The Crisis Caravan

What's Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?

Linda Polman

Picador

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In her controversial, no-holds-barred exposé Linda Polman shows how a vast industry has grown up around humanitarian aid. The Crisis Caravan takes us to war zones around the globe, showing how aid operations and the humanitarian world have become a feature of military strategy. Impassioned, gripping, and even darkly absurd, journalist Linda Polman “gives some powerful examples of unconscionable assistance...a world where aid workers have become enablers of the atrocities they seek to relieve” (The Boston Globe).

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Book Excerpts

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Introduction

The humane desire to lighten a little the torments of all these poor wretches . . . creates a kind of energy which gives one a positive craving to relieve as many as one can.
—Henri Dunant, humanitarian aid worker and founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)1

Imagine that you're an international humanitarian aid worker in a war zone and faithful to the principles of the Red Cross, as any good humanitarian should be. In other words, you're impartial, neutral, and independent. It's your responsibility to relieve human suffering, irrespective

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Reviews

Praise for The Crisis Caravan

“Particularly timely just now… Polman finds moral hazard on display wherever aid workers are deployed. In case after case, a persuasive argument can be made that, over-all, humanitarian aid did as much or even more harm than good… Her style is brusque, hard-boiled, with a satirist’s taste for gallows humor. Her basic stance is: J’accuse.” —Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker

“A reporting tour de force, devastating.” —The Sunday Times (London)

“Marvelous, cool, brusque, fearless.” —The Guardian (London)

“Ms. Polman’s prose is scorching.” —The Economist

“A disturbing account…Raises profound questions not just about the palliative efficacy of aid, but whether it fuels and prolongs conflict.” —Financial Times



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About the Author

Linda Polman

Linda Polman is an Amsterdam-based journalist who for fifteen years has reported from war zones for a range of European radio stations and newspapers. She is the author of We Did Nothing, which was shortlisted for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage. 

Linda Polman

Patricia Hofmeester
Linda Polman

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Crisis Caravan
What's Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?
Linda Polman

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
August 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312610586
ISBN10: 0312610580
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$16.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
September 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429955768
ISBN10: 1429955767
240 pages
$9.99
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From The Publisher

Picador

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