Hope in Hell

Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders (Firefly Books, new edition 2010) is a portrait of the world’s largest independent medical humanitarian organization. The book first appeared in 2004 and has been thoroughly revised for 2010, with new material based on the author’s visit to Haiti just months before the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince.

Founded by a rebellious group of French doctors in 1971, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) sends more than 3,000 personnel to some 80 different countries every year. In 1999, their work was recognized with the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Based on personal stories, Hope in Hell reveals the human face of the most respected aid agency in the world.

Hear Dan discuss the book in the following interviews:

As it Happens, CBC Radio (November 11, 2004)
Writer’s Café, Ottawa (November 2004)

What the reviewers say:

“This book can break your heart and give you hope for humanity at the same time. The stories and photographs portray both the worst and best we humans have to offer each other.”
Ingram Library Services

“It is in the considerable detail that Bortolotti gives to the emotions of the group’s staff members that the book really shines. Having been on a mission to Afghanistan, I found Bortolotti’s account to be authentic… The poignancy of the stories, coupled with a revealing account of the inner workings of Doctors Without Borders, makes this book informative and touching.”
New England Journal of Medicine

“Inspired… Much of what Bortolotti reports is absent from the daily headlines, so this eye-opening account is all the more chilling, and MSF’s efforts achingly more compelling.” [starred review]

“Anyone interested in the realities of public-service medicine should read Dan Bortolotti’s portrait… a comprehensive picture.”
The Lancet

“A nuanced portrait of an organization that has captured the romantic imagination of the public… This highly readable book helps all of us to understand just how profound many of [MSF’s] projects are and, in the process, humanizes many of the organization’s volunteers.”
Tucson Citizen

Hope in Hell doesn’t disappoint, providing many a gripping tale… It will no doubt interest a wide swath of readers.”
Quill & Quire

“A worthwhile read for prospective international aid volunteers, interested donors and for anyone committed to what [MSF] calls ‘the rights and dignity’ of others.”
The Globe and Mail

“Filled with blood, guts and ultimately a strong faith in humanity… Hope in Hell makes for riveting reading.”

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