From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In his commanding debut, Dutch journalist Luyendijk describes the curious five years he spent as a correspondent in the Middle East, stationed out of Cairo. Sent traipsing around the Middle East, Luyendijk struggles to find newsworthy (and trustworthy) stories, usually involving bribery and less-than-honest people. Luyendijk also delivers example after example of oppression and brainwashing techniques used by dictatorships on their citizens, which comes through clearly in his conversations with ordinary people like cab drivers, as well as with high-profile public figures. Sent to the Middle East not for his journalism skills but for his ability to speak Arabic, Luyendijk had to learn on the job, an all-too-literal trial by fire. He takes advantage of his outsider position to break down the myths of war journalism and the very real limitations reporters face outside the Western bubble of free speech. The author also weighs in on 9/11 and Saddam Hussein's regime, making this an eye-opening account with special relevance for American readers.
About the Author
Joris Luyendijk was born in 1971. He studied Arabic and politics at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Cairo. In 2006, he was awarded the Journalist of the Year prize by De Journalist, selected from the top forty most influential international journalists by the NVJ (the Dutch Association of Journalists).
Michele Hutchison studied literature and languages at the Universities of East Anglia and Cambridge in England before taking a job in publishing. She worked at various British publishing houses before moving to Amsterdam, where she works as a translator and editor. In addition to Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, she has translated the Dutch novelist Simone van der Vlugt and the journalist Joris Luyendijk.