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Ian Klaus, who now lives in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote for publications across the United States while he was in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in history at Harvard.
In the spring of 2005, twenty-five-year-old Rhodes Scholar Ian Klaus took a semester-long appointment at Salahaddin University in Arbil, the largest city in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Officially he was there to lecture on American history and to teach English. Unofficially he was there because he felt obliged, as a young American, to help make Iraq a stable and successful country. With assignments from Elvis to Ellington, baseball to Tocqueville, Klaus strives to illuminate the American way for students far more attuned to our pop culture than to our national ideals. Klaus's account of his unusual opportunity offers an astonishingly frank glimpse of life in the other Iraq after Saddam. "Captivating." The Wall Street Journal "Earnest, thorough and elegantly written. The author's knowledge of Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq (and the Western canon, for that matter) is prodigious." The New York Observer "Instructive and valuable . . . . Klaus's sensitivity to his environs, his knowledge of the region's history, and his even-handed observations take his narrative beyond simple memoir." Chicago Sun-Times"