I mainly got Anita Pratap's book Island Of Blood (2003) as background reading for my upcoming trip to Sri Lanka. It delivered on that front in the first section, "Sri Lanka: A Ravaged Nation" but I was equally impressed with the other sections of the book: "Afghanistan: The Doomed Nation," "Ayodahya: The Cycle of Revenge," and "The Survivors: The Faces of Human Tragedy." Pratap has had a long and varied career as a print and TV journalist fro Time and CNN. She has seen some terrible sights in her career and lived to tell the tale of these tragic events. Most notably the civil war in Sri Lanka, but she has witnessed other wars and countless tragedies and has reported admirably. It is a sort of modern history as told by a journalist-which is the best war to have your history told in my opinion. Her writing style is very lively and focuses on people's stories-in this collection often her own-she will relate a story about a vacation in one of her favorite places before going on to explain how horrible Afghanistan was in the late 90s for example. It was a compelling collection of memorable stories she had covered over the years.