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A Long Way Gone

The Sound of Ideas
Monday, September 3, 2007 at 9:00 am
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When the war in Sierra Leone came to his village, Ishmael Beah didn't just lose his family and his friends. He says he lost himself. "The first killing is very traumatic," he says, "and after that, you normalize the situation. This is what happens in the context of war. I was so traumatized and drugged and constantly violent, I begun to accept this world , this reality as my only reality and nothing more, so I fully embraced it." Ishmael Beah's book is called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. In it, he tells the story of becoming a child soldier, losing himself to the war and then, eventually, regaining his humanity. Beah not only found himself but escaped the war and graduated from Oberlin College. He's coming back this month to speak at Oberlin, and in a special Labor Day show, we reprise our conversation with him. Join us Monday morning at nine.

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Ishmael Beah, author and humanitarian

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