Synopses & Reviews
It's time the world understood what's going on in Burma. It has more child soldiers than any other country in the world, the CIA had its first secret war there, and it's also home to the Darfur you've never heard of.
In 2006, Mac McClelland arrived to volunteer in Thailand and found herself unexpectedly living with associates of a US-designated terrorist organization battling Burma's dictatorship. Her staggering debut explores the world's longest-running war through her housemates — heavy-drinking refugees who risk their lives documenting their government's secret ethnic-cleansing campaign.
Intensely engaging and extraordinarily researched, For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question: A Story from Burma's Never-Ending War is a hybrid of literary journalism, popular history, and personal narrative about the war in Burma between ethnic Karen guerrillas and the Burmese junta. Breakthrough details on how the US helps fund the war are exposed, as are America's historical entanglements in the country.
In 2010 Burma's military junta will hold its first governmental elections in 20 years, likely in the spring. It will undoubtedly end in corruption, public outcry, and worldwide media attention. For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question holds critical insight into a torn country that is set to explode onto the international news scene in the coming months and presents McClelland as a unique, expert voice.
"Alternately poignant and raucous, angry and heartbreaking . . . McClelland's reporting is very much from-the-ground-up, far livelier than we will ever get from the average foreign correspondent." Adam Hochschild
Part investigative journalism, part popular history, and part memoir of a midwestern, twenty-something woman living with refugee activists on the Burma-Thailand border, McClelland's account is one of hope and pain for a country torn apart.
There are bad things going on in Burma that you dont know about. Theres a civil war (the worlds longest running, in fact) raging between the government and ethnic rebels. Much of the United States heroin comes from there. And theres the small matter that America helped make it all possible with overt funding and the CIAs very first secret war. Of course, you wouldnt know any of this, because Burma is a country nearly shut out from the rest of the world, with the only footage of the carnage coming via groups of young, tough, booze-loving refugees who run into war zones to collect it. And with these refugees is where we find Mac McClelland embedded in her staggering debut, For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question. McClelland weaves a narrative that is part investigative journalism, part popular history, and part memoir of a Midwestern, twentysomething girl living with refugee activists on the Burma-Thailand border. Driven by the community McClelland is illegally aidinga small group of brave young men and womenFor Us Surrender Is Out of the Question is an urgent and fascinating look at a weary conflict, told by a bright, new voice.
About the Author
An editor at Mother Jones, Mac McClelland has published in Orion, Hustler, GQ, National Post, The Nation, and the Anderson Cooper 360 blog. She was born in Ohio and lives in San Francisco.