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Letters to Gabriella: Angola's Last War for Peace, What the UN Did and Why Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Florida Literary Foundation (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891855670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891855672
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,978,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leon Kukkuk was born in South Africa in 1963. Congenitally at odds with normality, he has led a colourfull, even rackety existence, roaming the globe, points north, east south and west and posing, amongst other things, as a student, a traveler, a tramp, a barman, window cleaner and for the last decade as a proffesional do-gooder. This last pose is perhaps the truest part of his persona. Although sometimes labelled as a Communist and rabble-rouser, he sees himself not as a political idealogue but as a social reformer. He is presently settled in Angola with his daughter, Gabriella.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. Martin James on January 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you believe, as I, that the United Nations is a bloated, corrupt, inept, inefficient, and arrogant organization then this book is for you. The author spent several years in Huambo, Angola working on a development project under the auspices of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). UNDP could not account for money spent, who it went to or for what purpose. Meanwhile, the author and his staff struggled without salaries, supplies, and guidance while still making a meaningful contribution. Plus, Huambo was in the middle of a civil war. I'd give the book 5 stars, but Kukkuk really delves into the contracts, booklets, and correspondence as he struggles to save his project. It can get to be too much, but then again, he suffered through the time period. The book has an excellent account about the Angolan civil war, but the main focus of the text is the author's unbelievable struggle with UNDP. For a program designed to help the less fortunate, UNDP in Angola, at least, does nothing but worry about glossy reports, avoiding responsibility, and waiting for pay day and the chance to go on holiday paid for by the UN. A stunning indictment of the arrogance and condescending attitude shown not only to the people they are suppose to serve, but the host government as well.
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More About the Author

Leon Kukkuk currently has a home in Kampala, Uganda, a very charming place in a troubled neck of the woods. Before that he lived either everywhere or nowhere for a while. He may return to living in either one or both of those places at some point. His writing is also all over the place. The most important part of it is non-fiction and there will be more of this. There are also some very, very boring reports, which pay the bills. There is a literary piece published in an anthology somewhere. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/606005.In_Our_Own_Words?from_search=true A number of long-lost and sometimes short-lived publications may have an article or some sort of analysis of his. He would like to write more experimental fiction and especially work that cannot be labelled as either fiction or non-fiction. It is not a helpful distinction. At some point in the recent past he lost his entire collection of such writing as a result of a computer glitch and a strange but temporary aversion to having a backup. He is very grateful for this. He has started the process again.