Taking us to the frontlines with humanitarian workers in strife-torn areas around the world, a relief worker reveals with dynamic personal immediacy the terrifying reality of their missions.

“There is going to be shooting here and it is a toss-up who is going to get the boy’s first round. The soldier, about ten-years-old, is jamming the barrel of his gun hard against my driver’s face and unless the kid decides to go for me, the relief worker, my driver is going to get his head blown off.”

There are thousands of humanitarian workers today serving in more than 100 nations. It is a dangerous job. Since 9/11, more civilian workers are killed each year than peacekeepers.

John Burnett, a former investigative journalist and speechwriter for Congressmen in Washington, left the comforts of the mainstream and became a UN relief worker in Somalia. Burnett survived the encounter with the child soldier, yet so many relief workers in countries torn by war or civil strife are not so lucky.
Burnett lived at the UN compound in Baghdad shortly before the terrorist attack that killed so many of his colleagues. His account of the grim days in Iraq and the nightmare behind the lines in Somalia reveals the little known story of those serving with the United Nations, Red Cross, and other non-governmental humanitarian organizations, men and women who fear for their own lives as they help others. Where Soldiers Fear to Tread also reveals the new politics of global aid that is resulting in the alarming number of deaths among relief workers.
“Like nothing I've read before, John Burnett captures the rush, the horror, the utter insanity of trying to do the right thing in the face of war and anarchy. Where Soldiers Fear to Tread is at once a rousing adventure story and a troubling morality tale. Wrangling with the relentless mayhem of Somalia, murderous warlords, armed and drugged kids, and infuriating bureaucracy, Burnett fights the good fight, but asks the right questions. If you've ever sent 20 bucks off to a relief organization, you owe it to yourself to read this book."
— Michael Maren, author of : The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity (Free Press, 2002)
Where Soldiers Fear to Tread has been pre-sold to Mainland China and to the Netherlands.
JOHN S. BURNETT has written for the New York Times, National Geographic, the Guardian (UK) and Gourmet Magazine. He is author of Dangerous Waters, Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas (Dutton 2002, Plume 2003, 2004), which has been translated into five languages. www.modernpiracy.com
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