THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3 AT 7PM
THEY WILL HAVE TO DIE NOW:
MOSUL AND THE FALL OF THE CALIPHATE
BY JAMES VERINI
in conversation with ROY SCRANTON
James Verini arrived in Iraq in the summer of 2016 to write about life in the Islamic State. He stayed to cover the jihadis’ last great stand, the Battle of Mosul, not knowing it would go on for nearly a year, nor that it would become, in the words of the Pentagon, "the most significant urban combat since WWII."
They Will Have to Die Now takes the reader into the heart of the conflict against the most lethal insurgency of our time. We see unspeakable violence, improbable humanity, and occasional humor. We meet an Iraqi major fighting his way through the city with a bad leg; a general who taunts snipers; an American sergeant who removes his glass eye to unnerve his troops; a pair of Moslawi brothers who welcomed the Islamic State, believing, as so many Moslawis did, that it might improve their shattered lives. Verini also relates the rich history of Iraq, and of Mosul, one of the most beguiling cities in the Middle East.
"This is such an important and deeply nuanced book. Verini paints absolutely convincing portraits of the Iraqi soldiers trying to take their broken country back, and in humanizing them, he joins the ranks of Liebling and Pyle and Gellhorn—American journalists able to embed so selflessly with soldiers, to listen first and theorize rarely, to tell a story as it happened."
― Dave Eggers,
author of The Circle, Zeitoun, A Hologram for the King
"They Will Have to Die Now is the story of what happened after most Americans stopped paying attention to Iraq…It will take its place among the very best war writing of the past two decades."
― George Packer,
author of Our Man and The Assassins’ Gate
James Verini is a Contributing Writer at the New York Times Magazine and National
Geographic. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atavist, Foreign Policy, and many other publications. He has received a National Magazine Award and a George Polk Award.
Roy Scranton has been a dishwasher, truck driver, phone psychic, caregiver, door-to-door canvasser, telemarketer, soldier,
short-order cook, fry cook, and journalist. He is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, the novel War Porn, and the
essay collection We’re Doomed. Now What? He has been awarded a Whiting Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship,
among other honors, and holds a PhD in English from Princeton.
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