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Hocus Potus

What’s driving the ultra-dedicated State Department staffers nuts in the former Republican Palace in Baghdad’s Green Zone? Is it the rising insurgency? The lack of power and water? The tide of utter chaos? The sinking feeling that the adventure is going south?


What bothers them is WMDs. Without one, how can their beloved POTUS (security shorthand for President of the United States) justify this mess? Not finding a single WMD to justify it all is making POTUS look bad. Real bad. Enter Rick Gannon, Ambassador Goodhair’s advisor-turned-war profiteer, recently imprisoned but now on the lam. Little does the Ambassador and his staff know that Rick–along with his pickup band of brigands, including a homesick Air National Guard pilot, a sourpuss Defense Intelligence agent, a jaded TV cameraman, and an aging Iraqi soccer star–may hold the key to POTUS’ salvation. Written by the man who covered Ambassador Paul Bremer in Iraq forTime Magazine, HOCUS POTUS is a novel rich in real-life details and thinly veiled portrayals. It’s also a hysterically irreverent—and masterfully crafted—antiwar satire that will keep you guessing to the end.

MALCOLM MACPHERSON is a journalist and author of 12 fiction and non-fiction books, including, most recently, his bestseller about the Afghan war, Robert’s Ridge. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, and worked as a foreign correspondent for Newsweek for 12 years, covering the Yom Kippur war and other notable events. Most recently, he reported from Iraq for Time Magazinewhile living in the presidential palace in the newly formed “Green Zone.” He lives in Virginia with his wife.

“A hilarious yet passionate antiwar satire that centers on the US search for a WMD to justify invasion and a con man’s ingenious plot to supply one.MacPherson’s breakneck narrative—redolent of Carl Hiaasen’s exuberance and Elmore Leonard’s cynicism—is an irresistible portrait of greed and incompetence run amok.” The Boston Globe