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In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars Paperback – October 16, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Kevin Sites represents the next step in the evolution of journalism.” (New York Post)

“An essential read, especially for those who believe themselves to be world-wise or politically savvy.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“These images and dispatches form the numberless rooms of hell have an undeniable cumulative power.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Kevin Sites has spent more than a decade covering wars and conflicts for ABC, NBC, CNN, Yahoo! News, and Vice magazine. He is the author of In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars and The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won't Tell You About What They've Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War. He is also an associate professor of journalism at the University of Hong Kong.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Pap/DVD edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061228753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061228759
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a Marine Corps and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and I gotta say Kevin Site's experiences dictated in his book "In The Hot Zone" was truly a great read. During my time overseas and in the military I can admit I was a bit brainwashed and deemed everyone who wasn't friendly to the Marines in the press as enemy sympathizers. Now that I have been out nearly 6 years I can see it from a less bias perspective. I remember when the video was recorded of the Marine's execution of an unarmed insurgent in Fallujah. Though I don't remember what ever came of it, probably because I was more worried about keeping my head down and staying alive. It was disturbing to read that General Richard Natonski, a general I recall meeting and served under, took no action against the Marine who was caught clearly on tape executing an unarmed and injured opponent. It was embarrassing to me, my Corps, and my country. One should not let their own patriotism blind them to what's right and what's wrong. I thank Kevin for showing me that through his book. Simply a great read!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book, and an excellent companion to my friend Robert Young Pelton's Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition (Robert Young Pelton the World's Most Dangerous Places).

I have copious notes that I provide below, but up front want to mention that the books comes with a DVD that is SENSATIONAL. The author is not just a gifted writer and observer of the human condition, but also a gifted photographer and cinematographer and his work is shown off to great advantage by Peripetela Pictures in "A World of Conflict: a play." In 24 chapters, one gets a mix of superb video on each of about 20 "hot zones" and also two "mellow" zones: Kurdistan at peace, and Iran with a huge middle class that disagrees with its government's radical posture. The video helps make clear the author's point that broadcast television is not doing the greatest job in showing complex situations. The film ends with a dedication to the tens of millions of innocent victims.

This book, which is vastly more detailed than the video, but best enjoyed AFTER watching the video, is completely different from Pelton's encyclopedic work, and ends with a tour of "Third WOrld America."

I warmed to the author and his work very quickly as I read his superb and consistently ethical discussion and illustration of complex ethical challenges that we all too often avoid through self-censorship, not trusting the US public to "get it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of biographies is truly one of the most touching and heartbreaking books I have ever read.

Sites manages to catch the devastation and horrors that these unlikely war "heroes" have experienced. The added DVD that contains his own video footage to follow with each biography helps the stories really hit home. I wasn't sure what to expect and found myself crying and cheering on the heroes as their stories were revealed.

A once-in-a-lifetime read that you cannot possibly skip and is impossible to surpass. These untold war stories will keep you reading until the very end. For those of us who don't follow the political side of war, but are drawn to the humanitarian side this book marries the two in a very real and moving way.
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Format: Paperback
The short attention span and corporate management of mainstream media has pushed serious investigative journalists to the fringes, with good ones like Kevin Sites forced to work independently or in unsustainable online operations. The subject of this book is Sites' year-long project for Yahoo! News in which he visited 20 war zones in a single year. The project led to some unexpected results. With so much traveling Sites did not have the time to report from each combat zone with a great amount of in-depth investigation, but on the other hand the project is a sobering illustration of how much senseless violence is taking place in the world at any given time. The rapid schedule also led Sites to dispense with standard action news coverage and to concentrate on the innocent civilians and overworked soldiers who have to take the brunt of bad decisions by politicians and demagogues. In the process, Sites comes up with incredible insights on war and politics that are as compelling as they are low-key, and his skills as an investigative journalist are complemented by a writer's gift for reaching powerful insights in few words.

America is full of pundits who think they can make big statements about wars and humanitarian crises that they have not seen in person and about which they've only heard propaganda. Kevin Sites and other courageous old-school journalists like him have really been on the front lines. Too bad the mass media is too yellow to give them the airtime that they, and their subjects, deserve. [~doomsdayer520~]
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