Richard Hamilton, “The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco” (I. B. Taurus, 2011)
Few places can match the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech for spectacle. As the shadows lengthen and dusk approaches, the square seethes with snake charmers, charlatans, showmen and chancers, all shrouded in charcoal smoke from dozens of makeshift food stalls.… Read More
Howard Spodek, “Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth Century India” (Indiana University Press, 2011)
As Ahmedabad, the chief city of Gujarat state in Western India, puts itself up as a contender for World Heritage status, Howard Spodek’s lovely book, Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth Century India (Indiana University Press, 2011), can only give a… Read More
James Brabazon, “My Friend the Mercenary: A Memoir” (Canongate, 2010)
In February 2002, British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war-torn country. To protect him, he hired Nick du Toit, a former South African Defence… Read More
Stevan Allen, “Roaming Ghostland: The Final Days of East Germany” (Xlibris, 2010)
We like to think of countries as permanent fixtures. They aren’t. They come and go. In 1989, a place called the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or East Germany, was going. It was never really an “ordinary” place. In the West… Read More
Matthew Goodman, “The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York” (Basic Books, 2008)
The modern newspaper is not as old as you think. Until the early nineteenth century, they were thin and expensive. It was only with the advent of the penny press circa 1830 that the truly mass broadsheet was born. Yet… Read More
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