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Pale Blue hope by Ronald Poulton

Pale Blue Hope: Death and Life in Asian Peacekeeping

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Working for the United Nations is often dangerous, and sometimes, an ­utterly futile endeavour.

Human rights lawyer Ronald Poulton has experienced working for the United Nations first hand. Pale Blue Hope is his account of working for the UN in Cambodia and Tajikistan.

In Cambodia, Poulton investigated human rights violations and political murders before returning to Canada. Later, at the request of the un, Poulton accepted the position of legal advisor in Tajikistan to investigate the ambush and killing of a UN observer force called Team Garm.

Poulton vividly captures life in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, a city full of fear and general curfews and secure steel doors, where political murders are common and suspicion stalks the streets. He quickly learns that his task will be more daunting than he imagined, complicated by un incompetence and regulations and a Tajik culture that sees him as an intruder.

Haunted by his experiences in Cambodia, Poulton chooses engagement with the Tajik people over the security of the un enclave as he puzzles his way to discovering who really killed Team Garm.


Pale Blue Hope is, in the broadest sense, a story about how Canada comes up against the rest of the world—at least its faraway, exotic corners. At the same time, it is a story we hardly ever hear and probably do not really want to hear, for which reason it deserves a wide readership.

Larry Krotz, Literary Review of Canada

Short-listed for the 2010 Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher

Turnstone Press

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Winnipeg, MB   R3B 1H3
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Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.

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