I’m delighted to note that, in a review of five books about Guantánamo in today’s Toronto Star, Michelle Shephard, indefatigable Guantánamo commentator and author of Guantánamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, singled out my book The Guantánamo Files for particular praise, describing it as “Perhaps the single most important book to cover the big picture of Guantánamo.”
This is the full review:
“Perhaps the single most important book to cover the big picture of Guantánamo is by British activist and historian Andy Worthington — a guy who has never even been to Guantánamo Bay. Yet he manages to tell the stories of all the men who have been held there in his book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (Pluto Press, 338 pages, $30).
“The public knows the plight of detainees such as Hamdan, Canadian Omar Khadr or prize captive Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of 9/11. But Worthington, relying in a large part on thousands of detainee records the Bush administration was forced to release following an Associated Press lawsuit, manages to give names, voices and stories to the hundreds of others.
“Many inmates turned out to be innocent farmers or Afghani merchants who spent two, three or four years of their lives as detainees before the U.S. administration realized it had made mistakes. Some of those captives are still held in Cuba, and won’t be freed without tough diplomatic negotiating at the highest levels of the incoming Obama administration.
“During the long presidential election campaign, Obama called Gitmo a ‘sad chapter in American history.’ Now we wait to see how he closes the book. ”
The Guantánamo Files is available from Amazon in the US, UK and Canada. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.
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