On 13 November 2001, John Simpson and a BBC news crew walked into Kabul and the liberation of the Afghan capital was broadcast to a waiting world. It was the end of a sustained campaign against the Taliban, a campaign that Simpson had covered from the beginning, despite appalling difficulties and, often, great danger. In this, his third riveting volume of autobiography, John Simpson focuses on how journalists set about finding the stories that make the headlines. It is quintessential Simpson: vivid, utterly absorbing and written with all the care and lucidity of his reporting style. 'Great stories told with great gusto...an easy and rewarding read' - Jon Snow, "Daily Mail".
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(197mm x 130mm x 31mm)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
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UK Kirkus Review »
BBC reporter John Simpson seems to have taken over from Kate Adie as chief of the flak jackets. He's certainly needed plenty of protection in recent years, with frontline adventures and terrorist threats galore to be faced almost daily. This third volume of his autobiography opens with the BBC's world affairs editor arriving on the outskirts of Kabul in autumn 2001, when the Taliban government was in shoot-on-sight mode. Would the Taliban forces fire on him? 'There was no way of finding out except to try it,' Simpson writes. So he walked into the city, becoming the first Western journalist to do so since the start of George W Bush's 'war on terror'. His descriptions of journalists doggedly researching their stories against enormous odds are jawdropping. On one occasion he crossed the Afghan border dressed as a woman - discovery would almost certainly have meant summary execution. Simpson does not see himself as a hero, simply a news-gatherer whose integrity is never up for negotiation. He writes as vividly as a novelist, bringing people and scenes to life in the way a two-minute slot on TV does not allow, and betrays a modesty not always associated with media stars, paying due deference to members of his team and those who sometimes risk their lives to help. Packed with anecdote, colourful characters and remarkable incidents, this is reporting of the highest order. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - John Simpson
John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs Editor. He has twice been the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year and won countless other major television awards. He has written several books, including five volumes of autobiography, Strange Places, Questionable People , A Mad World, My Masters, News from No Man's Land and Not Quite World's End and a childhood memoir, Days from a Different World. The Wars Against Saddam, his account of the West's relationship with Iraq and his two decades reporting on that relationship encompassing two Gulf Wars and the fall of Saddam Hussein, is also published by Pan Macmillan. He lives in London with his South African wife, Dee, and their son, Rafe.