Suffice to say there’s a wealth of insight here. The book’s only major flaw is its design. Although nicely packaged for reading at home or on the plane, it doesn’t appear to be built for duress. Future editions would benefit from a waterproof carrying case and/or plastic pages.

Additionally the book’s index, tucked into nine pages at the back, is a bit too small. In the event of a dangerous situation, a large and easy-to-read font seems like a must. Although converting the entire manual into an A to Z reference would likely damage its charming repore, more thought could have been given to those poor souls who may be flipping through in an emergency.

But on the whole, Garthwaite has put together a truly noble and worthy effort stuffed full of valuable information. It’s the kind of reference that could become standard-issue for journalists, government actors, NGO workers, and the like. And it’s the kind of manual that will almost certainly save lives.

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Kevin Douglas Grant is deputy editor for special reports at GlobalPost.