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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Killing Pablo

Note: This is a review I posted one night in 2003 while playing with amazon.

After reading Mark Bowden's Blackhawk Down, I wanted more of Mark Bowden's gritty, exciting style. My only qualm with that book was the lack of sociopolitical background. Killing Pablo delivers that in spades. This book goes beyond the excitement of the chase and delves into the cultural forces that allow men like Pablo Escobar to exist in the first place. It is not a pretty picture, and it raises many questions for those of us living comfortable lives in the United States. What is our responsibility for keeping the world 'safe' and how much of the world's ills are of our own creation?

This book causes one to really ponder the moral implications of our government's actions, and at its heart is the timeless question of when does one act and when does one hold still. By the end of the book, I agreed that Escobar had to be killed, but I was left asking that ancient and uneasy question: Do the ends justify the means?

Powerful, well-written, significant. I couldn't put this one down. By the end of reading it, my house was a wreck, and I had a stack of work that I was behind on simply because I couldn't stop reading, even though the book's cover gives away the ending. I had to know how it came to that.

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