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The world's most dangerous place / James Fergusson.

By: Fergusson, James, 1966-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Bantam, 2013Description: 404 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps, portraits (chiefly col.) ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780593068359 (hbk.); 0593068351 (hbk.); 9780593068366 (pbk.).Other title: World's most dangerous place : inside the outlaw state of Somalia [Cover title].Subject(s): Qaida (Organization) | Islamic fundamentalism -- Somalia | Terrorism -- Somalia | Somalia -- History -- 1991- | Somalia -- Social conditions -- 1960-DDC classification: 967.73053
Contents:
Subtitle from cover: Inside the outlaw state of Somalia.
Summary: "Takes us to the heart of struggle, meeting everyone from politicians, pirates, extremists and mercenaries to aid workers, civilians and refugees. This book gives an 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 Somalia."--Publisher's description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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.

Cover subtitle: Inside the outlaw state of Somalia.

Coloured map on endpapers of hardback edition.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 391-[393]) and index.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Subtitle from cover: Inside the outlaw state of Somalia.

"Takes us to the heart of struggle, meeting everyone from politicians, pirates, extremists and mercenaries to aid workers, civilians and refugees. This book gives an 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 Somalia."--Publisher's description.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Veteran journalist Fergusson's riveting narrative about strife-riddled Somalia is a glimpse of a potential future "should our own systems of governance ever be allowed to collapse." His journey to understand the problem took him beyond Somalia to visit diaspora refugees who fled during the two-decade span marked by the lack of a functional government. Taliban-influence al-Shabaab saw opportunity in a Somalia weakened by civil war, drought, and famine-and home to scores of fatherless young males vulnerable to indoctrination. Interviews with members of peace-enforcing AMISOM, local generals, medics, and a young man whose family had been destroyed give face to the suffering in a country where the estimated violent death figure is 500,000 and where few people are educated. Somalia's future lies with refugees who have become educated Western professionals, which Fergusson confirms in interviews with Somalis in Minneapolis and London, although he also details their struggles to adapt. Horrific suffering, brutality, and devastation-often caused by outside influences, including the U.S., but also by the "self-destructive obstinacy" of Somalis themselves-are all detailed in fluid reportage. Fergusson rounds out this invaluable work by noting the glimmers of hope appearing with the demand for education and disdain for the clan system. Maps & photos. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Pundits, diplomats, and geopolitical strategists often speculate that Pakistan could become a failed state. If one wishes to see what such a state might look like, read this shocking and disturbing survey of the ravaged nation of Somalia located on the strategically important Horn of Africa. Fergusson, a freelance journalist and television commentator, has seen the carnage in Afghanistan, but he found the shattering of Somali civil society to be far worse. In a functional sense, Somalia has no national government. The Somali cabinet often has to meet in neighboring Kenya. Instead, power is exercised at the local level by competing clans and subclans, who rule by force of arms and terror. Often, the law is what the particular strongman in a locality says it is. One group, the ­al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab, tried enforcing Islamic fundamentalism through brutal methods often carried out by teenage boys. The result of this chaos has been mass emigration of the most talented and productive Somalis along with near total breakdown of health-care, educational, and law-enforcement institutions. This is a sobering but necessary examination of the process of national disintegration.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

An intrepid journalist investigates the civil war, foreign interventions and mass starvation of Somalia. Before focusing on Somalia, Edinburgh-based journalist Fergusson (Taliban: The Unknown Enemy, 2011, etc.) spent 16 years writing about Afghanistan, a similarly ungovernable nation that has resisted conquerors for centuries. The author is a worthy guide to the seemingly endless deaths in Somalia, often ranked by international observers as the most poorly governed, risky nation in the world. The vast majority of Somalians is illiterate, desperately poor and so committed to genetic ties within their particular geographic clan that pulling together as a nation seems hopeless. Many of the peacekeeping soldiers are from Uganda, ironic given that nation's recent bouts of sectarian violence. Since the Taliban had become one of Fergusson's specialties as a journalist, he found it intriguing that a similar group was gaining ground in Somalia: al-Shabaab. The movement considered itself populist and pure in its devotion to the Islamic faithmuch like the Taliban. In the United States, perceptions of Somalia have been shaped in many ways by Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down and its film adaptation. As a result, American views on the Somalian people are negative and based on fear. Fergusson agrees that fear is justified in such a dangerous place, but he shows the shades of gray along with the black and white. An especially fascinating portion of Fergusson's investigation took him to Minneapolis, which has become home to a huge number of Somalian refugees, surely the largest diaspora of them outside the Horn of Africa. Some of the Somalians there, writes the author, are linked to violent groups overseas and thus might end up as terrorist threats. A compelling example of investigative reporting that suggests continuing mass death for an African population that cannot or will not help itself find peace.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.