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Ransom: The Untold Story of International Kidnapping

Hagedorn, Ann; Auerbach, Ann Hagedorn

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ISBN 10: 0805040781 / ISBN 13: 9780805040784
Verlag: Henry Holt & Co
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Hardcover
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0805040781 Very good in Very good price-clipped dust jacket. First Edition. Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BING62708

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Titel: Ransom: The Untold Story of International ...

Verlag: Henry Holt & Co

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition

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A riveting and frequently terrifying investigation of the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise--kidnapping for ransom and political advantage.

In Ransom, Ann Auerbach spans two years in the high-stakes world of international kidnapping, beginning on July 4, 1995, when terrorists seized an unsuspecting couple on the banks of a Himalayan river in Kashmir. Seamlessly moving between this story and others, the book shows how events in the post--Cold War era have compelled criminals, former rebels, former terrorists, and even former soldiers to turn to kidnapping to make a living. She discloses one shocking detail after another about the crime and its perpetrators, including trends that dramatically affect every businessperson and traveler venturing abroad.

Revealing hundreds of never-before-reported facts culled from interviews worldwide, Auerbach provides the first inside look at the highly secretive world of private kidnap negotiators, the little-known international role of the FBI, and the explosive controversies within governments on the question of ransom and other concessions. Most memorable, however, are the often-heroic sagas of individuals who have endured captivity or fought for the freedom of their loved ones.

Ransom entertains, informs, and warns. What The Hot Zone was to the threat of viruses, Ransom is to the larger menace of global kidnapping and terrorism.


Ransom opens with the story of five men taken hostage in 1995 in Kashmir, the hotly disputed paradise that lies between India and Pakistan. The men--two Britons, an American, a German, and a Norwegian--were tourists hiking their way through the breathtakingly beautiful part of the Himalayan mountains that crosses through Kashmir, when men with weapons appeared and snatched the five hostages from their wives, girlfriends, and fellow tourists. Interweaving the story of the Kashmir abduction with accounts of other kidnappings and interviews with antikidnapping "risk" experts, Ann Hagedorn Auerbach weaves a mesmerizing tale of kidnapping on a massive scale: as many as 20,000 to 30,000 incidents occur annually, she claims, up from about 6,000 per year during the 1980s.

Although most modern kidnappings are motivated by profit, she says, many are baffling and senseless. Auerbach ascribes some of the blame for the rise in kidnappings to the end of the cold war, which brought a substantial number of uneducated but highly trained soldiers into the mercenary pool as demilitarization slashed military budgets worldwide. Ransom also details the countermeasures that have been put into effect to combat the kidnapping problem, from the FBI's own recent internal revolution on the issue to the rise of high-tech "risk consultants," freelancers who provide danger assessments for corporations and individuals and who, if necessary, will fly to the scene of a hostage taking to negotiate with the kidnappers.

As for the five in Kashmir, one is dead: the Norwegian, his body found dismembered barely a month after the group was taken hostage. Of the remaining four, no word of their situation has come since December 1995, when the four men were allowed to record a message for their families. --Tjames Madison

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