The Gods of Diyala

Transfer of Command in Iraq

The Gods of Diyala

In March 2004, Caleb S. Cage and Gregory M. Tomlin deployed to Baquba, Iraq, on a mission that would redefine how conventional U.S. military forces fight an urban war. Having led artillery units through a transition into anti-insurgent rifle companies and carrying out daily combat patrols in one of the region’s most notorious hotspots, Cage and Tomlin chronicle Task Force 1-6 Field Artillery’s year on the ground in Iraq and its response to the insurgency that threatened to engulf their corner of the Sunni Triangle. Rather than presenting a snapshot dominated by battle scenes, The Gods of Diyala presents a wide-angled view of the experiences of Cage and Tomlin and their comrades-in-arms. They assess the implications of their experiences, starting with their pre-deployment training in Germany and ending with the handing over of duties to their replacement brigade at the close of their tour of duty. They discuss frankly their impressions of the benefits and liabilities of working with embedded journalists and relate both their frustrations with and their admiration for the fledgling Iraqi security forces. From chaotic security planning to personal debates on the principles of democracy, both authors discuss how Iraqis perceived the value of their first post-Saddam elections and the political future of their country as it tries to reinvent itself in the wake of a dictator’s fall. The Gods of Diyala gives a new and personal perspective on the second stage of the ongoing war in Iraq. Students and scholars of military history will find its insights meaningful and informative, and general readers will enjoy its thoughtful, well-measured narratives of a year spent trying to protect a fragile nation as it struggled toward democracy.

Teaching Politics Beyond the Book

Film, Texts, and New Media in the Classroom

Teaching Politics Beyond the Book

To teach political issues such as political struggle, justice, interstate conflict, etc. educators rely mostly on textbooks and lectures. However, many other forms of narrative exist that can elevate our understanding of such issues. This innovative work seeks new ways to foster learning beyond the textbook and lecture model, by using creative and new media, including graphic novels, animated films, hip-hop music, Twitter, and more. Discussing the opportunities these media offer to teach and engage students about politics, the work presents concrete ways on how to use them, along with teaching and assessment strategies, all tested in the classroom. The contributors are dedicated educators from various types of institutions whose essays span a variety of political topics and examine how non-traditional "texts" can promote critical thinking and intellectual growth among students in colleges and universities. The first of its kind to discuss a wide range of alternative texts and media, the book will be a valuable resource to anyone seeking to develop innovative curricula and engage their students in the study of politics.

Censored

Censored

If one drew up a list of the best films ever made, then it turns out that nearly all of them have been heavily censored or banned. Lang's METROPOLIS, Chaplin's CITY STREETS, Eisenstein's BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, Brando's THE WILD ONE and Kubrick's THE CLOCKWORK ORANGE, for instance, have all suffered from the effects of censorship. This pioneering book explores the absurdities (and occasional virtues) of censorship over the whole history of film in Britain, and places them in the context of their age. From the banning of anti-Nazi films (that continued up to 1939), to the sexual dilemmas of the 50s and 60s as the censors dealt with homosexuality, nudity, violence, drugs, rape and other subjects that came out of the closet, right up to the ludicrous limits still imposed on film-makers by the BBFC, this book is a brilliantly entertaining - but also hard-hitting - account of a control that is often political in its effect, and always contradictory.