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Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice and Alcohol-free Beer [Paperback]

P. J. O'Rourke
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Sep 1993
Opening with an introduction entitled ‘Hunting the Virtuous – and How to Clean and Skin Them’, the author provides his own comments on the people, places and events behind the newspaper headlines, before launching into an account of the first Gulf War. Beginning with a concise history of the Middle East, he delivers a day-to-day chronicle of the tedium of waiting for war in the Saudi desert, signing off with an eyewitness account of the victory march into Kuwait city.

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Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice and Alcohol-free Beer + Peace Kills
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (10 Sep 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330325361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330325363
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 840,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

P. J. O'Rourke is the bestselling author of ten books, including Eat the Rich, Give War a Chance, Holidays in Hell, Parliament of Whores, All the Trouble in the World, The CEO of the Sofa and Peace Kills. He has contributed to, among other publications, Playboy, Esquire, Harper's, New Republic, the New York Times Book Review and Vanity Fair. He is a regular correspondent for the Atlantic magazine. He divides his time between New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
PJ O'Rourke has been described by bemused interviewers as a Surprisingly Nice Guy. To which the most pertinent response is: Be afraid, be very afraid. To those disappearing into the welcome, sucking grasp of the swamp of BBC/CNN PC convention, the sight of this cigar-wielding, whiskey-loving son of Ohio stalking about in his red, blue and white wellies, giving both barrels to every critter that moves, must be like Dante's first glimpse of Hell. Even more scary, though, is the druggy disorientation this modern Mephistopheles invokes in you when you open one of his books, especially Give War A Chance, and especially if you're committed (as I was when I first encountered him) to the idea, an article of faith in Student Union Bibles across the Western world, that unapologetic defenders of free markets and US interventionism are invariably cross-eyed boondock types who snack on newborns.
This book is probably the best point of entry into PJ's world, representing as it does a perfect fulcrum between the sardonic insults he hurled so devastatingly in 1987's Holidays From Hell, and the exasperated elder-statesman-of-journalism musings of his more recent work. The last quarter or so of Give War A Chance is taken up with his despatches from the frontline of the Gulf War, and are worth the price of the book alone. Before this, however, we visit Berlin in November 1989, Paraguay, post-Cold War Kiev and Vietnam, and free elections in Nicaragua, with detours through the horribly fatuous autobiographical mumblings of Lee Iacocca and Jimmy Carter, and pause on our travels to witness the cruel humiliation of the entire mid-eighties famine relief industry (the banner over the stocks displays the excellent legend: Fiddling While Africa Starves).
PJ O'Rourke is frightening to his enemies for two reasons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give P.J. a chance 18 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback
If you haven't read any P.J. O'Rourke before, this is a good one to start with, it has many of his best articles, as once more he travels the world in search of trouble spots to write about. His descriptions of the places he visits are, as always, vivid and brilliant. In this book you can read of how he is moved to tears by the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and his undisguised glee at the election results in Nicaragua the following year. There is a long and fascinating article about how capitalism is breaking out all over Vietnam, and a savagely scathing critique of Live Aid. There is a brilliant piece about Josephus, the Jewish historian who told the story of the fall of Jerusalem 'The two thousand year-old Middle East policy expert". His despatches from the Gulf War are perhaps the most fascinating part of the book, as he writes from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He vividly describes how extremely boring life in a strict Islamic state is, but casts doubt on the notion that Saudi Arabia is a totaly male-dominated society. He points out that dress shops in Saudi are full of exotic and expensive silk creations, and jewellery stores full of enormous costly jewels, "if this were really a male-dominated scoiety the jewellery stores would be stocked with plastic pop-beads and the only thing the dress shops would be selling is aprons". A Kuwait Air Force colonel explains to him that Iraq started the war because Kuwait was spending all its oil money on things for its citizens so Iraq "either had to brings its citizens up to the Kuwait level or bring Kuwait citizens down to the Iraq level" 'In other words' O'Rourke explains ' Kuwait caused the war by shopping too much. This loeaves us with little hope of world peace as long as wives are allowed to hold credit cards in their own names.'I don't know why, but Mr O'Rourke seems to think that women are interested in nothing but shopping, I can't think where he gets that idea from. This is a very funny and brilliant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
PJ O'Rourke has been described by bemused interviewers as a Surprisingly Nice Guy. To which the most pertinent response is: Be afraid, be very afraid. To those disappearing into the welcome, sucking grasp of the swamp of BBC/CNN PC convention, the sight of this cigar-wielding, whiskey-loving son of Ohio stalking about in his red, blue and white wellies, giving both barrels to every critter that moves, must be like Dante's first glimpse of Hell. Even more scary, though, is the druggy disorientation this modern Mephistopheles invokes in you when you open one of his books, especially Give War A Chance, and especially if you're committed (as I was when I first encountered him) to the idea, an article of faith in Student Union Bibles across the Western world, that unapologetic defenders of free markets and US interventionism are invariably cross-eyed boondock types who snack on newborns.
This book is probably the best point of entry into PJ's world, representing as it does a perfect fulcrum between the sardonic insults he hurled so devastatingly in 1987's Holidays From Hell, and the exasperated elder-statesman-of-journalism musings of his more recent work. The last quarter or so of Give War A Chance is taken up with his despatches from the frontline of the Gulf War, and are worth the price of the book alone. Before this, however, we visit Berlin in November 1989, Paraguay, post-Cold War Kiev and Vietnam, and free elections in Nicaragua, with detours through the horribly fatuous autobiographical mumblings of Lee Iacocca and Jimmy Carter, and pause on our travels to witness the cruel humiliation of the entire mid-eighties famine relief industry (the banner over the stocks displays the excellent legend: Fiddling While Africa Starves).
PJ O'Rourke is frightening to his enemies for two reasons.
Read more ›
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