In this essay, award-winning, veteran journalist Danny Schechter reflects back on his decades-long career in mainstream and independent journalism and offers advice for the next generation of reporters. Would be muckrakers, media critics, progressive journalists and speakers-of-truth-to-power, listen up: the News Dissector has something to say.
Putin's Oil has all the makings of a thriller novel: conspiracies, Kremlin politics, double agents, corporate espionage, mysterious deaths, and exile to Siberia. Except this is the true story of how then-president Vladimir Putin wrestled control of the oil giant Yukos, once one of Russia's most successful companies, from Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Ed Hancox delves into the machinations that landed a one-time billionaire in a Siberian prison.
With the world in a frenzy over the World Cup tournament, Lauren Young re-visits the newly re-issued How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer. Despite the books grandiose title, "its beauty is that it does not make a specific argument—by recognizing the messy heterogeneity of soccer’s effect on people, it very clearly shows the game’s power to drive right to the heart of a cultural or economic phenomenon." Read on...
Sebastian Junger's gripping reportage from the frontlines of Afghanistan is adrenaline-fused war reporting at its best. Shaun Randol reviews the harrowing account of a platoon of American soldiers battling a ferocious enemy in the Korengal Valley, the most dangerous part of the war-torn country. A philosophical rumination on war it is not, but War is as addictive as the fighting it portrays.
For the first time, the American National Security Strategy will focus on homegrown extremists "radicalized" on American soil. The focus represents a key plank of the country's global security policy. The White House would do well, then, to read Ed Husain's The Islamist, a memoir of a London Muslim who nearly became "radicalized," only to see the error of his ways. Lisa Allen reviews this timely portrait.
Necessity is the mother of all invention, so the saying goes. In a rural village in Malawi, William Kamkwamba needed electricity. So, he figured out how to build a windmill to generate power. It's a small idea, but the results were huge. Ed Hancox reviews William's story, as told in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
In Half the Sky, the husband-and-wife team of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn team up to shed light on the plights of many women around the world. Along the way, they offer up stories of courage and success, while also dishing out solutions to help those less fortunate. In this review, Ruthie Ackerman draws on her experiences working with women in Africa, applying doses of reality to the well-intentioned, often sunny outlooks presented by the authors.