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Children at War

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  15 reviews
From U.S. soldiers having to fight children in Afghanistan and Iraq to juvenile terrorists in Sri Lanka to Palestine, the new, younger face of battle is a terrible reality of 21st century warfare. Indeed, the very first American soldier killed by hostile fire in the “War on Terrorism” was shot by a fourteen-year-old Afghan boy. Children at War is the first comprehensive ex ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published April 10th 2006 by University of California Press (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 433)
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Francine Uenuma
Informative look at how children become soldiers and how they are brainwashed to become mechanically violent. This is a common problem all over the world, and it's especially scary because they are far less discriminating than adult soldiers (i.e., more likely to just shoot you for no reason if you encounter one). He also talks about efforts to rehabilitate rescued children and the difficulties they face in trying to get over the trauma and the guilt they experience from being forced to kill at ...more
Mike
Excellent introduction and analysis of the presence of child soldiers in the conflicts of the emerging nations. I felt that Signer does a very good job of explaining what conditions result in childern going to war, how they are indoctrinated and used, and why their presence in the conflict zones tend to lengthen and intensify those conflicts.
Maureen
May 22, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Maureen by: UMW
Shelves: africa, umw-booklist
Shocking, disturbing and eye-opening are the only words I can use to describe this book. I did not comprehend the depth of involvement of children in warfare all over the world.
Please, please read this book. It is a masterful work that you will never forget.

Julia
An incredible review of the use of child soldiers in several culturally and geographically distinct areas, this book gives insight into the common threads of this phenomenon and suggestions on what can be done to curb its practice.
Daniel
Enjoyed this book as I have for all of Singer's books. (I have read them in reverse order) Children at War explores how mores have been reduced over recent decades as children have become participants in conflicts across the globe. Children at War is not limited to Africa or the Middle East, but occurs in South America, Europe, and Asia. It continues to occur because as Pape would say on suicide bombings...it works. Not only has it worked, but for criminals and warlords who employ children have ...more
Emily
Nov 12, 2009 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2005
Yesterday I read Children at War, by P.W. Singer, a study of the children who serve as soldiers, spys, and "wives" in conflicts all over the world. Although the book itself is a bit repetitive, the topic is fascinating and horrifying in equal measure.

Singer attributes the prevalence of child soliders to three factors. First, the large number of children who are orphaned, literally or figuratively, by poverty and illness (especially AIDS). This creates a pool of vulnerable children who can be abd
...more
Bruce
Singer gives a sobering social and political analysis on the increased use of seven to seventeen year-olds to fight the civil wars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It includes over thirty pages of endnotes and includes the words of former child soldiers who fought in Columbia, Lebanon, Liberia, Kashmir, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. It begins with a quote from a seven-year-old:“The rebels told me to join them, but I said no. Then they killed my smaller brother. I change ...more
William Hayes
P. W. Singer begins his book Children At War with the following quotation from the book Allah n'est pas oblige by Ahmadou Kourouma.
"When one has on one left on the earth, neither father nor mother, neither brother nor sister, and when one is small, a little boy in a damned and barbaric country where everyone slashes each other's throats, what does one do? Of course, one becomes a child soldier, a small soldier, to get one's fair share of eating and butchering as well. Only that remains."

Kourouma
...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
This book is a fairly quick read but is disturbing and important. Child soldiers are an unfortunate reality in many countries. It's really sad and not something that one would normally want to think about. Early drafts of this book were actually passed out to U.S. soldiers fighting where child soldiers are prevalent so that soldiers would be aware of the situation.
Patrick Todoroff
Detailing the plight of child soldiers in S. America, Asia, Africa, and East Europe, Peter Singer has compiled an exhaustive amount of data and laid it out in a systematic, comprehensive manner. Even wading through the dry statistics, this is one of the saddest books I've ever read.
Will
Absolutely brilliant book - good info on one of the true horrors of the world. Unfortunately, the author included a chapter on terrorism, which he appears to know next-to-nothing about. Other than that, very very very good and disturbing.
Greg Hensley


This book is great about teaching younger students and even adults about what these kids go threw and how they live being slaves and soldiers. These kids are used in an army and are meant to destroy an kill.
BakuDreamer
Singer's books are just GOOD. ( although War here is a little repetative < poor editing again > ) I tried to warn people that this was going to become a huge problem in the 90s , now it's here.
Jared Tester
A wonky introduction to a serious issue.
Jodi
Got from Nelson County Public Library sale rack.
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Peter Warren Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He previously was Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution and the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings's 99-year history. He has been named by CNN to their "New Guard" List of the Next Generation of Newsmakers, by the Smithsonian Institution-Nationa ...more
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