Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not the whole 9 yards!, 30 May 2010
This review is from: War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times (Paperback)
I bought the book hoping for an in depth critique and analysis of the subject and some answers to the problems thrown up by the author....but I was disappointed!

It was interesting insofar as it publicised problems associated with the subject but only in a gossipy sort of way, it was journalistically lazy I felt! I know these problems exist due to my work, but some of the issues cited were not put in context or in some cases were factually wrong! This lead me to think that if this was the case with the few circumstances cited in the book that I personally knew about, how much of the other instances cited about other situations in other regions were also wrong?

Having said that, valid points were made about certain aid agencies and their dealings with children, but the points about the role aid agencies play in supporting the perpetrators of wars eg rebel groups can't be addressed by aid agencies alone, a much stronger political will from the international community needs to be factored in, particularly regarding policing of the help given.

I felt the tone was rather one dimensional, but nevertheless a useful book to draw public attention to the problems and situations faced by aid agencies!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jun 2010 09:27:13 BDT
I agree with your sentiment, although I think your being kind rating it as a 3. I found the book easily read but unbalanced and factually wrong in places. It has the stamp of tabloid journalism - get an eye-catching headline and then select some facts the fit and where there aren't any use anecdote or simply invent.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Sep 2010 13:39:39 BDT
S Wood says:
Yep. I read (and reviewed) Polmans earlier book and thought it was shallow and frankly embarrasing and am not surprised by either you or the reviewers comments. One to avoid methinks.
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