The Trade (Hardcover)

My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping

By Jere Van Dyk

PublicAffairs, 9781610394314, 448pp.

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (2/6/2018)
MP3 CD (2/6/2018)

List Price: 28.00*
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A former hostage in the tribal areas of Pakistan returns to meet his kidnappers and uncover how political kidnappings and ransomings take place in the shadows of the world's most lawless territories.

In 2014, Jere Van Dyk traveled to Afghanistan to try to discover the motives behind a kidnapping that had occurred six years earlier--his own. He was haunted by questions about why he was taken and why he was released, and troubled by the refusal of his friends, employer, and government employees to offer him a full account of what they knew. An experienced investigative reporter, he began a quest to interrogate the accuracy of everything he was told, including from the people he trusted most.

In pursuing his kidnappers, and the stories of the intermediaries and money men, Van Dyk uncovered not just the story of his own abduction but the operation of what he calls the Trade: the business of kidnapping. Operating according to its own shadowy rules, the Trade has become a murky form of negotiation between criminal groups, corporations, families, and governments who have no formal lines of communication.

Van Dyk's journey took him from up near the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, to the tea shops of Kabul, to the Obama White House, and revealed evidence of lucrative transactions and rival bandit groups working under the direction of intelligence services. In its course, he met the families of many Americans who were or are still kidnapped, bargaining chips at the mercy of violent and pitiless extremists who thrive in the world's most lawless spaces.

About the Author

Jere Van Dyk was born in Washington state and raised in a family of Plymouth Brethren. He first went to Afghanistan in 1973 when he and his younger brother drove an old Volkswagen from Germany to Kabul. He returned in 1981 as a young reporter for the New York Times and lived with the mujahideen, our allies fighting the Soviet Union. There, and later when he became the director of Friends of Afghanistan, a non-profit organization overseen by the National Security Council and the State Department, he got to know the leaders who were linked from the beginning with al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, with Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, and from which emerged the Islamic State.

After 9/11, he returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan for CBS News, for which he covered the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl in Karachi. In 2008, he was the next American journalist kidnapped in Pakistan. He is the author of Captive and In Afghanistan.

Praise For The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping

"Journalist Van Dyk's
gripping follow-up to Captive-a memoir about his 2008 abduction in
Afghanistan-probes the machinations of the criminals, terrorists, and
governments behind his ordeal.... Like a Le Carré novel, Van Dyk's narrative
conjures disorientation, danger, and paranoia as he ponders the hidden motives
of the smiling, solicitous men he encounters, all the while conveying his
deep-seated anguish."—Publishers Weekly

Dyk is a methodical and sensitive reporter, and his emotions are made
vivid....There is much to admire in [his] character: his perseverance, the stark
pioneer spirit honed in his youth, his desire to seek the truth."—The New York Times Book Review