Blood Ransom: Stories from the Front Line in the War Against Somali Piracy

John Boyle. Bloomsbury, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4729-1267-1
Filmmaker Boyle attempts to unravel the complicated circumstances surrounding the sea-going scourge of Somali piracy in this intriguing study. Through numerous interviews, he examines the issues from all sides, exploring everything from the evolution of Somalia as a haven for piratical activities to the efforts taken to prevent, combat, and prosecute the perpetrators. “For as long as men have gone to sea in boats, there have been other men in boats looking to attack and rob them,” he states. But Boyle wants to know why, and so expends considerable effort to obtain a first-hand perspective from the pirates themselves. There’s a grudging respect in his tone as he explains what drives desperate men to attack and hijack boats for ransom, even as he separates the brutal reality from the whitewashed fantasies and condemns the pirates for inhumane treatment of their prisoners. As he notes, Somali piracy has evolved from a reaction against outside influences plundering their vulnerable waters to an ambitious business structure where minimal investments yield potentially high paydays. He also examines how businesses and governments are confronting piracy, using drones and warships as well as legal restructuring; but while individual battles may be won, the war continues. This thorough analysis is enlightening. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 07/07/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4729-2768-2
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4729-1268-8
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4729-1269-5
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