Catalogue


How de body? : one man's terrifying journey through an African war /
Teun Voeten ; translated from the Dutch by Roz Vatter-Buck.
edition
1st U.S. ed.
imprint
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.
description
ix, 308 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0312282192
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
uniform title
imprint
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.
isbn
0312282192
general note
Originally published in Dutch: Amsterdam : Meulenhoff, c2000.
catalogue key
5204316
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [305]-306).
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Teun Voeten studied cultural anthropology in the Netherlands and then started to cover the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Rwanda, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Haiti, and Colombia. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Granta and has been used by organizations such as the United Nations, the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and Human Rights Watch. He divides his time between New York and Brussels
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-10-01:
Voeten, an acclaimed photojournalist, writes about the ferocity of the eight-year civil war in Sierra Leone, a former British colony in West Africa. Once referred to as "The White Man's Grave," it is a country endowed with very hospitable people and mineral wealth gold, silver, and, in particular, diamonds, which "literally lie there waiting to be picked up." The abundance of diamonds has sown greed among the major ethnic groups and has also attracted an international consortium of criminals, arms dealers, mercenaries, and drug barons. Control of these diamonds is the cause and fuel of the war. Voeten was sent to cover the use of child soldiers by the rebels and in the process got caught in the middle of the warring factions and almost lost his life. He has covered many civil wars in other places, and references and comparisons are constantly made to other war-torn countries. Thousands of children were kidnapped by the rebels and conscripted as soldiers, bearers, and cannon fodder. Special amputation squads hacked off arms, hands, or legs to sow terror and avenge the rebels' defeat. Such mass amputations were compared to those done by Belgian colonizers in the former Congo. Throughout How De Body? ("How are you?" in pidgin English), Voeten, relief workers, missionaries, and human rights activists ruminate on the extent of savagery during the eight-year period. Voeten is also fascinated by the courage, strength, and hospitality of Sierra Leoneans. The author, however, exposes his own biases by using words such as natives, thick lips, bastards, fat, and the like in the first chapter. Overall, this is a very interesting but depressing narrative of the atrocities of a civil war characterized by greed and wealth. Recommended for public libraries and those interested in African politics and civil wars in general. Edward G. McCormack, Cox Lib. & Media Ctr., Univ. of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast, Long Beach (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2002-05-06:
The title of this harrowing journey through war-torn Sierra Leone means how are you? in pidgin English; as photojournalist Voeten shows in his dramatic but incomplete work of war reportage, Sierra Leone isn't doing well and neither is he, after a 1998 trip there. On assignment to photograph child soldiers, Voeten finds himself in the midst of a war between a military junta and West African peacekeeping troops. After nearly being killed by a gun-toting teenager, he goes into hiding for two weeks: I feel like a fox running from hounds and curse the soldiers who won't give me a moment's peace. His disappearance makes him something of a cause celebre several of his colleagues are planning to mount a search and rescue but he's eventually able to leave the country. Yet that's just the beginning of Voeten's involvement with the impoverished African nation. Despite suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he returns to Sierra Leone, and it is in recounting these times that the book weakens. Voeten doesn't delve beneath the surface of his interest in Sierra Leone; he fails to give readers even a basic history of the country or to reflect on what makes journalists willing to risk their lives to report from there. He also neglects to sufficiently describe his PTSD or how his multiple returns to Sierra Leone affect it. By not answering these questions, Voeten ends up with merely a frightening travelogue of a depressing country and one inelegantly written at that. The photos, which may be the book's highlight, were not seen by PW. