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by James Fergusson


published by Transworld 17 January 2013



Award-winning journalist James Fergusson is among the few to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the failed and desperate state of Somalia at first hand.

This corner of the world has long been seen as the rotting and charred heart of Africa: a melting pot of crime, corruption, poverty, famine and civil war. And in recent years, whilst Somalia’s lucrative piracy industry has grabbed the headlines, a darker, much deeper threat has come of age: the Al Qaida-linked militants Al Shabaab, and the dawn of a new phase in the global war on terror.

Yet paradoxically Somalia’s star is brightening, as forms of business, law enforcement and local politics are beginning to establish themselves, and members of the international Somali community are returning to their homeland.

Fergusson takes us to the heart of the struggle, meeting everyone from politicians, pirates, extremists and mercenaries to aid workers, civilians and refugees. He gives a unique account of a country ravaged by war, considers what the future might hold for a generation who’ve grown up knowing little else and exposes the reality of life in this hard, often forgotten land.




P R E S S

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JF with the newly liberated Burmese crew of the pirated 'Prantalay 4' - Garowe, Puntland, June 2011

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JF at Badbaado Refugee Camp, Mogadishu, June 2011

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JF at Al Shabaab defectors' camp, Mogadishu, June 2011

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Author in Mogadishu

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S Y N O P S I S

published by Transworld 17 January 2013

Award-winning journalist James Fergusson is among the few to have witnessed at first hand the devastating reality of life in the failed and desperate state of Somalia.

This corner of the world has long been seen as the rotting and charred heart of Africa: a melting pot of crime, corruption, poverty, famine and civil war. And in recent years, whilst Somalia's lucrative piracy industry has grabbed the headlines, a darker, much deeper threat has come of age: the Al Qaida-linked militants Al Shabaab, and the dawn of a new phase in the global war on terror.

Yet, paradoxically, Somalia's star is brightening, as forms of business, law enforcement and local politics begin to establish themselves, and members of the vast Somali diaspora return to their homeland.

Fergusson takes us to the heart of the struggle, meeting everyone from politicians, pirates, extremists and mercenaries to aid workers, civilians and refugees. He gives a unique account of a country ravaged by war, considers what the future might hold for a generation who have grown up knowing little else and exposes the reality of life in this hard, often forgotten land.


L I N K S  &   O R D E R

  • US


R E V I E W S
:

"One of the best narratives of discovery I have read for years. The sense of place is acute, the characters and landscapes vivid ... rivals Ryszard Kapuscinski and Robert Byron at their best." (Robert Fox Evening Standard)

"Fergusson has a talent for shedding light in dark places. While most reporters have opted to stay away, Fergusson has risked his life to cover the ground and, an even greater achievement, succeeded in making the Somali mess understandable and relevant. It is this insight, alongside his harrowing account of life in the grief zone that gives Fergusson's book its power." (Anthony Sattin Observer)

"Essential reading for those who seek to counter the menace. With ingenuity and no little courage he has travelled far and wide, within Somalia and among the Somali diaspora in Britain and America, delving into the soul of a ravaged community." (The Economist)

"What [Fergusson] has done, with heroic tenacity and no little courage, is to spend much of the last two years wandering from one end of the country to the other, interviewing politicians and presidents, fighters and pirates, foreign advisers and security guards, and above all scores of ordinary Somalis, whose lives have been destroyed by 20 years of carnage and whose tales he eloquently recounts. An elegant writer, with a scholarly understanding of history, he brings to terrible light the catastrophe that is Somalia." (Caroline Moorehead The Spectator)

"If you meet James Fergusson on your travels, look out, you are most definitely in the wrong place. The writer has earned something of a reputation as a specialist on the dark side of the troubled world in which we live. From the Balkans to Afghanistan and the modern-day hell that is sub-Saharan Africa, the adventurous journalist and best-selling author has put his life on the line to become a global authority on Al Qaeda, the Taliban, boy soldiers in Somalia - and the worst aspects of human behaviour in the most inhospitable and dangerous regions." (Jim McBeth Daily Mail)

"This book is one of the most detailed and illuminating books I have ever read. Comprehensive, detailed, and filled with information, this is an excellent read. Read this book." (Army Rumour Service (ARRSE))

"Coruscating reportage... Fergusson is a great journalist, and such truly brilliant investigative work offers the seeds, the suggestions of remedies for the contagion beneath the reporter's microscope." (Roger Hutchinson Scotsman)

"Riveting ... Fergusson rounds out this invaluable work by noting the glimmers of hope appearing" (Publishers Weekly)

"[A] fine book... With his usual insouciant courage - for this country is not for the faint-hearted - Fergusson takes us on an invigorating journey through Somali life and history... wide-ranging and fascinating." (Frank Ledwidge RUSI journal)

"Exceptional... Fergusson vividly recounts the grotesque horrors of the endless war in Somalia while leavening his account with the gallows humor of some of the war's participants." (Nicolas van de Walle Foreign Affairs magazine)


Spectator
Observer
Economist:

Daily Mail

Saturday 9th March 2013 here and here 

Evening Standard

http://www.standard.co.uk/arts/book/an-eagle-eye-on-africas-land-of-the-lawless-8504610.html

Army Rumour Service review:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/content/1412-worlds-most-dangerous-place-james-fergusson.html

Publisher's Weekly review:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-306-82117-2

Kirkus review:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/james-fergusson/the-worlds-most-dangerous-place/

Somaliland Press review:

http://somalilandpress.com/review-the-worlds-most-dangerous-place”-by-james-fergusson-43493

Reader review on Bookslut.com:

http://www.bookslut.com/nonfiction/2013_05_020116.php

Michael Maren review on reason.com

http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/02/why-somalia-matters

Good Reads

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17168288-the-world-s-most-dangerous-place

The Scotsman

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/book-review-the-world-s-most-dangerous-place-inside-the-outlaw-state-of-somalia-by-james-fergusson-1-2781911


A R T I C L E S

New York Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/opinion/the-west-need-not-fear-its-young-muslims.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

CNN article:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/26/opinion/fergusson-al-shabaab-youth/index.html

Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/desperate-somalis-driven-by-famine-into-wartorn-capital-2319562.html

Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/somalia-food-situation-worsens-in-the-north-where-camp-numbers-are-swelling-2333272.html?origin=internalSearch

Independent on Sunday 13/01/13

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/somalia-a-failed-state-is-back-from-the-dead-8449310.html


I N T ER V I E W S

CNN video clip: http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2013/09/24/intv-fergusson-al-shabaab-insight.cnn.html

Interview on UTV (London-based Somali television) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK59yN_bTr4 (Preview)

Interview with LT Economy (Italy) http://www.lteconomy.it/en/2011-09-26-10-03-49/380-interview-with-james-fergusson

Interview on Army Rumour Service http://www.arrse.co.uk/content/1428-interview-james-fergusson-author-world-s-most-dangerous-place.html


D E T A I L S

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (17 Jan 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0593068351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593068359
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 3.5 cm


 

 

 

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