Author(s): Tom Feiling
For decades, Colombia was the 'narcostate'. Now travel to Colombia and South America is on the rise, and it's seen as one of the rising stars of the global economy. Where does the truth lie? Writer and journalist Tom Feiling, author of the acclaimed study of cocaine "The Candy Machine", has journeyed throughout Colombia, down roads that were until recently too dangerous to travel, to paint a fresh picture of one of the world's most notorious and least-understood countries. He talks to former guerrilla fighters and their ex-captives; women whose sons were 'disappeared' by paramilitaries; the nomadic tribe who once thought they were the only people on earth and now charge $10 for a photo; the Japanese 'emerald cowboy' who made a fortune from mining; and revels in the stories that countless ordinary Colombians tell. How did a land likened to paradise by the first conquistadores become a byword for hell on earth? Why is one of the world's most unequal nations also one of its happiest? How is it rebuilding itself after decades of violence, and how successful has the process been so far? Vital, shocking, often funny and never simplistic, Short Walks from Bogota unpicks the tangled fabric of Colombia, to create a stunning work of reportage, history and travel writing.
Creates a portrait of Colombia that is perceptive, unsensational, and full of humanity ... Feiling is a brilliant reporter, lucid, unflinching, morally engaged, and with an occasional deadpan sense of humour .. one of the most consistently intelligent and compelling books to have appeared on any South American country in recent years -- Michael Jacobs Independent [Praise for The Candy Machine] The Candy Machine is highly addictive Metro A vivid, argumentative, arresting book Sunday Telegraph I've read a few documentary accounts of the rise of cocaine, and this might be the best of them. It's clear, sharp and solid. Very well told Evening Standard
Tom Feiling spent a year living and working in Colombia before making Resistencia: Hip-Hop in Colombia, which won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, and was broadcast in four countries. In 2003 he became Campaigns Director for the TUC's Justice for Colombia campaign, which organizes for human rights in Colombia. His first book was The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over The World, which was based on over sixty interviews with people involved in all aspects of the cocaine business and the 'war on drugs,' and was published by Penguin in 2009.