More Terrible than Death reviews


“A vividly written and often mesmerizing first-hand account of the violence” The Wall Street Journal

“An exasperatingly appropriate guide…With an uncanny reservoir of guts and fortitude, [Kirk] has put herself at considerable risk in gathering the evidence she needed…Her stories of tempting the assassins are disturbing and engrossing, and she provides as complete an explanation of the country’s predicament as readers will find in English.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

“Kirk’s book features dramatic, often funny, and sometimes terrifying tales of her travels as a human rights researcher in Colombia…She does a remarkable job of synthesizing Colombian history for a U.S. audience…Well-written and wide-ranging, [MTTD] offer[s] something to novice readers and Latin American experts alike.”—NACLA Journal

“Anyone who is truly interested in understanding the dark complexities of the civil war in Colombia must read this book. To that end, “More terrible than death: Massacres, Drugs, and America’s War in Colombia,” is an absolute masterpiece.  Author Robin Kirk is brutally honest and quite frankly…very lucky to be alive to tell this story. Upon completing this book the reader will conclude that Kirk is a sincere and thoughtful student of the human condition in Colombia. Kirk is also a front line witness of a secret and savage dirty war. To this end, she is able to draft a brilliant synopsis of the violent actors in Colombia. Kirk is special. She refuses to lose her cool despite being surrounded by death. Her polished prose calms. Kirk’s words do not jump off the pages and shout at you…instead they cling to you and then sink to the bottom of your soul. The end result is a deep disgust of the Colombian government for not protecting defenseless civilians outside the big cities. Without a doubt, the leaders of Colombia…particularly in the military will consider this book a hard slap to the face. Kirk cleverly documents Colombia’s long history of conducting a ruthless dirty war against the poor. The author uses a series of flashbacks and flash forwards to liven the pace of events. Moreover, Kirk displays an extraordinary talent for writing. The bottom line of this book is that the political leaders of Colombia must sanitize its armed forces of paramilitary death squads. Kirk is not a doomsday author. She does her homework and uses her intimate knowledge of life in Colombia to unfold a stirring narrative. This book is a surefire national bestseller that will redden the faces of Colombian leaders and boil the blood of American taxpayers. Because as Kirk brilliantly tells it…millions of dollars in American military aid…continues to flow to blatant human rights abusers in the Colombian armed forces.” —
Bert Ruiz on Amazon