A Mad World, My Masters: Tales from a Travellers Life

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Share this product with your friends and family! Facebook Twitter Googleplus Pinterest Email. A Mad World, My Masters. Free returns within 28 days. Browse Oxfam's Online Shop Charity gifts. A Mad World My Masters. We offer a no quibble returns policy as follows: Indeed, he believes that the latter openly broke truces themselves as they sought US intervention, at the expense of the local civilians. Yet, the most distasteful aspect of the seige he argues was the ineffectual presence of UN forces, who controlled the airport, but restricted escape from the shelling to their own employees and foreign nationals.

This was to avoid any accusation from the Bosnian Serbs of any siding with the Bosnian government, but effectively led to the UN policing the city for the beseiging force by ignoring the suffering of the local inhabitants. The author reveals his famed objectivity in his reports on the bombin of Belgrade by NATO forces for which he received the unwarranted citicism of the British government, revealng how everyday citizens still pay the price for use of smart bombs despite official clams hat this reduces unnecessary casulaies.

In his years of reporting from around the globe, Simpson has intervewed many a dictator, and among his anecdotes of such meetings that of a flatulent Gadhafi, and sneaking a look in an exiled and dethroned Cenral African dictator's chest-freezer to check that the reported cannbalistic ourages were pure fiction, are noteworthy.

Jan 12, Tim rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: A wonderfully interesting, funny, and achingly tragically true set of stories from a most interesting character in himself. This book is superbly written - the man is the most senior and most experienced journalist in the BBC currently holding the most senior position of World Affairs Editor - and the details and opinions, amusing asides and wonderful descriptions, are both excellently put across and wonderfully, refreshingly British; he remains as reserved and self-effacing as all Englishmen should be and has the driest and most damning observations, that still remain hilarious when and where they should.

An incredible lightness of tone int he face of some terrifying people, places and times, and heart-wrenching moments when he has seen some of the most painful and tragic scenarios of anyone's life. Particularly in the Balkans, where I have to admit I cried for a hell of a time after one dreadful tale was told. One account sees him sneaking across an armed checkpoint where the soldiers rake a locally used pathway with automatic gunfire every 10 minutes, killing several people every time, day and night.

He was teamed up with French cameraman who was captured by the same army several months later, but who broke free by working a cinder block in his cell wall loose, crawling through the whole and using that same oversized brick to bludgeon his guard to death with. Such are the people he works with, and an awesome nostalgia is brought to us by his accounts of how a news crew used to run and how the expertise was built up and earned in a way now lost to modern TV crews.

He has never, so he says, been the bravest of his crew nor stood his ground when his team have fled, but still he has seen an amazing amount of the world's most infamous and lethal warzones, riots, and deadly places, as well as covering some of the most important stories of our lifetimes. He officially drunk - with his wife Dee - the very first toast of this millenium, due to his sailing out to the central Pacific and reporting at the moment of dawn at the first place on Earth to see the sunrise of January 1st, He used a collapsable glass, which rather sullies the deal a little but is still appropriate, seeing as the actual fisrt day of the millenium is Jan.

The book really is well written, I'll just say that one more time. One of the best books I have read. Sep 17, Tim Corke rated it really liked it Shelves: I've not read any others before so wasn't sure how this would differ from that of Palin's travel journals. If there's been a significant incident either in the UK or abroad, you can bet that Simpson has been there and been directly involved. I found that a break was needed in the middle due to the relentless accounts of interviews with x,y and z and what seemed to be name-dropping to an extent I'd never experienced before.

Having now completed the book it is clear that it's simply testament to the influence, regard and reputation that Simpson has worked for and gained. Getting into places and speaking to those many wouldn't even consider possible and questioning them on the current issues frankly and without bias is the skill and talent of a master and professional at the top of his industry.

Jun 04, Ron rated it really liked it.

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Not enough pages I could have read double of this man's adventures. Mr Ram Sedun smiled,working away with one hand and holding out a grubby book of handwritten commendations with the other. Beside this was a mysterious message in a different hand: Part of a very humorous tale from Delhi. As i said Not enough page Not enough pages I could have read double of this man's adventures. As i said Not enough pages I could have read double..

