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Book Review: Never the Hope Itself: Love and Ghosts in Latin American and Haiti by Gerry Hadden

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NPR is not known for its excitement or gripping reportage. However from reading Gerry Hadden’s memoir Never the Hope Itself, it seems reporters in foreign lands certainly have their fair share of scrapes and scraps. Subtitled “Love and Ghosts in Latin American and Haiti,” this is not what you would expect from a former NPR regular.

From the outset we learn that Hadden was about to head off to become a Buddist monk when he was offered the position of NPR’s Mexico-based station chief. We experience his trials and tribulations with threats both real and imagined. His account of time in Mexican border with those seeking to sneak into the US and the gangs that traffic them is gripping for sure.

Whether it is Haiti, Guatemala, Columbia or Mexico itself, this is seat of your pants stuff. The ghosts in his house in Mexico and his erstwhile house-mates make for an even more dramatic life. Anyone with an interest in Latin American or the Carribean will be interested in this book. Few journalist’s memoirs are this exciting and impressive. I can’t think of a memoir I have enjoyed more.

The raves reviews that this book has received are well deserved. I had a hard time putting it down.

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