by Dana Sachs
Bellevue Literary Press
As hundreds of thousands of displaced people sought refuge in Europe, the global relief system failed. This is the story of the volunteers who stepped forward to help.
In 2015, increasing numbers of refugees and migrants, most of them fleeing war-torn homelands, arrived by boat on the shores of Greece, setting off the greatest human displacement in Europe since WWII. As journalists reported horrific mass drownings, an ill-prepared and seemingly indifferent world looked on. Those who reached Europe needed food, clothing, medicine, and shelter, but the international aid system broke down completely.
All Else Failed is Dana Sachs's compelling eyewitness account of the successes--and failures--of the volunteer relief network that emerged to meet the enormous need. Closely following the odysseys of seven individual men and women, and their families, it tells a story of despair and resilience, revealing the humanity within an immense humanitarian disaster.
"Sachs chronicles what happened in Greece when Middle Eastern refugees and volunteers from around the world converged, imperfectly, often chaotically, but with empathy and generosity in ways that mattered and ways that moved me. Sometimes these impromptu communities fail in the end, but the fact that they succeeded for a time, against the odds, can teach us important lessons." -- Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark and Orwell's Roses
"Dana Sachs's vivid, passionate book will shake any faith you once had in international aid organizations. But it will move and inspire you, and bring a lump to your throat, by its portraits of big-hearted women and men from many countries who jumped in to help fellow human beings caught up in one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of our time." -- Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and To End All Wars
About the Author:
Dana Sachs is a journalist, novelist, and cofounder of the nonprofit Humanity Now: Direct Refugee Relief, which supports grassroots teams providing aid to displaced people. A former Fulbright Scholar, she is the author of three works of nonfiction, The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam; The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam, as well as the novels If You Lived Here and The Secret of the Nightingale Palace. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, and Mother Jones. Sachs lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.