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How de Body?: One Man's Terrifying Journey through an African War Paperback – Aug 6 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (Aug. 6 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312282192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312282196
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback
For people from Sierra Leone, this book verifies the stories and rumors that they have been hearing over the years. The excellent pictures speak for themselves. References are there so that the reader may continue to read more about the devastation of a people from a peaceful country. For those who don't know about the tragedy going on in West Africa, this book tells all.
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By Mike on Feb. 10 2003
Format: Paperback
While this book offers up a narrowly focused tale on Sierra Leone's civil war, Tuen Voeten's strained efforts to sound hip in the telling make this book one worth reading only if you're looking to see events from a different angle. Voeten's flagrent use of swear words (I wouldn't care about them if they added to the story) throughout the book seem to be an effort to sound like a cowboy on assingment instead of a professional journalist. Overall Voeten provides an easy to follow narrative about his experiences, but essentially no background on the events in Sierra Leone during the period of his times there.
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By A Customer on Feb. 2 2003
Format: Paperback
I recently visited the places Voeten speaks about in this book. He tells the truth about a beautiful people and a tragic land.
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Format: Paperback
a most amazing mix of humor, terror and intrigue. voten is charming and real. One of the best books in this genre ever!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Poorly Written, Under-researched, Unbearable to Read July 5 2006
By Marg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This may not be a legitimate review because I did not finish the book-I did not even get close. I got to about page 20 before I just couldn't stand it anymore. After researching the Sierra Leonean civil war extensively (specifically the child soldiers, which Voeten, in Chapter 2, states is his reason for going to Sierra Leone) for two years and writing a dissertation on it, I am always interested in what others write about the topic. I have three major objections to How De Body. First, I doubt the extent of Voeten's background research. For example, his opinion of Foday Sankoh (the rebel leader) is crude and too simple for Sankoh's complex character and even his national reputation. (p 7). Certainly, Voeten learned invaluable information regarding the civil war, the Sierra Leonean people, etc. while in Sierra Leone. Yet, grassroots interactions, particularly limited ones, are subject to bias and therefore must be coupled with research and analysis (whether it makes it to the published draft or simply used as a foundation for the writer) to equate to an intelligent assessment of something as complex as a civil war; just as background research requires grassroots interactions for accuracy as well. (I would have assumed Voeten, a professional journalist, would know that, but I guess not.) Second, Voeten writes with a prestigious, Eurocentric (and unpolished, unintelligent) voice. While entering Sierra Leone, he is surprised that the immigration officials did not steal money from him and even acted gentlemanly (p 10-11). He decides that their behavior is certainly evidence that the English once ruled the region (p 11). I do not feel the need to explain my repulsions to that statement. Third, Voeten makes generalizations that are by no means universal. For example, he states that "Countries neighboring on war zones...are, without exception, corrupt and tedious and inhabited by pushy, spoiled, badly dressed, grabby, and rowdy natives" (p 5). (For further objections to this statement see my first two points.) To remain within the West African region, I point to Ghana as a counterexample. Cote d'Ivoire is currently in a violent civil war and while I lived in neighboring Ghana a few months ago, I met and worked with many Ghanaians who were kind and properly dressed (better than me), and the government and economy are among the most stable in all of Africa. I can only assume that I would have further objections to How De Body has I been able to read more.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Incomplete, conceited tale Feb. 9 2003
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While this book offers up a narrowly focused tale on Sierra Leone's civil war, Tuen Voeten's strained efforts to sound hip in the telling make this book one worth reading only if you're looking to see events from a different angle. Voeten's flagrent use of swear words (I wouldn't care about them if they added to the story) throughout the book seem to be an effort to sound like a cowboy on assingment instead of a professional journalist. Overall Voeten provides an easy to follow narrative about his experiences, but essentially no background on the events in Sierra Leone during the period of his times there.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Highly interesting, gripping and realistic Aug. 24 2005
By Pieter Franken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely to be recommended for people interested in modern Africa and journalism. It tells the gripping tale of a Dutch (or Belgian?) journalist caught in the middle of the civil war in Sierra Leone. Don't hesitate just buy and enjoy!!

Pieter
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
You are there, in Sierra Leone, during the past ten years. May 20 2003
By Pauline George - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For people from Sierra Leone, this book verifies the stories and rumors that they have been hearing over the years. The excellent pictures speak for themselves. References are there so that the reader may continue to read more about the devastation of a people from a peaceful country. For those who don't know about the tragedy going on in West Africa, this book tells all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Dutch Journalist account of the terror of the RUF. May 18 2008
By Kevin M Quigg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is my fourth book about the terrors of the RUF. These were ugly people trying to overthrow the legitimate government of Sierra Leone. The RUF killed white people, anybody that disagreed with them, and kidnapped young people to place in their army. They were supported by the likes of Charles Taylor of Liberia and Colonel Quaddafi of Libya. No wonder these were killers who didn;t care a dang about the people they were supposedly liberating. The RUF also engaged in a terrorist act of chopping people's hands/legs/nose/ears off, to show they meant business.

The author Voeten spent a terrible two to three weeks of hiding from these killers in 1998. A kind educated rural family protected him rather than turn him over to the RUF. The author recounts his stories of those that lost their lives in the Civil War. There are no bright shining heroes in this book. The legitimate government is shown as corrupt. The ECOMEG forces are shown as brutal and corrupt also. The NGOs serving Sierre Leone are also shown as having their own agenda. The journalists flock to these failed states to make a buck off the conflict.

This is a interesting account of the Sierra Leone Civil War. It is one man's perspective, but it details a history of the conflict.

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