Anthony Shadid was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and former Baghdad bureau chief of the Washington Post. Over a fifteen-year career, he reported from most countries in the Middle East. He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 2004 in International Reporting for his coverage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the occupation which followed. He won a second in 2010 for his coverage of Iraq as the United States began its withdrawal. Shadid is the author of two previous books, Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam (2001), and Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War (2005), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US.
Shadid died of an asthma attack while attempting to leave Syria on horseback on 16 February 2012.