Gearon, Eamonn

Gearon, Eamonn

Eamonn Gearon

1 February 2007Review

Little, Brown & Co 2006; ISBN 0 316 16627 8; £17.99

It is a pity that books such as Blood Money have to be written. However, as long as such national hubris exists to prompt the current level of almost unimaginable mismanagement that is prevalent in Iraq today, then it as well that such misdeeds are put under the harshest, most thorough possible, public scrutiny. Any reader of this book should also be grateful that it is written by as competent and thorough an investigative journalist as Christian Miller, a Los Angeles Times staffer…

1 July 2006Review

Constable and Robinson 2005; ISBN 1 84529 140 9; £8.99

September 11, 2001, is a date that is sure to remain as firmly fixed on the mind of the current generation as certainly as 23 November, 1963 or 6 June, 1944 were for earlier ones. Likewise, the events of 9/11 are just as easy to summarise as those earlier, landmark dates. Four planes were hijacked in US airspace: two were flown into the two towers of New York's World Trade Centre, one was flown into the Pentagon; the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after a struggle between a…

1 April 2006Review

Verso Books, 2005; ISBN 1 84467 045 7; Pb 292pp; £12.99

Messages to the World is the first time that all the written statements and audio broadcasts of Osama bin Laden have been brought together in a single volume in English. Starting in December 1994, with what is generally considered to be his first published statement intended to reach a broad audience, the text covers the decade up to December 2004, and another attack against the ruling family in his homeland of Saudi Arabia.

It is strange that it has taken so long for such a work to…

1 June 2005Review

Hurst, 2005; ISBN 1 85065 749 1; Pb 262pp; £16.00

James Pettifer has written and spoken about the Balkans for the likes of The Times and Wall Street Journal for many years. This point is important to make from the start, because when he speaks or writes he does so with both clarity and authority, qualities that many other commentators who deal with the region do not have.

The Balkans are not the most straightforward part of the world, as anyone who follows affairs there knows, and so it is an enormous pleasure to at last be able to…

1 June 2005Review

Hurst, 2005; ISBN 1 85065 790 4; Pb 266pp; £14.95

Suicide in Palestine: Narratives of Despair is the first book to deal with the increase in suicide among ordinary Palestinians living under occupation.

It is not about so-called suicide bombers, although this phenomenon is also examined by way of contrast. This work is about individuals in the general population, and the various circumstances which lead them to become depressed and, in greater numbers than in the past, commit suicide. This is what the author Dr Nadia Dabbagh refers…

1 April 2005Review

Trolley, 2003; ISBN 1 904563 01 5; Hb 231pp

Chechnya is a war that was never especially popular in the West. Such is the paucity of news coming out of that destroyed place that those who may once have been aware of the violence there could be forgiven for thinking that it is over.

Since 2001, when Putin was welcomed by America as a valuable ally in the “war on terror”, it seems we are told that anything that happens in Chechnya is just a part of this struggle against those set on destroying our way of life. The only time that…

1 March 2005Review

Pluto Press, 2004; ISBN 0 7453 2183 6; Pb 304pp; £15.99

This volume sets out to demonstrate that we are now living in what the editors refer to as a “new age of Empire”, which the book argues began with wars of occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead of being the start of a world in which global co-operation ensures advancement and prosperity for all people, globalisation is actually responsible for the increased instability that threatens ever-greater numbers of people.

A collection of original and rigorous pieces by nine prominent…

1 September 2004Review

Random House of Canada, 2003. ISBN 0 6793 1171 8; HB 562pp; price US$39.95

April 2004 marked the tenth anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide, making this publication both timely and important. It uncovers a side of that terrible story largely hidden from public view. Shake Hands with the Devil is an intensely personal account, written by the head of the UN mission before and during the slaughter.

Informed that he was being posted to Rwanda, Lt General Dallaire remembers that the only information he had about the country was a photocopied page…

1 June 2004Review

Thomas Dunne Books, 2004. ISBN 0 312 26874 2; US$27.95; 352pp HB

In December 1994, days after the first modern invasion of Chechnya by Russian forces, Time magazine wrote, “Unless someone backs down, Moscow's advance into Chechnya threatens to start a guerrilla war that could wreck Yeltsin's presidency or end Russian democracy.”

Yeltsin is long gone, and so now, following the recent re-election of President Putin, with the attendant, and embarrassingly muted, concerns about it perhaps not being entirely free and fair, is an ideal time to revisit…