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Guantanamo: My Journey

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
In 1999 a young man from suburban Adelaide set out on an overseas trip that would change his life forever.

Initially, he was after adventure and the experience of travelling the Silk Road.

But events would set him on a different path. He would be deemed a terrorist, one of George W Bush's 'worst of the worst'. He would be incarcerated in the world's most notorious prison, G
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Hardcover, 456 pages
Published October 2010 by Random House Australia
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Laura Rittenhouse
May 31, 2011 Laura Rittenhouse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, memoir
What an amazing book. David Hicks was snatched from a taxi in Afghanistan by an Afghani in the mad days after the 9/11 attacks and was sold to the US for $5000. He ended up spending 5 1/2 years in Guantanamo prison as a result. In this memoir he tells his life story beginning in a small town near Adelaide in South Australia and ending with his completion of this book, a couple of years after he was released from Cuba.

This book is a cautionary tale if ever there was one. Wrong place, wrong time a
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Rosemary Nissen-Wade
Aug 07, 2012 Rosemary Nissen-Wade rated it really liked it
Many people say of David Hicks, 'Well what was he doing in Afghanistan?' implying that he deserved his imprisonment. You only have to read the introduction to this book to understand that that's not the point — it was the conditions of his imprisonment, which nobody deserves.

After the intro, the book's early chapters deal with his childhood and young manhood. They're very readable. It becomes perfectly clear that he was just a young bloke in search of travel and adventure, not a terrorist by any
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Sanne
Mar 02, 2013 Sanne rated it it was amazing
This book and the experiences, torture and horrendous treatment of an innocent man, has really made me think hard about the American military machine.

The lies, the deceit, the inhuman treatment of all the prisoners, many of them innocent, all contravening the Geneva Convention, stung me to a level I didn't think a book could.
David Hicks was just a causality of a war he wasn't even in, a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was deceived then sold to the Americans as a spy for the Taliba
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S'hi
Aug 08, 2011 S'hi rated it really liked it
Just spent the weekend reading this. Couldn't put it down. So simply told, and not just about what was done to David himself, but what is happening to all of us in subtle and multiple ways. Bit by bit we realise that a previously unknown desire within us just has to step out and bee explored. Bit by bit we discover what we thought we knew of the world is not what we previously knew. And every step of the way there is someone else interested in our journey, even if we feel totally alone and cut o ...more
Anni
Jan 28, 2013 Anni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Brilliant. Makes you realise what a lawless world we live in and how empires still make the rules and others subjugate to them. The first half of the book explains in detail, which at times becomes a bit tedious, how it was that David Hicks found himself in that part of the world from where he was unlawfully captured and sold to the US government. The second half, set in Guantanamo, will have you shaking your head in disbelief at the horror perpetrated by a military machine established to rid th ...more
Rita Chapman
Nov 01, 2015 Rita Chapman rated it really liked it
David Hicks’ account of his life leading up to Guantanamo prison is easy to read and typical of many young Australians of the time. What happened to him in Guantanamo is horrific, disgusting and barbaric. Shame on America and shame on the Australian government for not standing up to America for the rights of this young man. The treatment received by the inmates in a so-called civilised country is unconscionable. America prides itself on its justice system yet tortured people who had not been cha ...more
Rachel
Nov 16, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
i have always been told and i know that there are two sides to every story. most people jumped to the conclusion straight away that Hicks was guilty. i in my right mind have always believed the opposite. i have always been interested in this story and have followed it closely over the past decade. to finally read and hear about David's story from his point of view was refreshing, thought provoking, disturbing and ultimately sad. that in a time and such a developed world that we live in, people a ...more
Lee Cooper
Apr 12, 2015 Lee Cooper rated it really liked it
I must admit to having some preconceived ideas about David Hicks but after reading this book I do not believe that David was ever a terrorist. He may have been very naïve in many ways in regard to the way he wished to help fight oppression in certain countries but no one should face the atrocities he did at Guantanamo. A real eye opener.
Charlene Smith
Nov 12, 2012 Charlene Smith rated it liked it
It isn't a matter of liking or disliking this book (in regards to the star ratings). This is a book that is important to read. Regardless of what you think of what happened to David Hicks, this gives the story from his perspective, and is heavily referenced - it's not just him saying whatever he wants to.
The first half of the book gives a history of what David Hicks got up to before he was taken to Guantanamo. He would have been interesting to talk to at a party, and certainly had plenty of stra
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Michael Zagoridis
Aug 01, 2011 Michael Zagoridis rated it really liked it
I must say I have been longing to read this book long before it was even written. Since I first heard the name David Hicks the media has always portrayed him in a certain light. Labelling him a terrorist and a traitor who has trained with Al Qaeda, it was very hard to separate reality from the bombardment of sensationalistic journalism. So it was interesting to hear the full account of the journey which lead him to spend a hellish 6 years in Guantanamo Bay prison. Interesting is an understatemen ...more
Jan
Nov 07, 2011 Jan rated it it was amazing
It has taken me a long time to feel ready to read this book. David tells his story simply and without undue self pity and yet it is gut wrenching. Why, not just because he was held illegally and tortured but most of all because the Australian Government of the time not only didn't support him but John Howard used him as a political pawn. And now, despite a change of government we are not demanding that his guilty plea made under duress be written off the books. I hope he succeeds in his case to ...more
Agnes Waters
Feb 16, 2013 Agnes Waters rated it it was amazing
A shocking story of what happens when someone is not given a fair trial. David Hicks spent five years locked up in Guantanamo without charge. It goes to show that no matter what someone is accused of, we should always follow the rule of law and grant them a fair and speedy trial. A fair trial is one that does not use confessions obtained by torture.

