Wood, Trish

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Wood, Trish


Children: a son.


Investigative reporter.


Awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Association of Canadian Science Writers, the Radio and Television Directors Association, the National Magazine Awards, and the New York Film Festival.


(Compiler) What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2006.


Trish Wood is a Canadian investigative reporter. Wood interviewed a number of veterans of the Iraq War and transcribed their stories into orderly essays on the range of accounts they expressed. Wood included stories from a diverse group of soldiers in their age, gender, religious conviction, and area of operation to piece together a sampling of how the war veterans themselves viewed the war, its projected aftermath, and its usefulness. She published this account in 2006 as What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It.

Christopher Sullivan, writing in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, noted that "Wood offers brief prefaces to chapters of her book but mainly lets the troops speak, detailing what they went through." Josh Washburn, writing on MyShelf.com, called each of the soldiers' stories "amazing." Washburn pointed out, however, that "it appears that many of them disagree with the war and see it as a lost cause." Washburn wondered how representative this is of the whole army, noting that if it is unbalanced, it "could open the book to harsh criticism from supporters of the Iraq War who would call the book political propaganda." Washburn concluded by saying that "the book is great and highly recommended," adding: "At last, the troops have been given their chance to speak, and we all owe it to them to hear what they have to say whether or not we agree with it." In a New York Times Book Review article, Tara McKelvey commented that "the firsthand accounts are honest, agenda-free, and chilling." Austin Considine, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, remarked that "the candid accounts by these soldiers are myriad and complex—each gritty, colloquial and unfiltered—as horrifying as they are humbling. Wood shows herself an expert interviewer, and her work is deftly edited, letting each soldier guide the reader through the streets of Baghdad, Fallujah, and Najaf via his or her unique voice."

After reading the account, Booklist contributor Jay Freeman thought that the author did "not seem to have a political agenda, since the soldiers she quotes are neither pro- nor anti-war." A contributor to Publishers Weekly wrote that "despite the layers of tragedy, the ascendant message is one of courage and self-sacrifice amid war's absurdities." Writing in the Military Review, Michele Miller stated that "it is not this reviewer's intention to dismiss What Was Asked of Us; although it has problems, Wood's book also has merit." Robert Perret, writing in Library Journal, found that the book "seems to assume an extensive knowledge of events … in the war." Perret suggested that "readers will be better served" by books on a similar topic by other authors. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews described the book as "a disjointed collection with an anti-war agenda." The contributor commented that the interview selections Wood made are "less diverse than one would expect from such a project," appending: "Despite the candor of her subjects, the work lacks cohesion and depth." A critic writing a separate review in Kirkus Reviews remarked that Wood's "book is less a structured oral history than a collection of anecdotes. Still, her subjects offer important testimony on a bad scene that promises only to get worse."



Biography, spring, 2007, review of What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It.

Booklist, November 15, 2006, Jay Freeman, review of What Was Asked of Us, p. 22.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of What Was Asked of Us, p. 897; November 15, 2006, review of What Was Asked of Us, p. 1169.

Library Journal, November 15, 2006, Robert Perret, review of What Was Asked of Us, p. 83.

Military Review, July 1, 2007, Michele Miller, review of What Was Asked of Us, p. 116.

New York Times Book Review, February 4, 2007, Tara McKelvey, review of What Was Asked of Us.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, November 12, 2006, Christopher Sullivan, review of What Was Asked of Us.

Publishers Weekly, September 25, 2006, review of What Was Asked of Us, p. 58.

San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 2006, Austin Considine, review of What Was Asked of Us.


Hachette Book Web site,http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/ (February 2, 2008), author interview.

Huffington Post,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (February 2, 2008), author profile.

MyShelf.com,http://www.myshelf.com/ (February 2, 2008), Josh Washburn, review of What Was Asked of Us.

Texas Book Festival Web site,http://www.texasbookfestival.org/ (February 2, 2008), author profile.

What Was Asked of Us MySpace Profile,http://www.myspace.com/whatwasaskedofus (February 2, 2008), author profile.