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Third Edition / Hachette 2018 

Critical Reviews

Top-listed as 


“Best Book of the Year”

"Steven Poole's NON FICTION CHOICE." - The Guardian

“A great book and a fun read!” - CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS Book of the Week

“A dark and surprisingly funny insider's account” - Foreign Policy Magazine

"An insightful exposé, spiked with outraged wit."  – Kirkus Reviews

“Soussan landed the job of his dreams, working for the United Nations on the biggest aid programme it had ever attempted. However, anyone familiar with the tales of Soussan's fellow countryman Hans Christian Andersen will expect dark truths to emerge from the most apparently innocent exteriors. Even to the cynics […] this book will come as a revelation.”  – The Sunday Times

“A fascinating and appalling story of […] the most corrupt enterprise ever overseen by an international agency.” –  Morning Star(UK)

"In his amusing ant's-eye memoir … told by a young do-gooder who thought he could change the world by enlisting with the UN, Soussan discovered that he had fallen into a mire of endless jealousies and hatreds, labyrinthine turf battles and a determined effort never to confront reality." – New York Post

“[An] absorbing memoir…. Soussan brings provocative wit, a keen eye for detail and a knack for revealing anecdotes to this important account of the rampant greed, hypocrisy and cynicism festering behind the United Nations’ humanitarian credo.”  – Publishers Weekly


“Soussan writes with a crisp sense of the absurd,”  – Forbes Magazine


“an astute observer of diplomatic psychoses,”  –  The Irish Times


“Although it reads like a novel, Backstabbing for Beginners could never be one: the characters and situations described are simply too ludicrous and implausible to be anything but the truth. An extraordinary book...” – Scott Anderson, author of “The Man Who Tried To Save The World and contributor to VANITY FAIR


"There are echoes of Catch 22 in Soussan’s narrative […] a compelling, fascinating … humorous and eminently readable book." Ian Williams, Chief of UN’s Correspondent Club


“If you ever wondered about questioning authority, Backstabbing for Beginners will confirm your worst fears; books like this make conspiracy theorists of us all."– Mike Sager, author of Revenge of the Donut Boys” and Writer-at-Large for Esquire Magazine

You will get so caught up in this book you won’t be able to put it  down [… ] after which you will be calling your friends to tell them they must read it, too." – Nicholas von Hoffman, author of The Devil’s Dictionary of Business and columnist for The New York Observer


"Hilarious and tragic at the same time. Soussan gives us a fascinating insider’s view of the UN’s bureaucratic underbelly. If this were a film (and it could be a great one), it would be ‘The Office’ meets ‘Syriana’."– John Hanshaw, Director of the Washington Film Institute

Only a great observer could write these words…. [Soussan] was able to turn observation into […] a great universal truth about freedom. If you want a real life play-by-play of how a bureaucracy can get out of control, this book is must reading"– The Economic Policy Journal


"Soussan’s adventures (and misadventures!) in the world of international diplomacy can inform international decisions today"– Joy Cardin, NPR 

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