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"There are few, if any, journalists I admire as much as Voeten. His narrow escape from the rebels in Sierra Leone is one of the most harrowing tales I've heard in a long time. He writes with compassion and understated dignity about a complicated civil war that has taken thousands of lives and nearly cost him his own."Sebastian Junger "Teun Voeten has rendered a powerful portrait of the people of Sierra Leonetheir extraordinary strength and forgivenessthat leaves the reader both amazed and hopeful at the resiliency of the human spirit."Scott Anderson, war correspondent and author of The Man Who Tried to Save the World "Fluent, reflective, often funny, and always humane, Teun Voeten has given us close-up insights into a horrible war through the prism of his own terrifying experiences."Andrew Cockburn, National Geographic writer and author of Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein "Exhilarating . . . his audience will feel the same tension Voeten experienced when he was hiding away from rebels bent on killing all foreigners in their path. A heroic portrayal of an overlooked, blood-soaked corner of the world."Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Voeten is confronted with the gigantic contradictions of Western indifference and compassion and of atrocities beyond imagination and a compelling hope, as well as a love toward strangers that helps save his life . . . The author witnesses the horrendous acts of the rebels and their leaders, now protected by the UN forces as official leaders in the negotiated peace settlements. He has written an exciting adventure that educates the West to one of the many wars about which we cannot afford to be indifferent."Vernon Ford, Booklist
"There are few, if any, journalists I admire as much as Voeten. His narrow escape from the rebels in Sierra Leone is one of the most harrowing tales I've heard in a long time. He writes with compassion and understated dignity about a complicated civil war that has taken thousands of lives and nearly cost him his own."Sebastian Junger "Teun Voeten has rendered a powerful portrait of the people of Sierra Leonetheir extraordinary strength and forgivenessthat leaves the reader both amazed and hopeful at the resiliency of the human spirit."Scott Anderson, war correspondent and author of The Man Who Tried to Save the World "Fluent, reflective, often funny, and always humane, Teun Voeten has given us close-up insights into a horrible war through the prism of his own terrifying experiences."Andrew Cockburn, National Geographicwriter and author of Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein "Exhilarating . . . his audience will feel the same tension Voeten experienced when he was hiding away from rebels bent on killing all foreigners in their path. A heroic portrayal of an overlooked, blood-soaked corner of the world." Kirkus Reviews(starred review) "Voeten is confronted with the gigantic contradictions of Western indifference and compassion and of atrocities beyond imagination and a compelling hope, as well as a love toward strangers that helps save his life . . . The author witnesses the horrendous acts of the rebels and their leaders, now protected by the UN forces as official leaders in the negotiated peace settlements. He has written an exciting adventure that educates the West to one of the many wars about which we cannot afford to be indifferent."Vernon Ford, Booklist
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist,
Kirkus Reviews, May 2002
Publishers Weekly, May 2002
Library Journal, October 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there. But the cease-fire ended just as he arrived, and the clash between the military junta and the West African peace-keeping troops forced him to hide in the bush from rebels who were intent on killing him. How de Body?("how are you?" in Sierra Leone's Creole English) is a dramatic account of the conflict that has been raging in the country for nearly a decade-and how Voeten nearly became a casualty of it. Accessible and conversational, it's a look into the dangerous diamond trade that fuels the conflict, the legacy of war practices such as forced amputations, the tragic use of child soldiers, and more. The book is also a tribute to the people who never make the headlines: Eddy Smith, a BBC correspondentwho eventually helps Voeten escape; Alfred Kanu, a school principal who risks his life to keep his students and teachers going amidst the bullets and raids; and Padre Victor, who runs a safe haven for ex-child soldiers; among others. Featuring Voeten's stunning black-and-white photos from his multiple trips to the conflict area, How de Body?is a crucial testament to a relatively unknown tragedy.
Main Description
In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there. But the cease-fire ended just as he arrived, and the clash between the military junta and the West African peace-keeping troops forced him to hide in the bush from rebels who were intent on killing him. How de Body? ("how are you?" in Sierra Leone's Creole English) is a dramatic account of the conflict that has been raging in the country for nearly a decade-and how Voeten nearly became a casualty of it. Accessible and conversational, it's a look into the dangerous diamond trade that fuels the conflict, the legacy of war practices such as forced amputations, the tragic use of child soldiers, and more. The book is also a tribute to the people who never make the headlines: Eddy Smith, a BBC correspondent who eventually helps Voeten escape; Alfred Kanu, a school principal who risks his life to keep his students and teachers going amidst the bullets and raids; and Padre Victor, who runs a safe haven for ex-child soldiers; among others. Featuring Voeten's stunning black-and-white photos from his multiple trips to the conflict area, How de Body? is a crucial testament to a relatively unknown tragedy.
