Top positive review
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Another 5 stars for Ryszard
on 15 November 2007
This book moves from Africa to South America describing wars and coups and giving insights into the psyche of the people living there, explaining the situation and the reasons behind failures and disasters of 3rd world politicians. In his own words `The essence of the drama lies in the terrible material resistance that one encounters taking his first and second steps to the summit of power. Each one wants to do something good and begins to do it, and then sees, after a month, a year, 3 years, that it just isn't happening, that it is slipping away, that it is bogged down in sand. Everything is in the way: the centuries of backwardness, the primitive economy, the illiteracy, the religious fanaticism, the tribal blindness, the chronic hunger......the unemployment, the red ink.....the politician begins to push too hard. Helooks for a way out, through dictatorship. The dictatorship fathers an opposition. The opposition organises a coup.'
The title of the book refers to the war between Honduras and San Salvador, a war that started due to Mexican world cup qualifying football match 30 odd years ago between the 2 countries. The extent of the love of football and nationalism it engenders amongst poor people in these countries can only be rivalled by religeous fervour. A lesson indeed on how to get things out of proportion and although in the end these 2 countries were satisfied with the outcome let us all hope that meetings around a table will solve problems one day. Another part of the book describes Ryszard's dislike of desks and beaurocracy - this is very memorable. Many other interesting articles in this book and definately one for the collector of travel and world history books.