A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq

By Chris Coppola; Guy Raz (Foreword by)
(NTI Upstream, Hardcover, 9780984053117, 265pp.)

Publication Date: February 1, 2010

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Eric Hoffer Award Finalist and Montaigne Medal Finalist


The fierce, true-life account of United States Air Force pediatric surgeon Lt. Col. Dr. Chris Coppola, this book describes his experiences through two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom inside a military trauma hospital at Balad Air Base, just 49 miles north of Baghdad. Novelistic in scope and vision, this memoir extends beyond objective reportage to give genuine voice to U.S. surgeons and soldiers, Iraqi translators, and everyday civilians whose core beliefs have been tested in the turmoil of war. Raw and powerfully moving, it reveals how one man’s extraordinary courage and commitment to children survived and flourished even as he witnessed some of the most unspeakable horrors of war.

About the Author

Dr. Chris Coppola received his medical degree from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, trained in surgery at Yale University, and completed pediatric surgery specialty training at the Children’s National Medical Center. He has served as the consultant to the Surgeon General of the Air Force in pediatric surgery and has completed humanitarian missions to Haiti and Brazil. He lives in Danville, Pennsylvania. Guy Raz is the weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered. He lives in Washington, DC.

Sunday, Nov 22, 2009

Dr. Chris Coppola was a pediatrician in the U.S. before he shipped off to Iraq. As a military surgeon, he expected to treat soldiers, but he found himself helping war-ravaged Iraqi children as well. Host Liane Hansen speaks with Dr. Coppola about his memoir, Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq. More at

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