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.
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.
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.
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
— Michael Maren, author of : The Road to Hell: The Ravaging
Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity (Free Press,
Soldiers Fear to Tread has been pre-sold to Mainland China and
to the Netherlands.
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