August 2, 1995

War of the Mines: Cambodia, Landmines and the Impoverishment of a Nation

Author Affiliations

Health Volunteers Overseas Washington, DC


by Paul Davies, 172 pp, with illus, $79.95, ISBN 0-7453-0859-7, paper, $24.95, London, England, Pluto Press, Boulder, Colo, Westview Press, distributor, 1994.

JAMA. 1995;274(5):429. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530050077038

Land mines may be one of the greatest ecological disasters of the 20th century, as documented in a number of recent books by Asia Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, and the International Committees of the Red Cross (ICRC). War of the Mines by Paul Davies better describes the horrors of the problem by giving the details of what has happened to one country, Cambodia. In contrast to many other texts, this book is written primarily by one author, making it far more readable than multiauthored works.

The book starts with a brief, well-done history of Cambodia and its most recent wars. It then gives an overview of the land mine problem in the country, describing types of mines, the injuries they cause, their locations throughout Cambodia, and the medical system available to help the wounded.

The best parts of the book, besides describing in detail the horror of the injuries

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