This story made me wonder what sort of war crimes the Allies would have been accused and convicted of, had they lost the war.
MargCal
Jan 15, 2015 MargCal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone


Abu Ghraib was not a case of a few bad apples. It was a “typical day at the office” for the US military.

Finished reading “Guantanamo: my journey” by David Hicks
15 January 2014

If it's not in your lexicon already, here's another oxymoron for you: American justice. In the same vein re the USA's servile lapdog: Australian justice.
If we claim the moral high ground, when we act in the same way as our enemies we in fact become worse than them.
I'd always thought of military PTSD as the result of what th
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Donna
Nov 19, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
This documents a particularly ugly part of Australia and the USA's political history. The descriptions of the Guantanamo conditions and state sanctioned torture are absolutely harrowing. Even more harrowing is how two countries exploited Hicks and cynically disregarded existing human rights conventions.
This is a book that needs to be widely read.
Naza Alkhateeb
Nov 09, 2010 Naza Alkhateeb rated it really liked it
A shocking and confronting book, through reading the book. The reader discovers the mountains of lies and deceit built on the "worst of the worst" myth of those held at Guantanamo bay. You will ask yourself how human beings from a so called civil society have stooped to such inhumane levels of torture and humiliation to their fellow man.
Karen Hunt
Dec 14, 2012 Karen Hunt rated it liked it
Not an incredibly literary book, but incredible for what it uncovers about the US and Australian governments. Showed that the US has literally gotten away with murder at Guantanamo. So terrible.
Sri
Dec 19, 2010 Sri rated it it was amazing
Truly an eye opener that every person should read!I am so moved that I cannot even find words for this man's fortitude!His lack of rancour and bitterness reminds me of Mandela-and Gandhi!
Michele Hiotis
Jun 15, 2013 Michele Hiotis rated it really liked it
Only just started reading this book but so far it is a really interesting story
Fady
Aug 10, 2013 Fady rated it it was amazing
If only 80% of what is written in this book is true, it's truly terrifying.
Clive Aanenson
Jul 23, 2012 Clive Aanenson rated it really liked it
A harrowing story of David Hicks and his experience at Guantanamo.
Yvette
Jun 10, 2012 Yvette rated it did not like it
Didn't really enjoy due to the authors attitude...
NRoe
Dec 21, 2010 NRoe rated it it was amazing
Not a light read, but very worthwhile.
Terry Cave
Jan 01, 2011 Terry Cave rated it liked it
This book was a massive eye opener.

I think to start with David Hicks was very naive (or very silly) in most of the decisions that he made, to land himself in afghanistan in the first place. I am not sure that his version of the events leading up to his arrest are entirely accurate (if they are, he is one of the unluckiest/poor decision makers that I have heard of).

I also find it hard to believe that David did not have a strong faith in islam he really talks down his involvement with islam howev
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Jennifer (JC-S)
Dec 26, 2010 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it liked it
Shelves: librarybooks
‘I was impressionable, naïve and, on occasion, full of bravado and exaggeration.’

In 1999, David Hicks set off from Australia on an overseas trip. This trip ended in a five year incarceration in Guantanamo Bay as a terrorist – a long way away from his initial dream of travelling the Silk Road.

So, how did a restless young man become caught up in these events, and what does his treatment say about the world in which we live? What insights does his story provide? Why read this book at all? What can
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Jasmine
Dec 10, 2014 Jasmine rated it liked it
This is not an easy book to read. Firstly, for the sensitive topic but secondly because the book reads like "this happened then this happened then this happened..".all without (in my opinion) an emotion attached to it.

I've read many memoirs and books written by authors who have been through trying and horrific times in their past, and I had connected with each of them on an emotional labels and felt very badly for them. But hicks doesn't really impart any of his emotion or soul, so we read the f
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Brucesheree
Aug 23, 2014 Brucesheree rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I've read this. In Hick's own account you get an inside perspective of outplay of international politics, media and terrorism, and you begin to realise the manipulation of truth, the collateral damage of the innocent and the ongoing saga of political arena. An extensive account of a personal horror story that seems to have found a happy ending.
Jonathan Leeming
Aug 02, 2014 Jonathan Leeming rated it it was amazing
Excellently written and utterly terrifying to think that the USA and Australia, for all that they purport to uphold freedom and democracy, allowed this man to be detained and horrifically tortured for 5.5 years without trial...

A real revelation, anyone with a sense of right and wrong must read.
Lisa
May 04, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
I had mixed feelings about reading this book but am glad I did. Initially, I was thinking what a naive man but after reading deeper into this story you change and if only half of what he has written is true, it is truly disgraceful. Written in simple language by David Hicks himself, worth a read.
Christel Keijzer
Feb 22, 2014 Christel Keijzer rated it really liked it
a sad and shocking account of where fate, naivete and impulsiveness can lead a young life, also exposing the senselessness of international politics and warfare
Scott Mackenzie
Jun 23, 2014 Scott Mackenzie rated it really liked it
Great read, classic tale of wrong place, wrong time unfortunately. Pretty messed up what the US did to him no excuse for that.
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