A Rope and a Prayer: The Story of a Kidnapping

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The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.

Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists, in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded. Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden.

In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality that characterizes the militant Islam espoused by David's captors.

In the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde's relationship and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great cultural divide-and challenge-of our time.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bakersfieldbarbara - LibraryThing

I gave this book a 5 star rating because it deserves it, but I stumbled over some of David's Rohde's description of his plight in captivity out of anxiety of my own, not anything to do with his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - caroren - LibraryThing

For a harrowing seven months of captivity, Rohde, a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times foreign correspondent on assignment in war-torn Afghanistan, survived after being kidnapped, with two Afghan ... Read full review

Contents

Kristen
A BLOOD MESSAGE TO OBAMA
MILLIONS
CRASH COURSE
ALL THREE OF US
HUMAN RESOURCES
SPEAK GOOD WORDS TO AN ENEMY
ARE YOU THERE?
BIRTHDAY WISHES
HOME MOVIES
EPILOGUE
ARTICLES
BOOKS
DOCUMENTS AND REPORTS
RESOURCES FOR KIDNAP VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

David Rohde, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, is a reporter for The New York Times and the author of Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica. He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for helping uncover the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia for The Christian Science Monitor and his second in 2009 as part of The New York Times’ team covering Afghanistan and Pakistan.

David and Kristen both grew up in New England and graduated from Brown University. They live in New York.
Kristen Mulvihill has been a fashion and photography editor at various women’s magazines, including Marie Claire and Self. Most recently, she was the photography director of Cosmopolitan magazine. She is also a painter and illustrator.

David and Kristen both grew up in New England and graduated from Brown University. They live in New York.

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