War in the Garden of Eden: A Military Chaplain's Memoir from Baghdad fby the Rev Frank E. Wismer, III (Church Publishing, Inc., 184 pages, paperback, c. 2008, US$22).
A behind-the-scenes look at life in Baghdad during the months following the invasion in 2003. Wismer, a recently retired Army colonel and chaplain, has spent many years in the Middle East, beginning with Operation Desert Storm. His memoir not only
reveals the daily drama of war, it also raises salient questions about U.S. strategy regarding the "war on terror."
This book also looks at the dynamic interaction of major faith groups within Iraq, and the religious heritage of the "cradle of civilization" as applied to the strategic implication of global terrorism. The author's views are insightfully recorded and influenced by his many calls to duty, which have also taken him to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kuwait.
More than a first-hand account of military life during the turbulent period immediately after the assault by coalition forces, War in the Garden of Eden also explores the inner workings of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) from a soldier's perspective, the daily life of personnel assigned to the CPA, and some of the many decisions made, under constant life-threatening situations, to establish peace and stability in the country during the ground war.