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As Used On the Famous Nelson Mandela: Underground Adventures in the Arms and Torture Trade Paperback – 6 Jul 2006
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"His book is a genuine eye-opener" -- Mail on Sunday
"courageous...it's a humorous yet heartfelt polemic...Thomas' revelations are riveting" -- The Independent
"funny, disturbing and fascinating" -- Metro
Mark Thomas is one of the UK's most effective and best-known political activists, as well as being a highly successful stand-up comedian. His show, The Mark Thomas Product, ran for six highly acclaimed series on Channel Four. Amazingly, this is his first book. As Used On the Famous Nelson Mandela is a deeply funny, deeply disturbing account of Mark's rampage through the arms trade. Under a fairly flimsy disguise and with the use of some worryingly poor accents, Mark sets off on a journey of discovery in the company of arms dealers, torture victims, politicians, cops, crusties and geeks. The result is a shockingly entertaining read. Embedded within the sharpness of his humour is the truth of an industry fraught with loopholes, complacency and greed; that allows corrupt regimes to kill, maim and displace, but whose deals are often subsidised by the British taxpayer. Hard-hitting, laugh-out-loud funny and extremely unsettling, As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela is never anything less than compulsive.See all Product description
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If you are going to supply the tools used to stamp on the human rights of others, you need to accept you might come up against a comic, a nun and a group of teenage girls who will make you look a complete prat.
His C4 show, the Mark Thomas Comedy Product, used to poke fun at the police and his stand up shows would announce his great plan for getting junk mail reduced (get all the freebies sent to Michael Heseltine's address). As his ideas developed, they got wilder, until he had this idea of attending an arms fair as a PR man. And so the book begins.
Being able to describe such a subject matter with humour is an awesome achievement, and the description of the Penis of Peace is just one example of taking the sublime to the ridiculous in the space of a page.
The encounter with the man who sold Michael Ryan his gun is intrigiung, and the stand off with the Hindujas is engrossing.
If you like proper political satire, and you want the facts that BAE don't want you to know, then you need to read this book.
This is both funny and politically informative - no easy thing to achieve. Highly recommended.
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