Walking Ghosts by Steven Dudley

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Praise for Steven Dudley’s Walking Ghosts

“It is rare to find an authoritative work of modern history which is also a nail-biting page-turner, but in Walking Ghosts, Steven Dudley has done just that. In this account of one of the bloodiest dramas of modern-day Latin America, Dudley writes with an appealing blend of passion and honesty, and his book is absolutely riveting.” --Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer, The New Yorker

“Walking Ghosts is not a comfortable read for anyone concerned with Colombia; it shows the size of the task facing any government there that tries to guarantee a minimum of peace and security for its citizens. It will be least comfortable, if they read it, for those who continue to sympathise with guerrillas who have long since ceased to deserve their solidarity.” --The Economist

“Steve Dudley has visited more of Colombia's harsh venues, and sat patiently in them longer than any other foreign journalist, to understand the forces that have propelled Colombia's conflict for decades and decades.What he has produced is a passionate narrative, rich with the characters and landscape of a remarkable country, that explains why Colombia's confounding war continues to resist all attempts to stop it.” --Scott Wilson, staff writer, The Washington Post

“Unusual for a foreign journalist in super-suspicious Colombia, Dudley gets deep inside the story to paint a dramatic tableau explaining how this beautiful country in the Andes became the planet's most lethal killing ground… This is an extraordinary work.” --The Miami Herald

“With compassion, insight and a nose for detail, Dudley presents the definitive tale of the political drama behind Colombia’s seemingly endless violence. Meticulously reported, Walking Ghosts is an intense, hair-raising account of a complex conflict that leaves the reader on the edge of his seat. More than any other reporter before him, Dudley has brought to life the brave, the innocent, the murderous and the evil who have been thrown together in the cauldron of Latin America’s longest-running civil war.” --Juan Forero, special correspondent, The Washington Post

“Steven Dudley’s haunting account of the rise and blood-soaked fall of Colombia’s Patriotic Union (Union Patriotica) party is essential reading for anyone who wants to fully understand the causes of Latin America’s longest-running civil war. A brave and unflinching book.” --Joseph Contreras, Latin America Regional Editor, Newsweek

“The author writes with verve and authority…Along the way he took great risks tracking down FARC higher-ups and paramilitary warlords to flesh out his investigation. And by shining light on a little-known tragedy, Dudley provides insight into why the FARC keeps fighting even though nearly every other rebel group in Latin America disbanded years ago.” --Houston Chronicle

“Colombia is notoriously dangerous terrain for journalists, but over five years of reporting Dudley gained access to an impressive array of figures on all sides of the war: government officials; former guerrillas; the ruthless paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño, a sullen FARC commander with "a furry beard that was graying and glasses as thick as a windshield." --The Washington Post

“With verve and compassion, Dudley tells the riveting story of a political genocide that has cost Colombia thousands of lives. No one else has written this history so well and with so much first-hand access to its protagonists. It is a painful, complex, funny, and provocative read, and goes to the heart of how modern Colombia really works.” --Robin Kirk, Coordinator, Duke Human Rights Initiative and author of More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs, and America’s War in Colombia

“Dudley brilliantly captures the political complexity and moral ambiguity of the country’s ongoing internal war. His tale is not one of heroes in white hats with clean hands fighting the just fight against the dark forces of unvarnished evil. It is a story of intrigue and betrayal, of torture and murder, of bloody sacrifice and loss on all sides of Colombia’s fratricidal violence. It has no false happy ending. It is the tragic story of Colombia today.” --Bruce Bagley, professor, Department of International Studies, University of Miami

“Never has it been so important for Americans to understand Colombia's decades-long civil war, now that the United States has decided to give billions of dollars of aid, in "Plan Colombia," to combat the drug trade and left-wing guerrilla insurgency. In Walking Ghosts, Steven Dudley combines the research skills and analytic talents of a historian with the acquisitive energy and storytelling instincts of an investigative reporter to provide an engrossing, sometimes hair-raising account of Colombia's bloody, overlapping conflicts.” --Roane Carey, Managing Editor, The Nation

“Through honest, vivid, and scrupulous reporting, Dudley gives a superb history of the Patriotic Union in the mid-1980s, which continues to haunt the country's politics. His sensitive account is a significant contribution to understanding the Colombian enigma, and should be required reading for policymakers convinced they have all the answers to help produce an enduring peace.” --Michael Shifter, Vice-president for Policy at the Inter-American Dialogue

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Contact Steven Dudley contact@stevendudley.com