The author recounts how, unsatisfied by his brief career in the British Army, he set out for the killing fields in Bosnia. There, in the midst of ...Show synopsisThe author recounts how, unsatisfied by his brief career in the British Army, he set out for the killing fields in Bosnia. There, in the midst of battle among the Serbs, Croatians, and Bosnian Muslins, Loyd discovered humanity at its best and worst. A profoundly shocking, uncompromising look at the brutality of war and its seductive power.Hide synopsis
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This is Anthony Loyd's first book, an accounting of his somewhat haphazard entry into the world of freelance journalism during the 1990s war in Bosnia. His writing style is alternately informational, amusing, harrowing and thought-provoking, and I recommend it highly for anyone interested in war reporting that is not jingoistic, self-assured or written in a "I know it all, I have all the answers" fashion. It also furnishes a good overview of the root causes of the Serb-Croat-Muslim nightmare that gripped Europe; it's a confusing and tangled web, but for those of us who don't remember what happened or why, he for the most part successfully explains the sequence of events and the disastrous consequences.
Loyd's second book, "Another Bloody Love Letter", covers his further adventures as a freelancer in various parts of the world; with his musings on death, the power of addiction, the travails of war and the lure of being in the midst of danger and bloodshed, it's even more well-written and gripping, but both are really fascinating reads.
In the context of what is happening today in Iraq and other parts of the world, it behooves us to learn what we can about what is really happening on the ground: it is thanks to freelancers like Loyd, his murdered journo friend Kurt Schork, the freelance journalist Steven Vincent, killed in Iraq in 2005, and so many others who risk their lives to report on what they see without having to filter it through the cheesecloth of a major media organization, that we know as much as we do. Read these books. Learn, and never forget what risks people take to get you those stories and photographs in your morning paper.
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