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Bigger than me by Peter Henderson
Peter Henderson has led a remarkable life. As a frontline TV news cameraman, he covered the brutal civil conflict in South Africa during the apartheid era, the Middle East flashpoints, the Bosnia-Herzegovina civil war as well as both invasions of Iraq. In doing so, not only were he and his team almost always first on the scene, Henderson radically transformed cumbersome television news-gathering into highly mobile units that could broadcast live from anywhere in the world. His company was the first to transmit on-the-spot coverage of the Rwandan genocide to a shocked world in 1994. It is also thanks to his digitalization of satellite news feeds that global audiences watched America’s “shock and awe” bombing of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in real-time. Not only a frontline journalist, he is also a true adventurer-entrepreneur, coming within a heartbeat of starting the first civilian airline in Iraq after the 2002 invasion (he was dubbed the ‘Branson of Baghdad’) as well as establishing a cellphone network for a charismatic guerrilla leader in the jungles of war-torn South Sudan. His life has been a rollercoaster ride of adrenaline-fueled adventure; from being thrown into a South Sudanese jail and shot at on the disputed Kashmiri border, to audaciously hiring former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s private jet while filming the breakup of the Soviet Union. This fascinating memoir, told from a ringside seat of history, provides an intimate record of the dying decades of last century, the birth of the current one, and the extraordinary challenges of the present.