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Summary

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2020 

A Times and Sunday Times Best Book of 2020  

From award-winning war reporter and co-author of I Am Malala, this is the first major account to address the scale of rape and sexual violence in modern conflict. Christina Lamb has worked in war and combat zones for over 30 years. 

In Our Bodies, Their Battlefield she gives voice to the women of conflicts, exposing how in today’s warfare, rape is used by armies, terrorists and militias as a weapon to humiliate, oppress and carry out ethnic cleansing. Speaking to survivors first-hand, Lamb encounters the suffering and bravery of women in war and meets those fighting for justice. From Southeast Asia where ‘comfort women’ were enslaved by the Japanese during World War Two to the Rwandan genocide, when an estimated quarter of a million women were raped, to the Yazidi women and children of today who witnessed the mass murder of their families before being enslaved by ISIS. 

Along the way Lamb uncovers incredible stories of heroism and resistance, including the Bosnian women who have hunted down more than a hundred war criminals, the Aleppo beekeeper rescuing Yazidis and the Congolese doctor who has risked his life to treat more rape victims than anyone else on earth. Rape may be as old as war but it is a preventable crime. Bearing witness does not guarantee it won’t happen again, but it can take away any excuse that the world simply didn’t know. 

©2020 Christina Lamb (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A wake-up call to the magnitude and horrors of rape in war - the world's most neglected war crime. These women’s stories will make you weep, and then rage at the world's indifference." (Amal Clooney)

"Christina Lamb has done the impossible – and written women into history. This book, Our Bodies, Their Battlefield is an extraordinary achievement ofin depth journalism, powerful storytelling, grit and heart. A wake up call to the magnitude and horror of rape of women throughout history and the world." (Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues)

"For millennia mass rape has been a weapon of war. But the testimony of abuse is almost entirely absent from all recorded history. At last this brave, beautiful and brutal book allows victims to speak – devastatingly, inspirationally." (Bettany Hughes)

What listeners say about Our Bodies, Their Battlefield

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desecration of the body and soul

I found the book disturbing , the inhuman acts committed on innocent women and children .This can be quite a hard read the relentless cruelty justified on religious ,ethnic witchcraft and just plain evil actions . The lack of justice these people get is just disgraceful.

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A really tough listen but stick with it

This book is so full of pain and suffering, but I learned so much. We ALL need to read this book.

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Hard to hear but please listen.

Hard to read but harder to live through. Shocking. Feel lucky to have not lived in a war let alone anything else. Was actually impressed with their strength, courage and the future hope. Please listen, only with a knowledge increase and hearing the women's words will awareness be created and changes happen.

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Mind-blowing and important book.

Everyone should read and discuss this incredible book. Few books have moved me more.

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An essential listen.

This book gives a voice to so many victims across the globe. It is a difficult and harrowing listen but reveals the true strength, courage and compassion in all of the people effected by the heinous acts against women and children during conflict.

I have found the experience of listening to this book to be empowering and motivating. It is well written and narrated with an immense amount of research given to it. I believe that it would appeal to both women and men, and that the subject matter relates to all in society.

As harrowing as some of the accounts are, I think that it is time for everyone to understand and appreciate the extent and severity of suffering brought upon women during war. There is so much that the media do not expose to the public in Western society. Change only happens with knowledge and understanding, which is why books such as this make for compelling and essential reading/listening.

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Essential listening...

... for us all. Brilliantly researched. Harrowing in its detail. Inspired by the brave women who risked so much to speak out. Heartbroken for them all, especially the very young. How can this still be happening? Left me feeling sad and more than a little hopeless. How do we achieve a change in a worldwide collective mindset that could bring about an end to this absolutely abhorrent and unforgivable behaviour?