and we track a disillusioned scientist as she turns bomb-maker, threatening the lives of thousands.

With unprecedented access to characters on all sides, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Margaret Coker challenges the conventional view that Western coalition forces defeated ISIS and reveals a story of unlikely heroes, unbelievable courage and good old-fashioned spycraft.

©2021 Margaret Coker (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Authentic, moving, visceral, chilling, utterly revelatory, truly masterful. A stunning tour de force by an author who has lived every word of it on the ground. A story of our time that absolutely needs to be told." (Damien Lewis, author of Zero Six Bravo)

What listeners say about The Spymaster of Baghdad

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Sadly, very good

Books that detail a sad story are difficult to hear and this one is eye opening
One of the things that is obvious is how normal and how difficult Iraqi life was in modern times
I was left with in awe of people's dedication to wanting to build a better Iraq
Its a well written account and very engaging

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Slow start, great read

It starts a little slowly but it picks up steam and is a fantastic story by the end after all of the separate threads are finally woven together.

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Slow story, dull performance

Really slow story, not engaging and the narration is dull and unengaging. I didn't know it was possible to make espionage boring

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  • E. Shachaf
  • 01-03-2022

Super interesting.

The book gives a unique perspective on the life under war in Iraq, and its traumatic effect on peoples life in effort to prevent attrocities. Well written and read. Couldn't put it down.

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