Book Review: The Honored Dead by Joseph Braude

June 6, 2011

“The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World” by Joseph Braude (website | Twitter | Facebook) is a nonfiction book about the author’s experience being embedded with a Moroccan security squad.

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “The Honored Dead” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.

Congratulations: ayancey@ (thanks to @SuO515 for picking a random winner)

My rating for The Honored Dead – 4
Buy & Save on “The Honored Dead” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
|Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

“The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World” by Joseph Braude is a

smart book which brings the reader into the innermost Arab society. Mr. Braud, a journalist, got an amazing level of access and corporation he got from the Moroccan government.

Mr. Braude writes in lyrical prose and engaging story. More than simply telling a story, the book also teaches about Middle East politics, Morocco’s culture, rich Jewish heritage, history, politics and, to my great surprise, the role magic plays in the society.

While the book might be about solving a mystery, it is much more than that. The insight into a foreign society where the police not only enforce the law, but also tries to maintain a precious balance within the society. This balance could break easily with the simple presumption of insult or intent to insult not only a person, but a whole society.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the book is the definitions which the Moroccan’s live by. For example, there are certain levels of killing which the police investigates. While they are focused on finding the killer, that is not the most important part of the investigation – but keeping the peace is.

Keeping the peace means not to let the citizens have any reason to start religious demonstrations or cause upheaval in the rich communities. Because of that, sometimes the reason for the killing is simply misstated and newspapers are not allowed to print any factual details about crimes for fear of retribution, not only to the criminals but also to the witnesses.

That whole aspect of the book really got me thinking. We value truth above all else, but is it really the best policy?
In the case of the Moroccan police, covering up the truth means protecting many people, some prominent, some religious zealots but mostly ordinary citizens. Some of the stories in the book seems like they came out right of a wild west dime novel where the killer goes in-front of a judge with the simple defense of “he needed killin'”.

The greater good, in this case keeping the fabrics of society untangled and keeping the honor of prominent families and not-so-prominent people sometimes seem to overshadow the plane truth – whatever that might be.

So tell me, is it OK to hide the truth for the greater good?

Journalist Joseph Braude has spent several month embedded in a Moroccan police precinct in Casablanca. The city of Casablanca has many issues (beside star crossed lovers running away from the Vichy representatives and Nazis) drug cartels, al-Qaeda cells as well as crimes which plague any cities its size.

Mr. Braude goes on his own to investigate a murder of an unemployed Muslim Berber. While investigating the author goes on a wild ride into Moroccan Muslim society involving cover-ups, duplicity and fraud.

Buy & Save on “The Honored Dead” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
|Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK



  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “The Honored Dead”.
  • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
  • Must be a US/Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Sun­day June 12, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked

Congratulations: ayancey@ (Thanks to @SuO515 for picking a random winner)
TLC Book Tour for “The Honored Dead”:
Monday, June 6th:  Man of La Book
Wednesday, June 8th:  Rundpinne
Thursday, June 9th:  Reading, Reading & Life
Monday, June 13th:  Life is a Patchwork Quilt
Wednesday, June 15th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, June 20th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, June 22nd:  Starting Fresh
Thursday, June 30th:  Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, July 5th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Monday, July 11th:  Tedious and Brief

Zohar – Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour pro­mo­tion.

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BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read “The Honored Dead”? If so link up your review below:

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  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours June 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    The idea of concealing the truth to protect the greater good is one that can be discussed again and again without the participants coming to any solid conclusion. I’m interested to see the author’s stance on this issue and his reasons why.

    Thanks for the great review. I’m featuring it on TLC’s Facebook page today.

  • Brittany Gale June 7, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Excellent review. I love anything nonfiction and am very intrigued by this book. Thanks for the giveaway

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