In early September 2001, Australian journalist Paul McGeogh returned to New York from a trip to Afghanistan. When he woke on September 11 it was to the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. As he turned on his television he was just in time to see the second plane hit. McGeogh was on the streets in time to witness the towers collapsing. Being witness to these shocking events was just one of McGeogh’s strokes of fortune that saw him in the right place at the right time (from a journalist’s perspective – some may argue he is often in the wrong place).
The twelve months following September 11 saw McGeogh return to Afghanistan to witness and report on the subsequent events, travelling to Israel and the Occupied Territories to report on the ongoing conflict in that region, venturing into Baghdad to gain insight into the effects on Iraq of ongoing sanctions and the threat of another war, and onto Saudi Arabia.
Manhattan to Baghdad is McGeogh’s account of his personal journey, of the events he witnesses and of the people he meets along the way. This is a highly personal account, yet has the precision of a journalist’s observation. As well as allowing the reader a glimpse into McGeogh’s life, it ultimately provides a deeper insight into the events of the months since September 11, and of the current war and ongoing turmoil in the region.
This is essential reading for anyone who wants a better understanding of the tumultuous world we now inhabit. Both entertaining and educational.
Manhattan to Baghdad, by Paul McGeogh
Allen & Unwin, 2003