Scottie Shelton's Reviews > Fire CD: Fire CD

Fire CD by Sebastian Junger
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Apr 18, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction-historical

Per Amazon (who always puts it best):

"Sebastian Junger reports on raging forest fires in the Western U.S, war zones in Kosovo and Afghanistan, the deadly diamond trade in Sierra Leone, the plight of travelers kidnapped by guerrillas in Kashmir, the last living whale harpooner on the Caribbean island of Bequia, and the Greek-Turkish conflict on Cyprus. There is also a fascinating chapter on John Colter (explorer, fur trader, and member of the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark) in which he comments on the need for some to seek adventure as a means of escape from our relatively safe modern world: 'Life in modern society is designed to eliminate as many unforeseen events as possible, and as inviting as that seems, it leaves us hopelessly underutilized.... Threats to our safety and comfort have been so completely wiped out that we have to go out of our way to create them.' Junger has a keen grasp on this mentality (in fact, he exhibits it himself), and in Fire he clearly explains the fears and difficulties involved in reporting on dangerous events from foreign countries: 'You have two weeks to understand a completely alien culture, find a story that no one has heard of, and run it into the ground. It never feels even remotely possible. But it is.'"

I still think about this book all the time as I encounter the daily news.
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