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Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    A Lesson on Historical and Present Day Africa

    Superb non-sentimental storytelling which blends history, modern politics, and eyewitness accounts. For readers who want to understand what has and is happening in Africa, and especially those who want to put a face on people Americans often imagine as the hut-dwelling, bare-breasted nomads we've seen in National Geographic. It made me regret that I have neglected to give Africans more of my attention in the past two decades. They have a story Westerners need to hear.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2001

    Don't miss it!

    As a former foreign correspondent (for Australian television)I also spent time in Somalia, Rwanda and Sudan. I picked up this book out of curiosity but without much in the way of expectations. Having read it, I am stunned and in awe. There are many more famous and exalted names in foreign journalism than Scott Peterson's - at least until now. The sheer passion of his reporting, the level of his commitment, his fearlessness both when faced by African violence and the equally grotesque rationalisations of those who clumsily intervene (and those who fail to intervene)deserve him a place in the highest rankings. He stuck with Somalia when most of the rest of the world lost interest (I plead guilty). He took trouble to understand the Somali perspective when most others saw it as an American story. He writes illuminatingly about Sudan - perhaps the world's most overlooked war zone, rich in terrible, hopeless, wasteful loss. His writings on Rwanda add renewed freshness to the gut-churning horrors of the genocide - after Gourevitch's 'We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families' apparently left little more to be said. Peterson returns the degraded craft of journalism to its purest form: he 'bears witness.' He risks his life to do so. He loses friends. He confesses his fear. He disdains received wisdom. He redeems the lazy journalism of the pampered hacks with one eye on the room service menu and the other on how well their 'heroism' will play back home. Anyone with an interest in Africa, reporting, the nature of the human condition, the politics of humanitarian intervention, or just a damn good, disturbing read about the ways of the world would do well to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2002

    Dont miss it!

    As a former foreign correspondent (for Australian television)I also spent time in Somalia, Rwanda and Sudan. I picked up this book out of curiosity but without much in the way of expectations. Having read it, I am stunned and in awe. There are many more famous and exalted names in foreign journalism than Scott Peterson's - at least until now. The sheer passion of his reporting, the level of his commitment, his fearlessness both when faced by African violence and the equally grotesque rationalisations of those who clumsily intervene (and those who fail to intervene)deserve him a place in the highest rankings. He stuck with Somalia when most of the rest of the world lost interest (I plead guilty). He took trouble to understand the Somali perspective when most others saw it as an American story. He writes illuminatingly about Sudan - perhaps the world's most overlooked war zone, rich in terrible, hopeless, wasteful loss. His writings on Rwanda add renewed freshness to the gut-churning horrors of the genocide - after Gourevitch's 'We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families' apparently left little more to be said. Peterson returns the degraded craft of journalism to its purest form: he 'bears witness.' He risks his life to do so. He loses friends. He confesses his fear. He disdains received wisdom. He redeems the lazy journalism of the pampered hacks with one eye on the room service menu and the other on how well their 'heroism' will play back home. Anyone with an interest in Africa, reporting, the nature of the human condition, the politics of humanitarian intervention, or just a damn good, disturbing read about the ways of the world would do well to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2000

    Peterson writes dangerous account of terrible tragedy

    While Peterson brings attention to the terrible tragedies that have engulfed Africa, he does so with a very dangerous perspective which puts the warlords of Somalia on the side of right while criticizing humanitarian aid workers for their attempts and ultimate failure in helping the war torn countries. Unfortunately there seems to have been almost no factual substantiation of outrageous allegations made by Peterson in this book against the U.S. and the UN, as well as clear factual inaccuracies which further a clear anti-military perspective. This disregard of the importance of sticking with facts and not portraying a personal point of view as historical fact, makes the book very dangerous. Peterson is courageous in trying to bring attention to ignored parts of the world as an observer-- but he clearly doesn't value the role anyone else played in trying to fix a terrible situation. There are many other books which provide a much more even-handed account of the tragedies in Africa without imposing their own colored lenses on the events.

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