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Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies, and Aid [Paperback]

Samantha Nutt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 17 2012
In 1995, twenty-five-year-old Samantha Nutt, a recent medical-school graduate and a field volunteer for UNICEF, touched down in Baidoa, Somalia, the "City of Death." What she saw there would spur her on to a lifetime of passionate advocacy for children and families in war-torn areas around the world. Damned Nations is the brilliant distillation of Dr. Nutt's observations over the course of fifteen years providing hands-on care in some of the world's most violent flashpoints, all the while building the world class non-profit War Child North America. Combining original research with her personal story, it is a deeply thoughtful meditation on war as it is being waged around the world against millions of civilians -- primarily women and children. Nutt's boundless energy, dedication, and compassion shine through on every page as she lays out real, lasting solutions to these problems and shows how to move beyond outdated notions of charity towards a more progressive, inclusive, and respectful world view.

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"Angry, impassioned essays are not the general currency of Canadian non-fiction, so it's refreshing that physician Samantha Nutt breaks the mould with her forthright attack on militarism and misguided aid efforts that exacerbate the poverty and conflict they are meant to solve. . . . Damned Nations is an important read." -- Quill and Quire

About the Author

SAMANTHA NUTT is a medical doctor and Founder/Executive Director of War Child North America. For fifteen years, Dr Nutt has been at the frontline of many of the world's major crises -- from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Congo and Sierra Leone to Darfur. Dr. Nutt was recently named one of Canada's 25 Transformational Canadians by the Globe and Mail, and the World Economic Forum recognized her as one of 200 young global leaders. In 2010, Samantha was awarded the Order of Ontario. Dr. Nutt is a staff physician at Women's College Hospital in Toronto and an Assistant Professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unstoppable Force for Good Nov. 28 2011
By Alyson
Samantha Nutt's voice in Damned Nations rings heartfelt and true. Most important of all, it is anchored by the people our choices here at home' affect. From rape victims in Eastern Congo, oppressed women in Afghanistan, widowed young mothers in Darfur and fallen human rights heroes murdered for speaking out and following their hearts are the living definitions of injustice that define the gaps in the humanitarian movement.

It is not enough to support 'good' causes. We must adhere to good policy and refuse to exercise apathy. Sam eloquently forces us to reconsider the status quo. She compels us to question the truths that have anchored politics, the practices that characterize charitable giving, the principles on which foreign policy has been built and most important of all, Sam propels us to expect more. To ask more from ourselves, the charities we support, the companies we buy from, the banks with which we invest and the governments we elect.

To define this book as a memoir, or another humanitarian's account of the sector is inaccurate. Damned Nations is the book that all of us who shake our heads at the headlines and who wonder what can be done have been waiting for. It is a manifesto for the next generation of bleeding hearts with brains.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough read but necessary March 1 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sam Nutt is a doctor and a humanitarian who has a mission - to help those who can't help themselves because they are stuck in horrible situations brought on by civil war. She is clearly very passionate about her work with child soldiers and the book really shows us what places like the Eastern Congo or Iraq feel/look like. Highly recommended for students, grad students and anybody else interested in international development/international affairs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective on foreign aid Feb. 9 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think the book is great because it presents the opportunity to think. You see foreign aid (development) through the eyes of someone who has been there and taken the time to understand what is happening,to look beyond the obvious to find the causes.
I found Dr. Nutts' thoughts made sense. The militarisation, and politicisation of aid are counter productive to development and can put civilian aid workers at risk.. The book reminds us that there are two kinds of aid, disaster relief, and development. Disaster relief is proving the necessities of life. These needs are made more acute where people very little before the disaster. Development is changing the conditions in a country/area. Changing the conditions is a process that will take years, perhaps a generation (20 years). Development is a hand up. It is education, developing markets for locally produced goods, changing attitudes towards different cultures and gender equality. these things are the basic requirements to bringing about permanent change.
I was reminded me of Ten Thousand Villages which are stores run by the Mennonite Central Committee. They buy goods at fair prices, from local artisans in developing countries and sell them in Canada. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see foreign aid from a perspective that is rarely shown.
I am not a member or employee of War Child or Ten Thousand Villages. I have shopped at Ten Thousand Villages.
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