'Tell Them I Didn't Cry': A Reporter's Memoir of Iraq

Jackie Spinner, on assignment in Iraq.

Jackie Spinner, on assignment in Iraq. Simon and Schuster hide caption

itoggle caption Simon and Schuster

While reporting on the torture scandal at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Jackie Spinner was nearly kidnapped. Shaken by the experience, the Washington Post journalist returned to work, spending a total of nine months in Iraq.

Tell Them I Didn't Cry is her memoir about the experience of reporting from one of the world's most dangerous places. During her time in Iraq, Spinner visited several of the country's "hot-spots", including Baghdad, Fallujah, Kurdistan, and Abu Ghraib.

Even as she deals with the large and well-known events that transpired in each of her posts, Spinner relays what it was like to be there, to be the most junior member of a foreign bureau, to adjust to an otherworldly terrain — and to bond with and care for the Iraqis she meets while doing her job.

Each chapter of the book includes the reflections of Spinner's twin sister, Jenny, her closest confidante, who is an English professor in Philadelphia.

Anxious for her sister's safety in a war zone, Jenny Spinner learns to dread the spontaneous gifts that Jackie is prone to send whenever she's escaped a risky situation.

While in Baghdad for The Post, Spinner also became friends with fellow journalist Jill Carroll, who is being held hostage in Iraq. Religious leaders in the Middle East and and around the world have called for the release of Carroll, a freelance writer for The Christian Science Monitor who was abducted Jan. 7.

Books Featured In This Story

Tell Them I Didn't Cry

A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss, & Survival in Iraq

by Jackie Spinner and Jenny Spinner

Hardcover, 265 pages | purchase

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Tell Them I Didn't Cry
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A Young Journalist's Story of Joy, Loss, & Survival in Iraq
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Jackie Spinner and Jenny Spinner

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