–Michiko Kakutani


“A truly incredible story.”

–Ira Glass








“A searing account.”

–George Packer



“It is difficult to imagine a book more urgent than this.”

–Rayyan al-Shawaf


“Kirk W. Johnson’s rage-inducing account of government indifference is a tale of lost innocence that, in our American twilight, feels devastatingly allegorical.”

–Megan O’Grady



“This authentic patriot has written a must-read memoir.”

— Trudy Rubin


The well-written book—the author is an honest, engaging and indomitable guide—warrants a special place in nonfiction shelves. He captures the tragicomedy of Iraq better than anyone else’s chronicle I have read so far .

–John Kael Weston

“From the ruins of the war in Iraq and his own broken body, Kirk Johnson made it his cause to redeem the one American promise to Iraqis that honor required us to keep. He tirelessly fought the political resistance and bureaucratic indifference of two administrations. His account is riveting, darkly funny, heroic, and shaming.”


Author of The Assassins’ Gate and The Unwinding


“Kirk Johnson is one of the few genuine heroes of America’s war in Iraq… Johnson’s story is about America’s shame, and also its honor. This is an essential book.”


New Yorker staff writer and author of The Forever War


 Kirk W. Johnson’s TO BE A FRIEND IS FATAL is a heartbreaking reminder of the wreckage we’ve left behind in Iraq.  And it is unafraid to ask some of the most essential questions regarding our involvement there: Are we who we say we are? A nd if we are, why haven’t we kept our word?  I urge everyone to read it.


Author of The Yellow Birds


“What is so intriguing about this beautifully written book is that while it is a scathing critique of America’s policy toward Iraq, it is not one of your usual policy books. To Be a Friend is Fatal is a deeply personal and poignant story about how one young American’s passion and curiosity lead him to a distant and troubled land, where his empathy and sense of justice prevent him from giving up on the people abandoned by the U.S. government.”


New York Times-bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran


“I have long been an admirer of Kirk Johnson–for his humanitarian advocacy on behalf of forgotten Iraqis and for his honest and poetic writing… His is a story that arcs from charity to futility to pain to charity again, and how much he needs to tell it equals how much it deserves to be read.”


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Good Soldiers