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Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses [Paperback]

Mark Curtis
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Nov 2004

Britain is complicit in the deaths of ten million people.

These are Unpeople - those whose lives are seen as expendable in the pursuit of Britain's economic and political goals.

In Unpeople, Mark Curtis shows that the Blair government is deepening its support for many states promoting terrorism and, using evidence unearthed from formerly secret documents, reveals for the first time the hidden history of unethical British policies, including: support for the massacres in Iraq in 1963; the extraordinary private backing of the US in its aggression against Vietnam; support for the rise of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin; the running of a covert 'dirty war' in Yemen in the 1960s; secret campaigns with the US to overthrow the governments of Indonesia and British Guiana; the welcoming of General Pinochet's brutal coup in Chile in 1973; and much more.

This explosive new book, from the author of Web of Deceit, exposes the reality of the Blair government's foreign policies since the invasion of Iraq. It discloses government documents showing that Britain's military is poised for a new phase of global intervention with the US, and reveals the extraordinary propaganda campaigns being mounted to obscure the reality of policies from the public.

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Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses + Web Of Deceit: Britain's Real Foreign Policy: Britain's Real Role in the World + Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (4 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099469723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099469728
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Mark Curtis is, in my opinion, this country's best popular historian" (John Pilger)

"Curtis is a brave recorder of truths which the powerful would rather not have told" (Victoria Brittain, former foreign editor at The Guardian)

Book Description

Curtis's second book of revelations on post-war British foreign policy.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpeople: By Mark Curtis. 4 Sep 2011
A remarkable book upon the subject of 'realpolitik'. In this case, British power politics since the end of WWII, during the declononisation and dismantling of the British empire, and the apparent, wide-spread disregard for Human Rights. Curtis - a former Research Fellow of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House), uses the term 'Unpeople' to refer to those people that the British state has deemed 'unworthy' of life, whilst pursuing political and economic gain. Curtis argues that the 'Unpeople' have taken the place of the 'savage', a term and concept that was common during Britain's imperial expansion across the globe the last two hundred years or so. This group of people are not accorded basic human dignity - indeed, they are not perceived as fully 'human' at all, but much like the German notion of 'Lebensunwertes Leben' (life unworthy of life), this group is viewed as fully expendable, and their collective lives are seen as worthless, something to be thrown away, ignored or removed at the whim of a politician.

The paperback (2004) contains 377 numbered pages and is comprised of an Introduction, a Conclusion and is separated into four parts:

Part I. Iraq.
Part II. Propaganda, Reality.
Part III. Terror, Aggression.
Part IV. Coups, Dictators.

Although contemporary with the Tony Blair-New Labour government, this research covers British foreign policy over the years, including the British 'secret' support for US aggression in Vietnan, the war for oil policy in Nigeria, covert operations in Indonesia, the support of Idi Amin in Uganda, protecting a dictator in Chile (Thatcher's friend general Pinochet), and the dirty wars in British Guiana and Arabia.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Any British Humanitarian 6 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came across this book only recently through a recommendation in a Noam Chomsky book. Mr Curtis details crimes committed by Her Majesty's Government overseas since World War II.

This is not bedtime reading: you are guaranteed nightmares as each chapter is easy to digest but the themes are hard to stomach: legitimate overseas governments overthrown or destabilised in order to secure the business and/or political interests of an unaccountable British elite.

After reading Unpeople, I now understand the obsession with security and surveillance in the UK. Also, I now have a complete disregard for statements by politicians of any party.

I am grateful to Mr Curtis for this awakening.
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British foreign policy: the shocking reality 22 Feb 2005
As a British citizen living under the long shadow of the New Labour political project, it is difficult not to be overwhelmed with cynicism when pondering the motivations and goals of a set of politicians so deeply in thrall to Big Business. Increasingly, too, the poverty of ideals among the mainstream UK political parties, in essence rival factions of the same party representing the narrow interests of the ruling state-corporate elite (as in the US), makes many fearful for the future of representative democracy in the UK.
Yet, even for those disillusioned with this depressing state of affairs, modern historian Mark Curtis' disturbing new book, Unpeople, is still likely to come as a huge shock. Unstintingly and unswervingly, in case study after case study, Curtis uncovers the extraordinary levels of deception lurking beneath the squeaky-clean veneer of UK foreign policy's much-vaunted concern for human rights. At the heart of the author's portrayal of Britain as an outlaw state - one that certainly gives the US a good run for its money - lie the 'unpeople'. These are the expendable citizens of faraway countries who have suffered and died under the miseries imposed by the equally ruthless foreign policies of both Labour and Tory governments. Indeed, according to Curtis' conservative calculations, Britain may well be complicit in the deaths of in excess of 10 million 'unpeople' since World War Two.
Those who have already read Curtis' previous expose, Web of Deceit (2003), will immediately recognise the rigour of his content and the thoroughness of his research, while warming once again to his very readable writing style.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Me. a racist ??!! 1 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In considering the various blackguardly actions of the UK under all governments, Mr Curtis continues from his excellent "Web of Deceit" to hammer home the incontestable truth that our great and good have had virtually no concern for the killings and maimings entailed in their suppression of the lesser races.
All this done in our name, and, if we believe the media, in the best of all possible taste, and , of course, in the national interest.Chapter 8, From the Horse's Mouth , notes files from the cabinet meetings and FO which were not really for contemporary public consumption, but which demonstrate the clear-headed, cold-hearted resolve of our lords and masters to impose their world-view and choices. Since about 1970, we have been more and more clearly the "junior partner" , as Mr Cameron put it, to the US in the ruthless imposition of "our" will on "the natives". While many who keep their head even as all are invited to worship militarism have long known some of the stories behind our leaders' mask of humanity, it is good to see Mark Curtis reminding us of the ghastly Pinochet's tortures and murders - not so long ago.The shameful and shabby episode of Diego Garcia is mentioned. At the nd of the book, the table of Britain and Global Deaths comes as a useful summary of the last 50-60 years. It was, I think, Lieutenant William Calley who remarked that "no one ever told him that Communists were people". One supposes that he shared this ignorance with the "counter-insurgency" experts such as Sir Gerald Templar and Robert Thompson from the Malayan days.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Who are the real terrorists?
Published 16 days ago by Mark Steven Cude
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, heavy going in places!
Whilst my main reading interests lie firmly in crime fiction, I do like to read a bit of non-fiction now away, whether it's memoirs, history, politics or social commentary. Read more
Published 10 months ago by col2910
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
Mr Curtis is clear, concise, as well as passionate and caring. All his points are backed up by evidence. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain's dirty record
Those who want to know the real truth about what evil British establishment had been doing under their names should read this well researched book
Published 11 months ago by P.Bahia
5.0 out of 5 stars no turning back
Once again mark curtis exposes the politicians (of all colours) as the charlatans and elitists they really are. Read more
Published 13 months ago by abcwarrior01
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional
this book is amazing the cover ups and lies they do not tell the great british public, well worth reading to enlighten and open your eyes
Published 19 months ago by sharoane
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to feel ashamed
This expose of the British governments true colours would be unbelievable if it weren't so well referenced. Mark Curtis is a hero of the people, truely.
Published on 2 May 2011 by Tarom Halec
5.0 out of 5 stars difficult to argue with empirical proof
Mark Curtis has relieved me of the burden of guilt I felt over my governments murderous foreign policy. Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2006 by P. Duval
4.0 out of 5 stars What nobody wants to know about UK Foreign Policy
By juxtaposing commentaries on contemporary action against recently released and previously secret foreign office records (some still censored), Mark Curtis confirms our worst... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2005
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