Feb 21, Raj rated it liked it Shelves: This volume by the long-term BBC correspondent is mostly anecdotes from his working life, with each chapter covering a theme, such as travel, villains etc.

Mad World, My Masters: Tales from a Traveller's Life by John Cody Fidler-Simpson

Simpson comes across as someone who enjoys the finer things in life, but is happy to forego all of them if it gets him a story. I'm not entirely sure if I'd like the man himself, but there's no denying that he's a good raconteur, with many stories to tell from his long and interesting career.

Oct 02, Gavin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Simpson was, and may still be, the leading correspondent for the BBC. Here he sets out his views on many subjects, the most interesting of which for me was his opinion of the Red Cross. He hates it due to its record of inspecting concentration camps during WWII and doing nothing. The other pieces are also worth reading.

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A very good collection of journalism. Jan 06, Drew Pyke rated it liked it.


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Read this hoping for some insight into the profiles of the dictators of the day Gaddafi, Hussein etc which he did offer in some degree with strange anecdotes. Simpson is a trustworthy reporter and this book is a half decent guide if anything what reporting on the front line is really like. This was a really great read, especially liked the part when Osama bin Laden tries to get some Afghani tribesmen to kill John Simpson for dollars and they all just look at bin laden as if he was an idiot! Bin Laden then walks away crying!

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Jul 07, Kathleen rated it really liked it. Dec 15, Christian rated it really liked it. This book got me super excited back in my I-really-want-to-be-a-photojournalist stage, and definitely helped fuel that fire. If anybody is very into travel, world politics, or current events, it's really fun and engaging. Jul 10, Conor rated it really liked it. Dec 24, Helen rated it it was amazing. Fantastic stories about some of the most dramatic events and places of the twentieth century, brilliantly described by foreign correspondent, John Simpson.

Feb 13, Pete Hardy rated it really liked it.

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A fascinating read and although elements of pride creep into the stories you really can't blame him for it. Sometimes dull when talking about antiques, but it can be forgiven. Oct 30, Alex Lobo rated it it was amazing. I'd love to read this one again: Dec 30, Arsine Khatchaturians rated it it was amazing. I think John Simpson is such an honest writer, love his books. Feb 10, Paul Guinnessy rated it it was amazing. Some great stories in this book, my favorite, Simpson surviving gun men in Africa after they tore up his passport, by producing an american express card Sep 15, Tanis rated it liked it.

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It does get a bit samey. He goes to a difficult place, meets some great people, interviews some vile people stays in a shit hole. It would be ok to give up midway. Apr 12, Lilian rated it liked it. Witty, but not as insightful as I thought it would be. Nov 27, Sandy Brogan rated it it was amazing Shelves: John Simpson, what a great life he has had in his career.

May 14, Maysaloon Abu-Zaglan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jan 08, Anne rated it really liked it. For learning the reality of parts of the world we're led to believe are hell on earth. All the John Simpson's are an education. Sep 15, Silka Silangit added it Shelves: Jun 15, Rahul Singh rated it it was amazing Shelves: A very entertaining, anecdotal read There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

About John Cody Fidler-Simpson.

He is world affairs editor of BBC News, the world's biggest broadcast news service. One of the most travelled reporters ever, he has spent all his working life at the corporation. He has reported from more than countries, including thirty war zones, and has interviewed numerous world leaders. Simpson was born in Cleveleys, Lancashire; his family later moved to Dunwich, Suffolk. Simpson reveals in his autobiography that his father was an anarchist. That didn't prevent him from getting a top-notch education: In he was a member of the Magdalene University Challenge team.

A year later Simpson started as a trainee sub-editor at BBC radio news. Simpson became a BBC reporter in He describes in his autobiography how on his very first day the then prime minister Harold Wilson, angered by the sudden and impudent, as he saw it, appearance of the novice's microphone, punched him in the stomach. Simpson was the BBC's political editor from till He presented the Nine O'Clock News from till and became diplomatic editor in He had also served as a correspondent in South Africa, Brussels and Dublin.