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Who Hates WhomTitle: Who Hates Whom – A Woefully Incomplete Guide
Author: Bob Harris
Copyright: © 2007
Publisher: Three Rivers Press, an imprint of Random House
ISBN-13: 978-0-30739436-1

Relevance: A humorous book, Who Hates Whom briefly summarizes nearly three dozen global hot spots and includes maps, photographs and illustrations. The book is ideal for any reporter or correspondent with a sense of humor or those with a naive sense of self-importance and no historical perspective.

Review: What do you get when you cross a comedian and a book outlining major hot spots for chaos and violence around the world? Actually, a rather good book that both teaches and entertains. Who Hates Whom details over 30 trouble spots to which reporters working international beats may be sent in their careers.

From current hot zones such as Iraq, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan to those lesser known areas such as the D.R. Congo, the Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), author Bob Harris leads readers into short, humorous and sadly accurate diatribes into what petty arguments and deadly skirmishes are currently plaguing the world.

Although the book was published in 2007 and, therefore, likely written in late 2006, all of Harris’ essays are unfortunately up to date. This may be surprising for civilians but reporters and correspondents will fully know that no matter what the daily games or losses over the years or decades, the fights are eerily similar.

By the author's own account, Who Hates Whom is “a woefully incomplete guide” to global chaos but it is both humorous and instructive for any reporter or writer who needs quick background information on many of the world’s trouble spots. Although not nearly as detailed as Fielding’s Dangerous Places (mainly because Harris has never been to many of these places that he writes about), the book does illustrate just how very screwed up and troubled the world is and how many dangers lurk behind that sexy posting to a far off land that sounds oh so exotic.

We also hear the status of various South and East Asia non-vacation spots such as Sri Lanka, Burma/Myanmar, Kashmir, Nepal, North Korea, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, East Timor and the Philippines. Surprisingly, Harris’ coverage of the Americas is sparse with entries only from Columbia, Mexico, Haiti and a vague region called Central America.

We thoroughly enjoyed Who Hates Whom although we would have liked to see more detail and perhaps a bit more of Harris’ acerbic yet dead-accurate wit. Although not appropriate as either a security briefing or in fact, a full backgrounder on any of the regions that he covers, Who Hates Whom does present a series of tragically funny yet accurate introductions to many of the world’s hot spots. Recommended.

End of Review

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