Main Description
In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there. But the cease-fire ended just as he arrived, and the clash between the military junta and peacekeeping troops forced him to hide in the bush from rebels who were intent on killing him.How de Body? (how are you? in Sierra Leones pidgin English) is a dramatic account of the conflict that has been raging in the country for nearly a decadeand how Voeten nearly became a casualty of it. Accessible and conversational, its a look into the dangerous damond trade that fuels the conflict, the legacy of war practices such as forced amputations and the terrifying use of child soldiers, and more. Featuring Voetens stunning black-and-white photos, this book is a crucial testament to a relatively unknown tragedy.
Main Description
In 1998, acclaimed photojournalist Teun Voeten headed to Sierra Leone for what he thought would be a standard assignment on the child soldiers there. But the cease-fire ended just as he arrived, and the clash between the military junta and the West African peace-keeping troops forced him to hide in the bush from rebels who were intent on killing him. How de Body?("how are you?" in Sierra Leone's Creole English) is a dramatic account of the conflict that has been raging in the country for nearly a decade-and how Voeten nearly became a casualty of it. Accessible and conversational, it's a look into the dangerous diamond trade that fuels the conflict, the legacy of war practices such as forced amputations, the tragic use of child soldiers, and more. The book is also a tribute to the people who never make the headlines: Eddy Smith, a BBC correspondent who eventually helps Voeten escape; Alfred Kanu, a school principal who risks his life to keep his students and teachers going amidst the bullets and raids; and Padre Victor, who runs a safe haven for ex-child soldiers; among others. Featuring Voeten's stunning black-and-white photos from his multiple trips to the conflict area, How de Body?is a crucial testament to a relatively unknown tragedy.
Table of Contents
Chronicle of a Failed Reportage: Sierra Leone, February/March 1998
At the Borderp. 3
In Search of Child Soldiersp. 12
Welcome to Makenip. 21
Friday the Thirteenthp. 37
Trouble Has Startedp. 46
Eddie Will Fix Itp. 56
Bandanna and Coconutp. 61
What Went Through My Headp. 65
Right Makkah to the Rescuep. 68
Between Dream and Deedp. 73
Stopover in Kalangbap. 76
Clash of Civilizationsp. 80
Information and Palm Winep. 84
Unexpected Visitorsp. 91
Waitingp. 100
The Road to Freedomp. 106
The Day of Reckoningp. 114
Peace and Quiet: Brussels, March/April 1998
Hypertrophy Plasmodiump. 125
Everything Is PTSDp. 127
News of Eddiep. 129
Strictly Business: Sierra Leone, April 1999
By Land, Sea, or Air?p. 135
Welcome to the Nuthousep. 144
Dem Bats Beaucoupp. 157
CO Cuthandsp. 167
The Spin Doctorp. 176
Press Tripsp. 180
Peace in Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone, December 1999
Testimony of Hopep. 189
Let We Forgivep. 205
Getting Away with Murderp. 214
Cease-Beatingp. 223
Tjuz Piz!p. 229
The New Waterp. 242
Attempts at Analysis: Brussels, Freetown, Wageningen, Antwerp, Bo, December 1999-March 2000
Indulging the Young Onesp. 257
Frankenstein's Monsterp. 265
Weird Folksp. 274
Lois and Mambup. 280
Afterwordp. 283
Notesp. 289
Important Dates in the History of Sierra Leonep. 301
Sourcesp. 305
A Word of Thanksp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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