Book Review: Friendly Fire
November 1, 2012
Friendly Fire by Nathan and Jennifer Winograd is the book no kill advocates have been waiting for. Although Redemption is the book I wish everyone interested in or skeptical of the movement would read, I think Friendly Fire is the book they actually will read. I say this because the formatting of the pages in Friendly Fire caters to the way many of us are accustomed to receiving our news nowadays – in information-packed chunks combining text and graphics.
On the one hand, a reader can start at page 1 and read continuously through in the traditional manner. On the other hand, some readers – particularly skeptics – are less likely to make this kind of commitment at the outset. Those readers – and encouraging people outside the movement to learn more about it is always a good idea – might read just one or two pages to start off. Just to take a look-see. And this is where the book layout serves a dual function in not only being attractive and user-friendly but also offering even the most skeptical reader an opportunity to easily take a bite of the book and decide if he wants to sit down at the table. I’m betting most will because, even if the reader opens to a random page, he will find a gripping story which can be readily consumed in a short period of time.
This is one of my favorite graphics from the book, featured in a section which discusses the fabled “5 years to no kill” plan that municipal facilities seem fond of offering instead of simply ending the killing today:
Friendly Fire is not an angry rant against the wealthy animal welfare organizations and municipal shelters who repeatedly fail pets in this country although it unflinchingly takes these institutions to task. The book contains personal stories which will instantly engage the reader. A number of individual cats and dogs are profiled, many of whom regular readers of this blog will recognize right away. In addition, the book offers not just an examination of problems but actionable solutions for pet advocates. I think the section on how to respond to the standard excuses and attacks from killing apologists will be particularly useful for advocates and hopefully give pause to some shelter directors who recognize their own patterns of behavior.
Friendly Fire lives up to the expectations set by Nathan Winograd’s previous books, Redemption and Irreconcilable Differences. No kill advocates will want to make a space on their bookshelves for this one. And I hope Friendly Fire will find its way onto the bookshelves of many who are currently outside the movement as well. This book could help to open some of the hearts, minds and doors currently closed to the no kill movement.
Full Disclosure: I received no financial compensation for this review. I did receive a copy of the book with a request – not an obligation – to review it, good or bad.