Upcoming ‘CJR’ Presents Special ‘Oral History’ of Iraq War

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By: E&P Staff

For its 45th anniversary issue to appear this Wednesday, the Columbia Journalism Review interviewed almost 50 journalists who have covered the Iraq war since 2003. Out of the transcripts, it put together an oral history — it calls it “the first of its kind” — featuring the commentary of reporters including Dexter Filkins, Richard Engel, Anthony Shadid, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, John F. Burns, Anne Garrels, Borzou Daragahi, Hannah Allam, Tom Lasseter, Farnaz Fassihi, Jon Lee Anderson, Jane Arraf, Larry Kaplow, photographer Chris Hondros and many others.

The feature, titled “Into the Abyss,” covers about 60 pages in the November/December issue of the magazine, with plenty of pictures, and runs partly in chronological sequence but also broken into subject areas such as “Turning Points” and “Enemies and Civilians.” Filkins provides the opening reflections (“If you look at the whole arc of this thing, it used to be easy in the beginning, but it was never easy”) and Hondros brings it to a close dozens of pages later.

CJR says the idea came from longtime contributing editor Michael Massing. It credits the Open Society Institute for generous support. The three main interviewers were Chris Allbritton, Judith Matloff and Vivienne Walt.

The magazine will also be sponsoring a panel at 7 p.m. at Columbia University featuring Amos, Hondros, Chandrasekaran, Ali Fadhil, and Patrick Graham.

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