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Emergency Sex: And Other Desperate Measures
by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, Andrew Thomson
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There's a lot of interest in the authors' insider reports from UN peacekeeping missions. The three-way memoir form is intriguing too, although the voices of the three authors aren't especially distinct and they refer to each other too often. Almost everything we learn about these failed states and the UN's failed efforts to help is disheartening, but especially timely as we approach the beginning of a new presidential administration that is more likely to engage in these sorts of joint international humanitarian deployments than in preemptive oil wars. ( )
This is a memoir written by three UN workers who met while on assignment in Cambodia. They discuss UN missions there, in Haiti, Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Liberia. Ken is a Harvard law school graduate, Andrew is a medical doctor and Heidi is a social worker turned secretary. This book documents the UN's failures in these missions, as well as their personal fears and, at times, triumphs. I think it makes excellent reading and provides plenty of food for thought.
On a personal note, I enjoyed Heidi's sections most. It was very refreshing for me to read an honest account by a woman that included her need for "emergency sex". However, I fear she came across as more of a "party girl" than a serious aid worker.
This is a heart-breaking story of three idealistic young people (two Americans and a New Zealander) who joined the UN to do good and learned just how difficult that can be. The parts about the war in the former Yugoslavia is especially disturbing. They also work in Cambodia, Haiti, Rwanda and Somalia.
This was a great find in an airport in Kisumu Airport. Tiniest bookstore with some great books! Picked this up for us as my new Kindle didn't down load the books only the titles. As an avid reader with 17 days and 33lbs weight restriction....Sad Day. It is the true story of three UN workers in Haiti, Cambodia and other hot spots in the world. They navagate though their innocence,niavete and need in this new world. Each story changes them and you.
Emergency Sex is an excellent book detailing the failure of the United nations and the United States preventing horrific crimes around the world. All the characters in the book are flawed i.e. they are human, and deal with the situations they are exposed to differently, but the book should not be judged on the basis of the authors having an idealistic view of the world. The book's strengths lie in the complete failures of the United Nations to do anything correctly, and when the so completely fail to take any responsibility for the lack of action. It also points out the complete lack of a foreign policy by the Clinton administration. This is an excellent book.
“Emergency Sex” is serious, beautifully composed and aggressively honest.
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Wikipedia in English (1)
It's the early 1990s and three young people are looking to change their lives, and perhaps also the world. Attracted to the ambitious global peacekeeping work of the UN, Andrew, Ken and Heidi's paths cross in Cambodia, from where their fates are to become inextricably bound.Over the coming years, their stories interweave through countries such Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti - war-torn, lawless places where the intervention of the UN is needed like nowhere else. Driven by idealism, the three struggle to do the best they can, caught up in an increasingly tangled web of bureaucracy and ineffectual leadership. As disillusionment sets in, they attempt to keep hold of their humanity through black humour, revelry and 'emergency sex'.Brutal and moving in equal measure, Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures) explores pressing global issues while never losing a sense of the personal. Deeply critical of the West's indifference to developing countries and the UN's repeated failure to intervene decisively, the book provoked massive controversy on its initial publication. Kofi Annan called for the book to be banned, and debate was sparked about the future direction of the UN. Brilliantly written and mordantly funny, it is a book that continues to make waves.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)920 — History and Geography Biography, genealogy, insignia Biography
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