Reporting outside of two very small areas as a non-embedded reporter was a very difficult and dangerous job. There were so few areas that you could go to that most news bureaus had given up, myself included. The risk was just not worth the reward. But Oliver stuck it out and in doing so penned a book about that very dark period, much of which I haven’t read elsewhere. The accounts of how it all goes wrong in Basra are very good and it conveys the fear, the utter misery, and the sheer difficulty of working there.