The Prisoner In His Palace: Saddam Hussein And The Twelve Americans Who Guarded Him

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In the tradition of In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song, this haunting, insightful, and surprisingly intimate portrait of Saddam Hussein provides “a brief, but powerful, meditation on the meaning of evil and power” (USA TODAY).

The “captivating” (Military Times) The Prisoner in His Palace invites us to take a journey with twelve young American soldiers in the summer of 2006. Shortly after being deployed to Iraq, they learn their assignment: guarding Saddam Hussein in the months before his execution.

Living alongside, and caring for, their “high value detainee and regularly transporting him to his raucous trial, many of the men begin questioning some of their most basic assumptions—about the judicial process, Saddam’s character, and the morality of modern war. Although the young soldiers’ increasingly intimate conversations with the once-feared dictator never lead them to doubt his responsibility for unspeakable crimes, the men do discover surprising new layers to his psyche that run counter to the media’s portrayal of him.

Woven from firsthand accounts provided by many of the American guards, government officials, interrogators, scholars, spies, lawyers, family members, and victims, The Prisoner in His Palace shows two Saddams coexisting in one person: the defiant tyrant who uses torture and murder as tools, and a shrewd but contemplative prisoner who exhibits surprising affection, dignity, and courage in the face of looming death.

In this thought-provoking narrative, Saddam, known as the “man without a conscience,” gets many of those around him to examine theirs. “A singular study exhibiting both military duty and human compassion” (Kirkus Reviews), The Prisoner in His Palace grants us “a behind-the-scenes look at history that’s nearly impossible to put down…a mesmerizing glimpse into the final moments of a brutal tyrant’s life” (BookPage).


  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 01 Open

    Duration: 43s
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 02 Dedication

    Duration: 08s
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 03 Quote

    Duration: 40s
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 04 AuthorsNote

    Duration: 03min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 05 Characters

    Duration: 01min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 06 Timeline

    Duration: 02min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 07 Introduction

    Duration: 04min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 08 Part1 Ch01

    Duration: 06min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 09 Ch02

    Duration: 04min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 10 Ch03

    Duration: 11min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 11 Ch04

    Duration: 12min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 12 Ch05

    Duration: 05min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 13 Ch06

    Duration: 08min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 14 Ch07

    Duration: 16min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 15 Ch08

    Duration: 06min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 16 Ch09

    Duration: 09min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 17 Part2 Ch10

    Duration: 07min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 18 Ch11

    Duration: 11min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 19 Ch12

    Duration: 18min
  • ThePrisonerInHisPalace 20 Ch13

    Duration: 07min
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