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May 31 , 2011

Nimo’s War, Emma’s War

Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War


Nimo, Maha, Safah, Shatha, Emma, Danielle, Kim, Charlene. In a book that once again blends her distinctive flair for capturing the texture of everyday life with shrewd political insights, Cynthia Enloe looks closely at the lives of eight ordinary women, four Iraqis and four Americans, during the Iraq War. Among others, Enloe profiles a Baghdad beauty parlor owner, a teenage girl who survived a massacre, an elected member of Parliament, the young wife of an Army sergeant, and an African American woman soldier. Each chapter begins with a close-up look at one woman’s experiences and widens into a dazzling examination of the larger canvas of war’s gendered dimensions. Bringing to light hidden and unexpected theaters of operation—prostitution, sexual assault, marriage, ethnic politics, sexist economies—these stories are a brilliant entryway into an eye-opening exploration of the actual causes, costs, and long-range consequences of war. This unique comparison of American and Iraqi women’s diverse and complex experiences sheds a powerful light on the different realities that together we call, perhaps too easily, "the Iraq war."

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