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Where War Lives: A Journey into the Heart of War

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  80 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Paul Watson was born with his right hand missing. To defy people's expectations, he becomes an avid war journalist, traveling to the most dangerous places on earth and staying long after it was wise or safe to do so. Then, with the click of a camera shutter, Watson's life changes forever.
As one of the last remaining journalists in Somalia, hehears that a Blackhawk has be
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Rodale Books (first published August 14th 2007)
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Aug 03, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly sobering. Watson's personal and professional life relay the last twenty years of war from an authentic in-the-trenches vantage point free of political games, mass media stupidity, and simple human ignorance. I suspect so many people read fiction because reality is just too hard to handle. If more folks tried to understand how the world actually works, many would probably soil themselves out of helplessness and hopelessness. As a combat veteran of Iraq, I can empathize powerfully with Watso ...more
Katie L.
Mar 01, 2011 Katie L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was one of the most honest accounts of international reporting I have ever read. Paul Watson is a great reporter, a fantastic writer, and just brutally honest in this book. And he also happened to take one of the most famous photos ever taken. I have come back to this book again and again.
Rob Barry
While I thought Mr Watson was very honest, and is wrestling with some significant issues, I found myself underwhelmed by his insights drawn from his experiences.

I went in with the expectation that "this guy has been in the shit for years" and he must bring some real enlightenment concerning war and our place in it. No joy.

Not belittling his experiences, and the depression and PTSD that may have resulted from them, but the final narrative associated with the experiences left me disappointed.
Jan 10, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where War Lives by Paul Watson (The war correspondent who took the Somalia picture)

As a Somalia veteran and well aware of how dangerous a mob could be, I had always wondered what Watson was thinking when he was the lone American in the middle of a seething mob of Africans who were tearing an American corpse apart. His description of the event is so powerful, I felt like I was back on Mogadishu's streets with him, seeing what he saw and feeling his fear, not of just being killed, but of being tor
Glyn Longden
Rating: 6.5/10. Do you sometimes wonder why there's anybody willing to do certain jobs? Like executioner...who'd want to do that?....or shark researcher.....or war journalist? With the latter you have a pretty good idea of what's facing you somewhere down the road; probably addiction to booze or drugs in an attempt to forget the atrocities you've witnessed in the field. And a normal, well-adjusted family life? can forget that. The images must burn and sear into your brain. It seems like W ...more
Apr 02, 2009 Leslie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Graphic and not for the faint of heart, Watson's account of his journalistic career in the trenches of the world's nasty conflicts will have little effect on those persons who should read it most - those desensitized by the constant parade of horrors on the nightly news. Watson's chilling stories about Somalia, in particular, demonstrate just what is wrong with the prior administrations' military policy. However, the overall tone is depressed - not surprising, given his PTSD and self-medication ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrific book. On par with Ryszard Kapuscinski's work. What I really liked about this book is that Watson has a personal stake in the story. Like Kapuscinski, he gets obsessed with the telling of impossible stories to his own detriment over and over again. That he crosses paths with Kevin Carter was amazing to me, because there are some parallels with Carter's own story, except that where Carter allowed the depravity and inhumanity to completely overwhelm him, Watson clings to a few beacons of ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Shana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After staying up late and reading all day, I finished Where War Lives: A Journey into the Heart of War, by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Watson. It was one of those books that I wanted to savor, but in the end my thirst to learn more about his life made me go through it fast, possibly too fast.

Watson, a journalist, gives an honest account of how someone becomes a journalist and then the kind of journalist who stays up until the last moment in a hostile environment. He has seen horrors that most of
May 09, 2011 Beckyh is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
so far so good, but it makes me really sad. i find it hard to believe that people in this world can live with so much hate. i am reading about Watson's stint in Somalia and the cruelty from both sides is flabbergasting. i feel like a hippie, all i want is peace! i want everyone to just clear their hearts from evil and see the world and everyone in it for what they are...beautiful.
the thing that i do love about the book so far is the imagery. you would think that the book would be clear cut and t
Michael Robinson
Dec 01, 2009 Michael Robinson rated it it was ok
I am two thirds of the way through this book. It is a non fiction book written by a war correspondant who has reported from some of the worst war torn areas of the world during the last 20 years. A sobering read that reminds me how broken the world is and how many Americans are unaware of what goes on. We need to be aware.

Update: I stalled out somewhere past two thirds of this book. One war torn hell hole after another. It was a bit depressing. While I believe it is important to be aware of war
Aug 15, 2010 Mackenzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so eye-opening. It could be confusing at times, especially since I didn't know the history of all of the conflicts, but it was truly amazing. It tells the story of the journalist behind the Pulitzer-Prize-winning photograph of a U.S. soldier in Somalia. I would recommend this book to anyone who seeks an insight into the trials of the world and the darker side of humanity.

I would also recommend In the Hot Zone by Kevin Sites, as well as Dispatches From the Edge by Anderson Cooper.
Jul 26, 2008 Hilary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book, understandably, was a bit hard to handle. It outlined everything in a very journalistic style (also understandably), but it was missing a feeling element. The author said early on that he had spent all his time in these wars drinking to quell any reflection on what he had seen. I fear that that also has quelled his memories of what he had seen and only had notes, articles, pictures and tape recordings to go back to. I felt no connection with the author himself when reading this book.
Paul Watson will always have his Pulitzer, whether he likes it or not. He has mixed feelings about it because while his photos of Sgt. William Cleveland's corpse desecrated by enraged Mogadishu mobs in 1993 may have won him the award, the same images won a PR victory for Bin Ladin and led to U.S. retreat from Somalia and Rwanda.

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I was hoping for a bit more introspection regarding his career and the things that he has seen. It was definitely a book work reading but I think i came at it expecting something a little more in depth regarding the psyche of those constantly in the face of war.
Feb 29, 2012 Tyera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After a stunning first couple paragraphs, this memoir devolved into disconnected attempts to tell entire histories of wars and battles, unsubstantiated assertions, and snide comments about his ex-girlfriend.
Jun 01, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I really enjoyed his personal story to over come the traumatic events he had witnessed. I recommend this to others.
Feb 19, 2011 Dirk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent account of a long career covering war by a self-professed war junkie.
Jan 20, 2014 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Made me think and made me cry. Pretty real.
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Paul Watson is the Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Co-Founding Director Greenpeace Foundation.
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