For readers of Christopher Hedges, Robert Fisk, and Christopher Hitchens, an extraordinary humanitarian gives us a bracing and uncompromising account of her work in some of the most devastated corners of the world -- and a new and provocative vision for changing course on our growing militarization.
In 1995, twenty-five-year-old Samantha Nutt, a recent medical-school graduate and a field volunteer for UNICEF, touched down in Baidoa, Somalia, "the City of Death." What she saw there -- gangs of young men roaming the streets armed with rocket launchers; a woman in a clinic line holding a dead baby; an aid agency working in such an unsafe environment that its workers had to travel with armed escorts high on drugs -- would spur her on to a lifetime of passionate advocacy for children and families in war-torn areas around the world. Damned Nations is the brilliant distillation of Dr. Nutt's observations over the course of fifteen years providing hands-on care in some of the world's most violent flashpoints, all the while building the world class non-profit War Child North America. Combining original research with her personal story, it is a deeply thoughtful meditation on war as it is being waged around the world against millions of civilians -- primarily women and children. Nutt's boundless energy, dedication, and compassion shine through on every page as she lays out real, lasting solutions to these problems and shows how to move beyond outdated notions of charity towards a more progressive, inclusive, and respectful world view.
“Samantha Nutt is scrupulously consistent with her hard-nosed, direct, in-your-face style and defiant resolve in her approach to war and the massive abuses to humanity, especially women and children. Samantha is telling us in no uncertain terms that humanitarianism starts by a 'critical reflection concerning our own actions and deeds.' And then she offers some solid proposals to consider. Well done, in a most compelling of ways."
—LGen the Hon. Roméo A. Dallaire, (Ret’d), Senator
"This is an extraordinarily riveting book. The anecdotes are heart-wrenching; the analysis is trenchant, principled, uncompromising. I never read a book in one sitting: I read Damned Nations in one sitting, and I regretted that it came to an end. It's not an easy read, but it's filled with emotional and intellectual power."
—Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, and Chair of the Board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation
“This book is a passionate reaction to so much of the stupidity and calumny that leads to death and destruction, and yet, it incorporates insightful and cool headed reasons as to why. An important book for our times.”
—Lloyd Axworthy, President, University of Winnipeg and former Minister of Foreign Affairs
“A brave, eloquent, and necessary book.”
–Lewis Lapham, editor of Lapham’s Quarterly
“When I first met Sam, I was moved by her total and single minded dedication to justice. She thought of people in far away places the way we think of relatives in disadvantage, and she behaved like we do at our best when we care enough to do something. I have no doubt you will be moved by her stories and her work, but I hope most of all, by her example.”
"This is an extraordinary book. From its opening scenes, my heart was in my throat. Samantha Nutt is a genuine hero for all of us who want to make a difference in the world. She has helped those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves trapped in terrifying conditions of terror, injustice, oppression and extreme poverty. All of us living in the comfort and affluence of industrialized countries owe it to the rest of humanity to read this powerful book."
—David Suzuki, co-founder, The David Suzuki Foundation, and Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia
“Samantha Nutt drives us to the front lines of an ongoing conflict between empathy and barbarism. Her words, and the lessons she asks us to heed, come from what she herself has witnessed. The passion that Dr. Nutt has for the important work she does is reflected in the pages of this remarkable book.”
—Seamus O’Regan, co-host, Canada AM
"Dr. Nutt movingly outlines the chilling truth about war and offers us a rare, poignant glimpse into each individual's part in the process to attainable peace. An absolute must-read for every person in the developed world, and a manual for every leader."
—Chantal Kreviazuk, Juno Award-winning performer and songwriter, and Honorary Founder, War Child
“Dr. Samantha Nutt is a force of nature. A courageous and tireless advocate for human rights. Damned Nations exposes the 'underbelly' of the humanitarian movement. Her colorful, revealing and heart-wrenching first-hand accounts are a must read for anyone who’s given so much as a penny to an NGO.”
—Raine Maida, lead singer, Our Lady Peace, songwriter, and activist
SAMANTHA NUTT, M.D. is a medical doctor and Founder/Executive Director of War Child North America. For fifteen years, Dr Nutt has been at the frontline of many of the world's major crises -- from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Congo and Sierra Leone to Darfur. Dr. Nutt was recently named one of Canada's 25 Transformational Canadians by the Globe and Mail, and the World Economic Forum recognized her as one of 200 young global leaders. In 2010, Samantha was awarded the Order of Ontario. Dr. Nutt is a staff physician at Women's College Hospital in Toronto and an Assistant Professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.