An Activist's Education: Dr. Samantha Nutt

In her new book, Damned Nations, physician-activist Samantha Nutt, 41, chronicles her evolution from starry-eyed and admittedly self-righteous twentysomething to cofounder and executive director of War Child, a non-profit whose programs benefit some 200,000 children and their familes each year. Click here to read MORE's exclusive interview with Nutt.

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Karbala, Iraq

Humanitarian physician Samantha Nutt helping to organize medical supplies for a children's hospital in Karbala, Iraq, shortly after U.S. troops arrived in Baghdad in 2003. In her new book Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid, Nutt recalls the dangers of her work in war zones and the increasingly devastating effects of war on civillians, especially women and children.

A Refugee Camp on the Thai-Burmese Border

As cofounder and excutive director of War Child, a Toronto-based nonprofit that fights for children's rights and helps establish educational programs and employment opportunities in war-ravaged communities, physician Samantha Nutt has worked in some of the most dangerous, devastated places on earth, including Burundi, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Darfur and Uganda.

Photo by Sabrina Usher

Samantha Nutt's New Book

In her provocative new book, Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid, Samanatha Nutt shows how the activists’ ability to help is increasingly compromised by the changing nature of contemporary warfare, specifically a “blurring of the lines between civilian and military operations.” Nutt’s life has been threatened at gunpoint, and she found herself in a hail of grenades and gunfire during an unexpected outbreak of armed conflict in Congo in 2004. She has survived the dangers of her work, but two of her close friends, women she got to know over the course of 12 visits to Iraq, were not as lucky; her book—part memoir, part call to action—includes a memorial to them. Their murders underscore a disturbing trend, she says: Attacks on aid workers have increased an astounding 177 percent since 1997, and some 80 percent of those who die in war now are civilians.


Click here to read MORE's interview with Samantha Nutt.


Click here to buy Nutt's new book.


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First Published September 27, 2011

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