Patrick Cockburn was born in 1950 and educated in Dublin, then Scotland. He studied at Oxford and Queen’s University, Belfast. He was Middle East correspondent of the Financial Times, joining The Independent in 1990 to cover the Gulf War and was then, successively, Washington, Jerusalem and Moscow correspondent up to 2002. He has written two current affairs books and The Occupation, listed for the National Book Critics Award. Other accolades include the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006 and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009. The Broken Boy, a memoir, was published by Jonathan Cape and Vintage. His most recent book is Muqtada Al Sadr and the Fall of Iraq.