The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia Hardcover – 17 Jan. 2013
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"Fergusson has a talent for shedding light in dark places. While most reporters have opted to stay away, Fergusson has risked his life to cover the ground and, an even greater achievement, succeeded in making the Somali mess understandable and relevant. It is this insight, alongside his harrowing account of life in the grief zone that gives Fergusson's book its power." (Anthony Sattin Observer)
"Essential reading for those who seek to counter the menace. With ingenuity and no little courage he has travelled far and wide, within Somalia and among the Somali diaspora in Britain and America, delving into the soul of a ravaged community." (The Economist)
"What [Fergusson] has done, with heroic tenacity and no little courage, is to spend much of the last two years wandering from one end of the country to the other, interviewing politicians and presidents, fighters and pirates, foreign advisers and security guards, and above all scores of ordinary Somalis, whose lives have been destroyed by 20 years of carnage and whose tales he eloquently recounts. An elegant writer, with a scholarly understanding of history, he brings to terrible light the catastrophe that is Somalia." (Caroline Moorehead The Spectator)
"Fergusson's book is an honest, illuminating and surprisingly funny account of his travels through a lawless land in which the lure of terrorism all too often proves irresistible." (Mail on Sunday)
"A perceptive and engaging account." (Guardian)
"Excellent." (Mark Doyle Observer)
"If you meet James Fergusson on your travels, look out, you are most definitely in the wrong place. The writer has earned something of a reputation as a specialist on the dark side of the troubled world in which we live. From the Balkans to Afghanistan and the modern-day hell that is sub-Saharan Africa, the adventurous journalist and best-selling author has put his life on the line to become a global authority on Al Qaeda, the Taliban, boy soldiers in Somalia - and the worst aspects of human behaviour in the most inhospitable and dangerous regions." (Jim McBeth Daily Mail)
"This book is one of the most detailed and illuminating books I have ever read. Comprehensive, detailed, and filled with information, this is an excellent read. Read this book." (Army Rumour Service (ARRSE))
"Coruscating reportage... Fergusson is a great journalist, and such truly brilliant investigative work offers the seeds, the suggestions of remedies for the contagion beneath the reporter's microscope." (Roger Hutchinson Scotsman)
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Top international reviews
The author is a freelance journalist who has travelled extensively in Somalia as well as having conducted extensive first hand research among the Somali Diaspora in East Africa, the UK and the US.
While I don't agree with all of the author's conclusions, his research is very good and he has a lot of interesting points to make about Somalia and Somali expatriate communities in Western countries, particularly in the US and UK. This book is certainly worthwhile reading for anyone interested in Somalia and the policy implications of Somali issues for Western governments. This author writes well, his research is very good and he raises some very interesting issues.
Note that this book was written before the Somali based Islamist attack on the mall in Nairobi in 2013, so that incident is not specifically covered.
James Fergusson knows about Somalia history and its key actors, including the al-shabab militias.
Interviews with pirates, Al-Shabbab child soldiers, UN officials, contractors, Londoners, and Somalis living in America's heartland all come to together in a book that really should be read by anyone who wants to have an opinion on Somalia and the Somali people.
Often times material like this is unapproachable and wrapped in context that the author assumes you already know. Happily, Fergusson's work is entertaining and accessible to nearly anyone.
My compliments to the author. I liked everything: the language, the events, the details. Everything.
This book is a good " back story" to current events. New junkies like myself will really be interested . After reading it I wanted to know about Al-Shabaab.
Still, it is a fast read, the maps are excellent as are the photographs. Certainly quite good - not definitive though.