An Los Angeles Times Best Book 2003
In Sierra Leone, rampaging soldiers have made a custom of hacking off the hands of their victims, then letting them live as the ultimate emblem of terror. The country is so desperate that, forty years after independence, its people long to be recolonized.
In this book, the acclaimed author of novelist and journalist follows a set of Western would-be saviors and a set of Sierra Leoneans, who take us into a land of beauty, horror, resilience and redemption. From mercenaries to missionaries, child soldiers to parent fugitives, Bergner tells this racially charged story with sensitivity and precision, creating an unforgettable work of literary reportage.