The daily news gives you events but rarely context. So what do al-Qaeda, North Korea, and Iran really want? Which faction is which in Iraq and who’s arming whom? What’s the deal with Somalia, Darfur, and Kashmir? Fatah, Hamas, and Hezbollah?
Finally, here’s Who Hates Whom—a handy, often stunning guide to the world’s recent conflicts, from the large and important to the completely absurd.
Which countries are fighting over an uninhabitable glacier with no real strategic value—at an annual cost of half a billion dollars?
Which underreported war has been the deadliest since World War II—worse even than Vietnam—with a continuing aftermath worse than most current conflicts combined?
Which royal family members were respected as gods—until the crown prince machine-gunned the king and queen?
Which country’s high school students think the Nazis had a “good side”? Which nation’s readers recently put Mein Kampf on the bestseller list? And which other country watches itself with four million security cameras? (Hint: All three are U.S. allies.)
Detailed with more than fifty original maps, photographs, and illustrations, Who Hates Whom summarizes more than thirty global hotspots with concise essays, eye-catching diagrams, and (where possible) glimmers of kindness and hope.
In which bodies of water can you find most of the world’s active pirates? Which dictatorship is bulldozing its own villages? Where exactly are Waziristan, Bangsamoro, Kurdistan, Ituri, Baluchistan, and Jubaland—and how will they affect your life and security? Find out in Who Hates Whom, a seriously amusing look at global humanity—and the lack thereof.
BOB HARRIS is the author of Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!, and has written for media ranging from National Lampoon to the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He lives in Los Angeles.
“The geopolitical equivalent of scorecards that get hawked at ball games. Only Bob could make a user’s guide to our increasingly hostile world this absorbing, this breezy, and—ultimately—this hopeful.”
—Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac
“It takes deft touch to combine this much-needed research with a razor-sharp wit... You’ll laugh ‘til you cry, but at least you’ll be one step ahead of CNN.”
—Gus Russo, author of Supermob and The Outfit
“If you read one book this year, be like me and choose this one.”
“Bob Harris, perpetual Jeopardy underdog, now turns his polymathic curiosity to the subject of GLOBAL CONFLICT—the result: this handy history of violence that is at once surprising, fascinating, enlightening, and surprisingly: NOT TOTALLY DEPRESSING. A gimlet-eyed look at the world we endure that’s also suitable for enjoying with a gimlet.”
— John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise and correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart