Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda [NOOK Book]

Overview

As a foreign correspondent, Scott Peterson witnessed firsthand Somalia's descent into war and its battle against US troops, the spiritual degeneration of Sudan's Holy War, and one of the most horrific events of the last half century: the genocide in Rwanda. In Me Against My Brother, he brings these events together for the first time to record a collapse that has had an impact far beyond African borders.

In Somalia, Peterson tells of harrowing experiences of clan conflict, guns, ...

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

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Overview

As a foreign correspondent, Scott Peterson witnessed firsthand Somalia's descent into war and its battle against US troops, the spiritual degeneration of Sudan's Holy War, and one of the most horrific events of the last half century: the genocide in Rwanda. In Me Against My Brother, he brings these events together for the first time to record a collapse that has had an impact far beyond African borders.

In Somalia, Peterson tells of harrowing experiences of clan conflict, guns, and starvation. He met with warlords, observed death intimately, and nearly lost his own life to a Somali mob. From ground level, he documents how the US-UN relief mission devolved into all-out war -- one that for America has proven to be the most formative post-Cold War debacle. In Sudan, he journeys where few correspondents have ever been, on both sides of that religious front line, to find that outside "relief" has only prolonged war. In Rwanda, his firsthand experience of the genocide and well-documented analysis provide rare insight into this human tragedy.

Filled with the dust, sweat, and powerful detail of real life, and with striking photographs taken by Peterson himself, Me Against My Brother is as enlightening as it is painful and graphically illustrates how preventive action and a better understanding of Africa -- especially by the US -- could have averted much suffering.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It has the immediacy and vividness of eyewitness testimony...His reporting is visceral and close to the ground...Peterson neither flinches from the appalling bloodshed nor closes his mind to the many scenes of generosity and honorable conduct...With tribal, ethnic and religious conflicts now so pervasive, the lessons Peterson communicates about Africa should claim the attention of everyone trying to make sense of today's world.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Peterson files this report from the front lines of three of Africa's most virulent wars of the 1990s. It has the immediacy and vividness of eyewitness testimony, because Peterson, who was reporting from Africa for London's Daily Telegraph, was present at the scenes of battle, recording his impressions as the carnage went forward. His reporting is visceral and close to the ground: "in the dust and the sweat, and the laughter mixed with misery that permeates the flavor of war in Africa." In Somalia, he observed how clan hatreds, combined with grossly excessive arms shipments from the developed nations, resulted in an explosion of anarchy and violence. The U.S. comes in for a substantial share of blame for its ill-considered, violent and ultimately disastrous intervention. In the Sudan, Peterson witnessed what he calls an apocalyptic civil war in which neither side was strong enough to win or weak enough to lose. Rwanda was even worse; at the height of the Hutu war of extermination against the Tutsis, one murder took place about every two seconds for an entire month. In his firsthand account of these genocidal conflicts, Peterson neither flinches from the appalling bloodshed nor closes his mind to the many scenes of generosity and honorable conduct he also witnessed. The author's purpose is made clear in the book's introduction: the catastrophic wars of Africa, "largely unrecorded, ...require exploring for what they tell us about the human capacity to conduct evil, and also to survive it." With tribal, ethnic and religious conflicts now so pervasive, the lessons Peterson communicates about Africa should claim the attention of everyone trying to make sense of today's world. 16 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Most journalists will witness perhaps one major crisis and report it in detail. Peterson, currently Middle East correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, experienced three major catastrophes in as many countries between 1992 and 1994. This affecting book provides an inside look at the crises in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda. Peterson spends half of the book detailing the failed mission in famine-stricken Somalia, where the U.S. military failed to unarm the warlords, favoring instead a "plucking the bird" strategy--that is, taking one feather at a time until the unsuspecting bird finds that it can't fly. Unfortunately, this strategy drew the U.S. military into a battle it could not win. Peterson covered the battles and nearly got killed by a mob that wanted revenge on an American. In the Sudan, he had the rare privilege of visiting both sides of the religious holy war to see how the people lived and how the fighters are recruited. And he also reported the genocide that occurred in Rwanda; he not only describes the tragedy that led to the mass killings but provides some thoughtful analysis. For African history or journalism collections.--Michael Sawyer, Northwestern Regional Lib., Elkin, NC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Hammer
Peterson has produced an extraordinary book about his years on the front lines. Me Against My Brother is Peterson's very personal account of that catastrophic era on the African continent. Vividly written and deeply researched, filled with compassion and moral indignation, the book takes its place alongside Keith Richburg's Out of America, Philip Gourevitch's We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families and Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down as one of the indispensable works about that time.
—The Washington Monthly
Rose
Peterson himself states it aptly when he writes, "This is not a pretty book." It isn't. But it is a terribly important one.
The Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
In chapter after chapter, the reader is drawn into the text, vicariously bearing witness to manifold crimes against humanity and also learning about the complexities of seeking solutions...poignant portraits of suffering...A terribly important book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781135955519
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/4/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Scott Peterson is currently the Middle East correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, and is based in Amman, Jordan. He covered Africa for The Daily Telegraph of London and his photography regularly appears in Time, Newsweek, Life, The New York Times Magazine, and Harper's.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Maps xxiii
Part I Somalia: Warlords Triumphant
1 Laws of War 3
2 "City of the Insane" 19
3 A Land Forgotten By God 37
4 "Club Skinny--Dancers Wanted" 51
5 "Camp of the Murderers" 71
6 The Fugitive 93
7 Bloody Monday 117
8 Mission Impossible 137
9 Back to Zero 157
Part II Sudan: Endless Crusade
10 Divided By God 173
11 War of the Cross 197
12 The False Messiah 217
13 Darwin Deceived 229
Part III Rwanda: The Machete War
14 A Holocaust 247
15 "Dreadful Note of Preparation" 267
16 Genocide Denied 289
17 In Perpetuum 303
Epilogue 323
Notes 329
Index 351
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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