The Man Who Tried to Save the World

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Journalist Scott Anderson is the author of THE FOUR O’CLOCK MURDERS: A TRUE STORY OF A MORMON’S FAMILY VENGEANCE (1993), the novel TRIAGE (1998), and coauthored with his brother Jon Lee Anderson WAR ZONES (1988). As a renowned war correspondent, Anderson is ideally suited to writing about the extraordinary life that Fred Cuny led. Before his death, Cuny had become known as one of the foremost relief workers in the world. He had been dubbed the “Master of Disaster.” Energetic to a fault, Cuny always believed that he could change disastrous situations for the better. Anderson opens part one of the book with a chapter that discusses the disappearance of Cuny. In April, 1995, he returned to Chechnya against the advice of others. The small group he was a member of ventured toward a rebel fortress that was being bombarded by Russian troops. No one from the group was ever seen again. A search was organized, but what really happened to Cuny and the other members of the group remains a mystery.

For part two of THE MAN WHO TRIED TO SAVE THE WORLD, Anderson details Cuny’s life from birth. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 14, 1944, the family moved to Texas in 1952. While he hoped to be a Marine pilot, he became involved in civil rights activities during the mid-1960’s. By 1969, Cuny was off to Biafra to help airlift emergency food supplies. This was only the beginning of his efforts to solve humanitarian disasters around the world. Over the...

(The entire section is 421 words.)