9780007171842 / 0007171846

Shooting History: A Personal Journey


Publisher:HarperCollins UK



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About the book:

Channel 4 News anchorman Jon Snows Shooting History is, like John Simpson's acclaimed books, a foreign correspondents story: Snow has been reporting news for thirty years and for most of that time was a foreign correspondent with ITN, beaming back pictures from war zones in South and Central America, Africa, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Washington, where he was ITNs top US correspondent for some years. His proximity to America and her wars--plus his innate sense of justice--leads him to be critical of US foreign policy and the reluctance of recent US administrations to learn from the perceived mistakes of their predecessors. Reading about the proxy wars fought by the US in Central America and the overthrow of Iraqs democratically elected government in a CIA-backed coup, its hard not to be persuaded by his argument that the northern hemisphere in general--and the US in particular--need to take more account of the plight of the poor to the south of us.

Warm, witty and engaging, Snows story is also mildly self-deprecating: he seems comfortable discussing mistakes that he feels he has made and conflicts he feels guilty to have neglected in his long career. Regular viewers of Channel 4 News will recognise his easy tone, but dont expect reams of backroom gossip from his years as the presenter of the broadsheet news programme: over three quarters of the book is given over to his foreign adventures and its clear that he sees himself as a currently static foreign correspondent. Given his clear affection for the people that he has met along the way, his anger about the injustices they have faced, and his manifesto for a better world (delivered in the final few pages), its easy to see why he believes reporting from the field to be the way journalists can make a real difference. Shooting History is a riveting memoir, a damning indictment and an excellent read for anyone interested in current affairs.--Duncan Thomson

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