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Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics,…
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Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various… (edition 2007)

by Bob Harris

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987175,079 (4.08)10
Member:mfagan
Title:Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide
Authors:Bob Harris
Info:Three Rivers Press (2007), Edition: 1, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
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Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Highly enjoyable, amusing book covering the recent history that led to major world conflicts. Not as amusing as the title promises, but it's still a remarkable feat to write about atrocities and have me laughing out loud a paragraph later. It covers so much that it's handy as a reference guide--next time a major conflict breaks out, pull out this book, brush up on the relevant geographical region, and look absurdly well-read at your next dinner party.

And, of course, be a more informed global citizen and have a greater understanding of the forces that shape our world (which you can show off at dinner parties).

My only complaint is that world events change so much that this book may quickly become dated. I wish the author would publish a new edition. ( )
  Malora | Jan 18, 2016 |
Slowly getting out of date, but a great overview nonetheless with probably the right sense of humor to keep it from being depressing ( )
  trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
For a history buff, this is a marvelous romp into current events. The sheer inanity of some of the conflicts is overwhelming. Mr. Harris's disclaimer at the beginning lets the reader know this will be a broad overview, not an incisive look at world conflicts. Not meant to be an exhaustive guide, Harris' humor lets the reader trot around the globe to various hot-spots without becoming clinically depressed. Well worth the time. ( )
  BruceCoulson | Dec 9, 2010 |
Summary: Who Hates Whom is essentially a Cliff Notes guide to current events. Ever hear about some conflict on the news and can't remember which side is which, who's giving money and arms to whom, and what they're fighting over/about anyways? This is the book for you. Each of the world's current conflict hotspots gets a list of the main factions fighting; a map showing the area with factions, resources, bombings, religious tensions, pirates, and other relevant features clearly marked; and a short (5-10 page) write-up in which Harris gives the relevant history and explains the current state of each conflict.

Review: I am not a huge news-reader; it would not be an exaggeration to say that I get more of my current events knowledge from NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me than I probably should. (It used to be The Daily Show, but I no longer have cable TV.) So, while this is not my ordinary kind of book, I am perhaps one of its target audience. And Harris does a very good job of presenting global politics at a level that even the chronically-underinformed like me can appreciate. Not only is he clear, concise, and informative, but he's also funny as heck, and manages to inject some much-needed humor - and a surprising amount of hope - in amongst the death tolls and lists of atrocities. Even the maps manage to have a sense of black humor to them: in the chapter on Haiti, Haiti is in white, and the Dominican Republic and Cuba are in grey - colors which, as the legend informs us, indicate "areas where the Spanish never found giant assloads of gold" and "countries that still have trees", respectively.

This isn't exactly your average coffee-table book, but it would be an excellent reference, and I think it would work best as something that was dipped into on occasion. Reading it straight through in large chunks got pretty depressing, not to mention that the various rebel groups in all start to blend together (not a lot of creative naming power, there.) On that same tip, this book could really have used an index; as it is, if you see a news report about the Revolutionary United Front blowing something up somewhere and want more information, you're just going to have to thumb through until you see the right acronym. But, overall, while it wasn't the kind of book that had me dying to dive back in and read more, it did a very nice job at its stated purpose: providing an accessible and entertaining layman's guide to wars around the world. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I can see a news buff really enjoying this, but even for those who aren't big into current events, it's a pretty painless and interesting way to get up-to-speed. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Nov 12, 2009 |
Good overview of the recent history and the basics about armed conflicts throughout the world. Not comprehensive nor scholarly, but then Harris makes not pretense of either. Honest and straightforward attempt by an average college-educated person to comprehend the current state of the world. ( )
  sa54d | Dec 14, 2008 |
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To the countless millions of innocent human beings who have died because other human beings were certain they were doing the right thing.
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Visiting a museum in Turkey, I once stumbled across the oldest surviving peace treaty, inscribed in clay more than three thousand years ago.
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A more accurate title might have been Who's Currently Blowing Up Whom, or Did Recently, or is Probably About To, but the cover isn't big enough, and too many people might miss the fourth word. (p. 2)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307394360, Paperback)

The daily news gives you events but rarely context. So what do al-Qaeda, North Korea, and Iran really want? Which faction is which in Iraq and who’s arming whom? What’s the deal with Somalia, Darfur, and Kashmir? Fatah, Hamas, and Hezbollah?

Finally, here’s Who Hates Whom—a handy, often stunning guide to the world’s recent conflicts, from the large and important to the completely absurd.

• Which countries are fighting over an uninhabitable glacier with no real strategic value—at an annual cost of half a billion dollars?
• Which underreported war has been the deadliest since World War II—worse even than Vietnam—with a continuing aftermath worse than most current conflicts combined?
• Which royal family members were respected as gods—until the crown prince machine-gunned the king and queen?
• Which country’s high school students think the Nazis had a “good side”? Which nation’s readers recently put Mein Kampf on the bestseller list? And which other country watches itself with four million security cameras? (Hint: All three are U.S. allies.)

Detailed with more than fifty original maps, photographs, and illustrations, Who Hates Whom summarizes more than thirty global hotspots with concise essays, eye-catching diagrams, and (where possible) glimmers of kindness and hope.

In which bodies of water can you find most of the world’s active pirates? Which dictatorship is bulldozing its own villages? Where exactly are Waziristan, Bangsamoro, Kurdistan, Ituri, Baluchistan, and Jubaland—and how will they affect your life and security? Find out in Who Hates Whom, a seriously amusing look at global humanity—and the lack thereof.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:34 -0400)

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