Books

Powerfully combining eyewitness reportage and extensive background research, Mark Huband’s books have become standard reading for scholars, students and travellers alike, on issues ranging from post-Cold War Africa and the emergence of political Islam, to the transformation of secret intelligence-gathering in the wake of 9/11. Uniquely placed to meet with many of the key figures who have forged the major global events of the past quarter-century, the author’s extensive travels, face-to-face discussions with the central personalities shaping the post-Cold War world, and painstaking research, provide readers with unique and exceptionally well-informed accounts of many of the most important issues of today

  Skinny White Kids: A memoir

Haunted by the legacies of war, disloyalty and loss, a family seeks to build a new life in a new town, in the England of the 1970s. A desperate need to belong is forever plagued by feeling out of place, while the search for friendship in a town marked by loneliness, drugs and tension, exposes the fragility of childhood during a time of social conflict and cultural change.

Deeply attached to the Yorkshire moors from which he had been torn as a child, writer, poet and award-winning foreign correspondent Mark Huband, traces his teenage years as a boy driven to take risks in the hope of creating the bonds he craves. Lured from the safety of his comfortable home by a gang of kids who spend their lives on the streets, he discovers a new world – and a way of life which then collapses into anguish and guilt.

Forty years later he has the chance to piece together the fragments of that childhood, when an old friendship is rediscovered – an experience which brings completeness, but ends in tragedy.Poignant, unsettling and searingly honest, Skinny White Kids is a beautifully-crafted memoir, rooted both in the England of its time, and the deeper journey of a boy who would later become a war correspondent recognised for his courage, integrity and powerful reportage.

Buy Skinny White Kids as a paperback or ebook; available from Amazon.

  Agony: A Poem of Genocide

As an eyewitness account, as reportage, as poetry, Agony: A Poem of Genocide is a unique and deeply affecting journey through the experience of humanity at its most evil. A witness to the Rwandan genocide, Mark challenges the human race to confront this most horrifying of truths, in a poem unprecedented in its range, power and the potency of its language. Haunted by the reality of evil, Agony is a poem which exposes the violence which has been repeated throughout human history, and aims through its raw honesty and brutal power to force us as peoples to confront this evil in the hope that to do so will prevent it from again being unleashed. Drawing upon the works of writers, philosophers, killers and survivors, Agony: A Poem of Genocide also stands as powerful testimony to humanity s ability to look hard into itself and to perhaps even learn from the experience of doing so. The poem is illustrated by artist, Anna Steinberg.

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  The Crossing: Euskal Herria

Mark’s pamphlet, The Crossing: Euskal Herria, records almost in real time his emotions and thoughts as he undertakes the  demanding GR10 long-distance footpath across the French Pyrenees, beginning in Hendaye on the Atlantic coast in the Bay of Biscay and heading east to cross the Basque country.

Available from Yew Tree Press, Stroud:

yewtreepress@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

  The Candidate

In 2019 Mark was selected as the Labour Party candidate to contest the parliamentary seat of North East Somerset. These poems tell of his experience of this candidacy.

http://www.yewtreepress.co.uk/Yew_Tree_Press/books.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Siege of Monrovia

Most journalists left when Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, was besieged by both rebel factions in the summer of 1990. Mark remained for the three months that the city was under attack, and his award-winning journalism provided a unique account of the conflict and its atrocities. But it is only now, almost thirty years later, that Mark has been able to write his own personal account of that time he spent among the rebels, killers, victims and warlords. He has found a way to do this in poetry, the terza rima form of the narrative poem The Siege of Monrovia allowing the verse to speak the unspeakable and describe the indescribable, in a work which bears witness to a time of chaos and bloodshed, but which also has space for light and humanity.

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American Road

Including both recent and older poems, Mark Huband’s collection ‘American Road’ is a vivid and highly accomplished debut which illustrates both fine craftsmanship and an exceptional range and diversity.

Including the highly-praised poems ‘American Road’ and ‘First Light’ – both of which were competition shortlisted – the collection explores emotional and physical journeys with precision, skill and intensity.

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Exile

From the publisher: “Mark Huband’s new pamphlet ‘Exile’ combines a freshness of vision and language with the experience of a foreign correspondent. His writing here, especially those poems derviced from a visit to Ireland, is a tour de force of poetic reportage.”

http://www.yewtreepress.co.uk/Yew_Tree_Press/books.html

 

 

 

 

Skinny White Kids

Published in 2017 by Yew Tree Press (Stroud, UK), Skinny White Kids is a pamphlet which brings together poems Skinny White Kids characteristic of Mark Huband’s intense experimentation with form and wide-ranging exploration of themes and musicality. Experiencing the grief brought on from the death of childhood friend, grappling with the complex currents created by a journey of return to a city which had once been home, and poems marking his first steps towards developing a political focus to his work, Skinny White Kids is an important step towards both refining and broadening Mark’s poetic voice.

http://www.yewtreepress.co.uk/Yew_Tree_Press/books.html

 

 

 

Trading Secrets

Spies and intelligence in an age of terror

 

Today’s intelligence community faces challenges that were inconceivable only a dozen years ago. Just as al-Qaeda’s destruction of the Twin Towers heralded a revolution in global diplomacy, the events of 9/11 also threw two centuries of spy-craft into turmoil – because this new enemy could not be bought. Gone were the sleepers and moles whose trade in secrets had sustained intelligence agencies in both peacetime and war. A new method of intelligence had been born.

