Real Fiction Radio Broadcast: February 24, 2021 WERA (96.7 FM) Streaming- wera.fm
THE SPYMASTER OF BAGHDAD (Dey Street Books- published February 23, 2021)
THE SPYMASTER OF BAGHDAD is a true account of an elite top-secret team of unlikely spies who triumphed over ISIS. Margaret Coker is an investigative journalist who for the last 19 years has covered stories from 32 countries.
THE SPYMASTER OF BAGHDAD is character-driven nonfiction of the highest order. When a reader is introduced to ordinary citizens performing ordinary tasks, a complex political history becomes relatable. Gripping and informative, this book achieves a core mission: To recalibrate historical accounts of the US invasion of Iraq. It sheds light on the little known 'Falcons'- a team of spies responsible for restoring order in Iraq.
As Turkey bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, Coker contributed to a 2016 series that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. As the New York Times bureau chief in Baghdad in 2018, Coker won prizes for feature writing for her front- page stories about Iraq. Margaret’s work and her friendships across the wider Middle East have given her behind-the-scenes access to how terrorism affects families and communities, how the battles against extremism have been fought, and the stories of unsung heroes on those on frontlines. Spymaster of Baghdad is an homage to the universal human qualities that she – and Iraqis – admire: patriotism, bravery, sacrifice, and come-from-behind victories. Currently, Margaret and her husband live in Savannah, Georgia, with their two dogs and cat. In 2020, she started up a nonprofit investigative news site called The Current with a mission to revive in-depth public service local news in Coastal Georgia. As editor in chief of this women-led newsroom, Margaret and her team focus on investigative local stories with a priority on social, economic and environmental justice.