Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Kidnapped

By Sandy Amazeen Feb 20, 2009, 6:44 GMT

Book Review: Kidnapped

“What shines through, even in horrific moments, is Johnston’s balance, decency and humour.”—Bloomberg When Alan Johnston, the last Western journalist who dared to remain in Gaza, was kidnapped by terrorists, millions of people around the world felt the need to express their anger and determination to set him free. His captivity was an attack on the freedom of speech, and this collection of Johnston’s dispatches is the long-awaited and ...more

Despite taking measures to protect himself from the rash of kidnappings taking place throughout Gaza, just sixteen days before he was scheduled to leave, journalist Alan Johnston was abducted at gunpoint and held hostage for 114 days. Throughout his ordeal, Johnston struggled to keep depression and the sense of hopelessness at bay using a variety of mental exercises and remembering the prisoners held in far worse conditions such as the German concentration camps.

This collection of Johnstons dispatches from Gaza, Afghanistan and Central Asia plus an in-depth interview with Tony Grant, producer of the BBCs From Our Own Correspondent provides a deeply personal account of life in the war zone. Although he witnessed numerous horrible atrocities, Johnston also saw the commitment to family and a passion for life in the face of hardship. It is this strength of spirit that runs through his writing and proves once again That in life, all that really, really matters, are the people you love.

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