An Imperfect Offering by James Orbinski

1250 Words Jul 8th, 2018 5 Pages
An Imperfect Offering is a powerful personal memoir from a James Orbinski, a Canadian who has spent most of his adult life in front-line humanitarian work in the world's worst conflict zones. Despite its dark chapters, it is also a hopeful story about the emergence of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a new and independent agent of civil society, and the possibilities of making the world a better place. In “An Imperfect Offering”, James Orbinski tells the story of people who have been harmed by war, and humanitarian workers who have come to heal them when possible. He engages in deep reflection on the nature of humanitarian response and the many threats to this most human activity. He has sharp criticism for governments who act to cause …show more content…
Orbinski’s use of evidence is very convincing because of the perspective that he gives. As a doctor in war torn countries, Orbinski is able to give a first-hand account of what is occurring on the ground. This evidence is valuable to the study of international relations since information can become twisted when taken out of context. In addition, this first hand account includes more than just the military, economic and philosophical factors that resulted in a conflict, which are usually discussed when studying from a textbook. Instead, this experience allows for the reader to understand what humans are truly capable of and it restores a human element to a political narrative. Orbinski’s writing never stoops to sentimentality, even as he describes these profoundly moving moments.
However, because the book is written as a memoir, the author does not come into evidence counter to his own, and if there is information that the author does not know he openly states this fact, and continues to move on with his story. This is typically, seen as a pitfall to most ideas. However, since Orbinski does not deal with counter evidence, his stories have not been tainted and come purely from his own point of view. In addition, by stating his lack of knowledge in certain areas it allows the reader to go off

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