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IB Tauris

 

 

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Brutal Truths, Fragile Myths

Power Politics and Western Adventurism in the Arab World

A veteran journalist argues that political stagnation, brittle authoritarian regimes, and America’s arrogant use of power in the Arab world have formed a volatile mixture. Why has the Arab world failed to achieve the political freedom, social stability, and economic improvement experienced in much of the rest of the world since the end of the Cold War? In Brutal Truths, Fragile Myths, veteran journalist Mark Huband argues that few of the region’s leaders are capable of initiating the deep political changes necessary to address the challenges confronting them, and that ruling regimes will continue to depend upon repression to stay in power. Such a situation entrenches problems instead of solutions, fostering future crises. In this climate, American adventurism, as expressed in its 2003 invasion of Iraq and its refusal to criticize even the worst excesses of Israeli colonialism, are dangerous sparks in perhaps the world’s most volatile region. With over a decade of experience as an on-the-ground correspondent in the Middle East and North Africa, Huband probes monarchy and military rule, Arab nationalism, and the challenge presented by Islamist radicals. Brutal Truths, Fragile Myths provides an in-depth portrait of a region that is both resistant to change and in dire need of reform.

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The Skull Beneath the Skin

Africa after the Cold War

In The Skull Beneath the Skin: Africa After the Cold War award-winning journalist Mark Huband argues that foreign involvement in Africa – whether by colonialists, financial donors, armies, political reformers, or Cold War protagonists – has been the single most destructive element in the continent’s history. He argues that the catastrophes that have erupted since the end of the Cold War are a legacy of that long foreign involvement, and that stability will be achieved on the continent only if African countries are left to find their own solutions to the problems they face. The end of the Cold War may now offer the opportunity for Africa to achieve the independence it never really achieved when the European powers departed from their former colonies.

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Warriors of the Prophet

The Struggle for Islam

Based on eyewitness accounts and original interviews, this bold new work provides a vivid portrayal of the evolving political and cultural role played by Islamic fundamentalist movements. Drawing on his first-hand experiences, Mark Huband moves deep inside the contemporary Islamic movements of countries as diverse as Morocco and Afghanistan. Huband reveals how Western powers have contributed to the rise of Islamic movements by their earlier support of the Afghan Islamic resistance and gives detailed accounts of his discussions with militant groups, Muslim scholars, and political opponents of the Islamic movements.

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The Liberian Civil War

When a small group of Libyan-trained fighters crossed the border into Liberia on Christmas Eve 1989, the series of wars which followed tore the country to pieces. Ostensibly launched to bring an end to the ten-year dictatorship of Liberia’s President Samuel Doe, the civil war which followed over the next decade, left the country brutalised, its people traumatised, and its economy in pieces. Characterised by the routine use of child soldiers, by rape, drug-fulled violence, and tribal slaughter, the Liberian civil war rapidly lost its purpose of liberating Liberians from dictatorship, becoming instead a nightmarish tale of horror. Mark Huband was the first journalist to reach behind rebel lines, and reported on the war from all sides. In The Liberian Civil War he vividly describes the unfolding events of the war’s early years, provides an impeccably-sourced account of how the rebel army was created, and draws upon his unique access to key players in the conflict to explain how the discontent of Liberian exiles was transformed into one of the bloodiest conflicts West Africa had ever seen.

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Egypt Leading The Way

Institution building and stability in the financial system

Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC (July 1999)
ISBN-10: 1855646692
ISBN-13: 978-1855646698

 

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The Kingdom

Saudi Arabia and the challenge of the 21st Century

 

The Kingdom brings together a fascinating selection of writing on contemporary Saudi Arabia by a diverse group of authors, and includes contributions by such established figures as Madawi Al-Rasheed, Khalid Al-Dakhil, Badriyyah Al-Bishr, Saad Sowayan and Mona Eltahawy. The chapters range widely in their subject matter, from reformism under King Abdullah to Saudi Arabia’s role as a regional power broker, thereby revealing the great breadth of issues preoccupying Saudis and others as they seek to build a modern society without compromising their powerful attachment to the religious, cultural and historical traditions which are the bedrock of Saudi society. The book is divided into four sections, dealing respectively with Saudi domestic political issues, the Kingdom’s role in regional affairs, studies of Saudi society, and cultural and religious life in the Kingdom.

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