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By Patricia Evangelista
New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A “journalistic masterpiece” (The New Yorker) about a nation careening into violent autocracy—told through harrowing stories of the Philippines’ state-sanctioned killings of its citizens—from a reporter of international renown“Tragic, elegant, vital . . . Evangelista risked her life to tell this story.”—Tara Westover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EducatedONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW’S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARA BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Time, Chicago Public Library“My job is to go to places where people die. I pack my bags, talk to the survivors, write my stories, then go home to wait for the next catastrophe. I don’t wait very long.”Journalist Patricia Evangelista came of age in the aftermath of a street revolution that forged a new future for the Philippines. Three decades later, in the face of mounting inequality, the nation discovered the fragility of its democratic institutions under the regime of strongman Rodrigo Duterte.Some People Need Killing is Evangelista’s meticulously reported and deeply human chronicle of the Philippines’ drug war. For six years, Evangelista chronicled the killings carried out by police and vigilantes in the name of Duterte’s war on drugs—a war that has led to the slaughter of thousands—immersing herself in the world of killers and survivors and capturing the atmosphere of fear created when an elected president decides that some lives are worth less than others.The book takes its title from a vigilante whose words seemed to reflect the psychological accommodation that most of the country had made: “I’m really not a bad guy,” he said. “I’m not all bad. Some people need killing.”A profound act of witness and a tour de force of literary journalism, Some People Need Killing is also a brilliant dissection of the grammar of violence and an important investigation of the human impulses to dominate and resist.