Guerrillas: Journeys in the Insurgent World

Overview

Prior to gaining international renown for his definitive biography of Che Guevara and his firsthand reports on the war in Iraq for The New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson wrote Guerrillas, a daring on-the-ground account of five diverse insurgent movements around the world: the mujahedin of Afghanistan, the FMLN of El Salvador, the Karen of Burma, the Polisario of Western Sahara, and a group of young Palestinians fighting against Israel in the Gaza Strip. Making the most of unprecedented, direct access to his subjects, ...
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Overview

Prior to gaining international renown for his definitive biography of Che Guevara and his firsthand reports on the war in Iraq for The New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson wrote Guerrillas, a daring on-the-ground account of five diverse insurgent movements around the world: the mujahedin of Afghanistan, the FMLN of El Salvador, the Karen of Burma, the Polisario of Western Sahara, and a group of young Palestinians fighting against Israel in the Gaza Strip. Making the most of unprecedented, direct access to his subjects, Anderson combines firsthand storytelling with balanced, penetrating analysis of each situation.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this absorbing, instructive survey, Anderson, coauthor of War Zone, looks at five groups which ``faithfully represent'' the modern guerrilla: the mujahedin of Afghanistan, the Karen of Burma, the Polisario of Western Sahara, the Frente Farabundo Marti of El Salvador, and a group of Palestinians involved in the intifada along the Gaza Strip. Anderson is less interested in their armed anti-government activities than in demonstrating their common concerns about family, economics, law and order, and their self-created mythology. He makes the point that all guerrillas have creation myths, partly to justify the killing of other human beings, and partly to provide a spiritual basis for their actions. In novelistic detail Anderson provides examples of guerrilla justice, reviews the sexual attitudes of the five groups and describes their poignant attempts to live ``normal'' lives under dangerous circumstances. All guerrillas, he concludes, are crusaders fighting to fulfill ideals greater than themselves. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Skillfully interweaving colorful vignettes drawn from visits to five diverse groups of guerrillas--the mujahedin of Afghanistan, the Karen of Burma, the Polisario of Western Sahara, the FMLN of El Salvador, and Palestinian youth in Gaza--journalist Anderson creates a tapestry that presents ``what it is like to be a guerrilla in today's world.'' While sympathetic to their causes and plights, Anderson is more interested in the human dynamics that leads people to be ``willing to sacrifice themselves for an ideal larger than themselves.'' Balancing a romantic awe with the gritty, mundane facts of the guerrillas' lives and deaths, Anderson does draw insightful generalizations while still evoking the individual uniqueness of each rebel he met. Representing quality journalism, this volume is recommended for all international affairs collections.--James Rhodes, Luther Coll., Decorah, Ia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641684449
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Lee Anderson is the author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, The Lion's Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan, and, with his brother Scott Anderson, War Zones and Inside the League. Anderson is a regular contributor to the New Yorker.
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Table of Contents

1 Myths of creation 3
2 A parallel reality 42
3 Earning a living 86
4 Making war 132
5 Systems of justice 164
6 A new family 196
7 Speaking to the gods 231
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