The New York Review Abroad: Fifty Years of International Reportage
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For the past fifty years, The New York Review of Books has covered virtually every international revolution and movement of consequence by dispatching the world’s most brilliant writers to write eyewitness accounts. The New York Review Abroad not only brings together twenty-eight of the most riveting of these pieces but includes epilogues that update and reassess the political situation (by either the original authors or by Ian Buruma). Among the pieces included are:
• Susan Sontag’s personal narrative of staging Waiting for Godot in war-torn Sarajevo
• Alma Guillermoprieto’s report from inside Colombia’s guerrilla headquarters and her disturbing encounter with young female fighters
• Ryszard Kapuscinski’s terrifying description of being set on fire while running roadblocks in Nigeria
• Caroline Blackwood’s coverage of the 1979 gravediggers’ strike in Liverpool—a noir mini-masterpiece
• Timothy Garton Ash’s minute-by-minute account from the Magic Lantern theater in Prague in 1989, where the subterranean stage, auditorium, foyers, and dressing rooms had become the headquarters of the revolution
Among other writers whose New York Review pieces will be included are Tim Judah, Amos Elon, Joan Didion, William Shawcross, Christopher de Bellaigue, and Mark Danner.
A tour de force of vivid and enlightening writing from the front lines, this volume is indeed the first rough draft of the history of the past fifty years.
observes can lead to ruinous disillusionment, or jail. For the released prisoners, enforced silence seems a particularly cruel restriction, because people who have spent time in jail necessarily have terrible things they need to tell. I heard a story from a man who had served three and a half years of his seven-year sentence (again, for “enemy propaganda”) before the Pope put his name on a list. He spent the months between the time of his arrest and final sentencing at the detention center run
notes that the “elimination of Saddam and his dynasty may demoralize pro-regime insurgents but may actually embolden anti-regime and anti-US insurgents who may have held back in the past … because of the barely submerged fears that the regime could come back.” 23 Left Out in Turkey Christopher de Bellaigue The first decade of the twenty-first century was the time when ghosts of the old Ottoman Empire began to stir once more. The empire was not exactly reconstituted; Cairo and
the first time, fully ninety years after the events of 1915,” Talat Pasha, the Ottoman grand vizier who ordered the deportations, “speaks, joining the debate with hitherto unpublished documents from his personal archive!” During the next few days, a series of articles taken from Talat’s journal purported to show that the chief vizier, who was assassinated by an Armenian in 1921, had been much concerned for the welfare of the deportees. The evident purpose behind this display of opinion was to
because he is a policeman. If he himself owns a precious car, it too may burn, should he be suspected of being, or even be mistaken for, some less obvious form of collaborator. While we white people picnic, Sundays are the most dreadful days of all in Soweto: funerals, the only category of public gathering not banned, have become huge mass meetings where the obsequies of the riot victim being buried are marked by new deaths and fresh wounds as the police attack mourners singing freedom songs and
national, religious, and social awareness. We need courses of public education, lectures in ethics, something along the lines of the interwar workers’ universities. It is a fundamental matter, and the Church should participate in it. Its end? So that the next time there is a similar popular rising, a push for freedom, time will not be wasted on the unessential; people must learn to distinguish what is important, on what issues there can be no compromise, and on which, for the time being, there