The Blackwater book that chronicles the history of Blackwater USA was written by an independent journalist. Jeremy Scahill not only discusses the growth of Blackwater but also tells the story of the rise in security contract work in Iraq during the War on Terror. Published in 2006 in hardback by Nation Books and 2008 in paperback, the book is 464 pages and is available through numerous book venues. The book, which won a George Polk Book Award, does show the author’s bias in that Scahill compares Blackwater to a Praetorian guard in their presence in Iraq, the work they do and their methods.
The Blackwater book has been touted as both an important book detailing facts about “private armies,” as Scahill calls Blackwater, and as a very stellar piece of journalism. However the book has also been reviewed as “Extreme Left-Wing Propaganda,” leaving the reader at a crossroads that will entirely depend on political views the reader already harbored prior to picking up the book for perusal. One thing is for certain, however, and that is the book gives insight into an organization that depends on some level of secrecy in order to successfully complete assignments where secrecy is vital for the safety of individuals.
For the reader who does not have previous knowledge of such operations, the Blackwater book can be an eye-opener and a crash course in political workings of government-hired entities. The book also can be an eye-opener to the goings on in other areas of the world that some people have never really paid close attention to. As an introduction to some of the lesser told stories of the Iraq war and contractors hired for the protection of dignitaries on foreign soil, this book would be a good starting point. The information in the book has a long shelf life and important facts can be found on occurrences within the United States as well.
The Blackwater book is one of two written by Jeremy Scahill, who has a history with politics and voicing his strong opinions on the wrongs done by government. Scahill has an extensive portfolio of work published on the topic of national security and the military industrial complex. He has received awards not only for his writing but for a radio documentary and for achievements in Independent Media. The Blackwater book is not for the casual reader; however, it is a worthwhile read for those who wish to have some insight into situations during the Iraq War.