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Guerrillas: Journeys in the Insurgent World
     

Guerrillas: Journeys in the Insurgent World

by Jon Lee Anderson
 

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Prior to gaining international renown for his definitive biography of Che Guevara and first-hand reporting on the war in Iraq for the New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson wrote Guerrillas, a pioneering 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

Overview

Prior to gaining international renown for his definitive biography of Che Guevara and first-hand reporting on the war in Iraq for the New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson wrote Guerrillas, a pioneering 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 powerful, firsthand storytelling with balanced, penetrating analysis of each situation. A work of phenomenal range, analytical acuity, and human empathy, Guerrillas amply demonstrates why Jon Lee Anderson is one of our most important chroniclers of societies in crisis.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A resourceful, even intrepid, piece of reportage... A book of unusual immediacy, one that has the unmistakable ring of authenticity. (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World)

A very good piece of battle reporting... especially vivid. (Washington Monthly)

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142004975
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,353,958
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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

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