- File Size: 4548 KB
- Print Length: 306 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1706663455
- Publisher: Sharpe Books (August 27, 2019)
- Publication Date: August 27, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07X56R2RC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,479,598 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Against a Tide of Evil: How One Man Became the Whistleblower to the First Mass Murder Of the Twenty-First Century Kindle Edition
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Some of the “evidence” seems made up by Kapila, such as the letter he gets from an anonymous writer. I would be very surprised at his or her knowledge about how to correctly address the resident coordinator, and even more so about the necessity of the formality, given the circumstances of the writer’s horrendous experience.
This book feels like the author playing his victim role to get the attention of the UN and not be seen as “the bad guy”.
The ultimate proof of his desperate need for attention from the UN stems from the fact that apparently, he went back to work for them. Or against them? Having true values, one would never go back to an institution after expressing as much disdain as he did, raising the question why he REALLY is there....from his descriptions, he strikes me as a resentful person, incapable of forgiveness even after 10 years, so why would he now try to “do good” for them?
As for style, proper grammar and articulate expression are hard to come by these days, as contemporary world leaders flounder at the mics and to publication.
Certainly not my cup of tea!
The personal angle makes it read like a real-life thriller. Once started, I could not lay it down as I could feel Kapila's desparation and determination, identified with these feelings and admired him for it. This is one of the strongest components of the book.
However, this personal approach - in which Kapila provides almost exclusively his own perspective on the matter - also makes it difficult to envisage alternative perpectives or courses of actions in light of the decision-making dilemmas he was facing. It triggered my curiousity in gainining insight in the point of view of the counterparts at the UN he most notably criticizes (i.e. Kofi Annan). Why was Annan not more responsive to the plight of the people of Darfur? What constraints did he face?
I therefore think the book would have benefitted from a more balanced approach in terms of trying to understand the political context of the UN at the time, and the constraints, interests and perspectives of the actors in it. As good and sincere as Kapila's intentions were (almost the exclusive justification for the decisions he took), as a reader interested in international relations I would have found it very interesting to read his reflections -perhaps in hindsight- on how he could have - if at all - better capitalized on his drivers within the UN and with an understanding of the constraints that the system poses.
Nevertheless, I can only recommend this book as it is touching, shocking, and insightful, and also motivating and encouraging in terms of contributing to conflict resolution. This is even more the case if you keep asking yourself what you would have done had you been in his position.
Top international reviews
As the UN's new man in Sudan, he could have been considered ill-equipped to balance the North/South peace process as the tragedy in Darfur gathered pace but his energy and commitment carried him through what could be considered the darkest period of recent world politics.
The book is easy to read and intersperses the crisis in Sudan with incidents from Dr Kapila's past, showing how they contributed to his steadfast commitment that he must act even if it cost him his post and career.
There are lessons to be learnt here for the international community, but on this insight, it is to be feared that international political wrangling will always trump saving lives.
Yet I have mixed feelings, for this is a deeply disturbing yet also an intensely annoying read. So let's get the annoying out of the way. First, the sensationalist title (and the subtitle....oh yes, and the blurb on the front and back covers). And it isn’t helped by the vaguely ridiculous prologue - an attempted assassination with epoxy resin? Hard to swallow!
Mukesh (or more likely his ghost writer) employs extensive use of dialogue with his family, friends and foes to tell his story - a highly effective literary device that creates a compelling immediacy. But in doing so, he fatally compromises this important book. For in attempting to accurately recreate conversations from the past - an utterly unrealistic exercise - it is inevitable that much of the book is simply fabricated. Quite simply, this is journalism, not history. And once you begin to question the historical accuracy of the dialogue, the rest looks suspect. Which is why I am so annoyed. For the appalling neglect of Darfur by the so-called ’international community’ cost hundreds of thousands of lives, with millions more violently displaced, raped, and terrorised. There is little enough to be proud of in relation to Darfur, and the heroic efforts of those few who fought bravely for attention and action must be honoured and celebrated. It is the truth that must be told and heard, not a ’novel based on a true story’.
My final reason for annoyance is the somewhat artificial simplicity of the story. Every action is right or wrong. There is little room for ambiguity or complexity. People fall simply into three categories; family, friend or foe. There are no acquaintances. In his world, you are either deliberately kept in the dark (family), utterly loyal friends (most of his closest staff in Khartoum) or devious foes (just about everyone else, including several of the UN great and good; Kofi Annan, Mark Malloch Brown, Kieran Prendergast, to name but three).
Had I not known Mukesh, I would probably have given up at the prologue. I would have written it off as yet another example of self indulgent vanity publishing in which the writer positions himself (and it's nearly always him) as the hero at the centre of a major historical event.
But fortunately I got past page 14. And the more I read, the more I had to read. Not just because this is written with real honesty, but because this is truly a story that desperately needs to be heard. Putting aside my petty complaints, the overwhelming message of this important book comes through loud and clear. And it's deeply, very deeply, disturbing. I am sickened by the horrific accounts of rape, violence, mutilation, destruction, and genocide. I am disgusted by the complicity of the UN. I am filled with frustrated outrage that those who ordered and led these crimes against humanity still go free - and even continue to mutilate and destroy.
Which I was why I want everyone to read this book as a call to action. For apathy kills.
Well done for having the courage to write it Mukesh, and more than well done for bringing this tide of evil to the attention of the world.
Project Coordinator at Italians for Darfur
More whistle blowers are needed in our vulnerable world