Passport

What We’re Reading

Preeti Aroon: "The Healing," by Phil Zabriskie in the Washington Post Magazine. Paul was tortured in his native Cameroon, but managed to escape to the D.C. area. He received psychological help from Advocates for the Survivors of Torture and Trauma and was eventually granted asylum. But the pain hasn’t ended, as we learn from his ...

Preeti Aroon: "The Healing," by Phil Zabriskie in the Washington Post Magazine. Paul was tortured in his native Cameroon, but managed to escape to the D.C. area. He received psychological help from Advocates for the Survivors of Torture and Trauma and was eventually granted asylum. But the pain hasn’t ended, as we learn from his painful story.

Elizbeth Dickinson: An odd but intriguing piece from this issue of The Atlantic delves into how and why Brazilian rodeo-ers have become some of the best rough riders in town. Yet another reminder that a) Brazil is fast coming to dominate the cattle industry b) Brazil’s foreign policy is soft, powerful, and on the rise and c) Ain’t no party like a Sao Paolo party. 

Joshua Keating: Just started FP contributor Stephan Faris’ excellent Forecast: the Surprising — and Immediate — Effects of Climate Change,  a worldwide look at the political and security implications of global warming. 

Christina Larson: Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s account of the minutia and daily routine of fighting in Marja, Afghanistan. Chandrasekaran, who also reported extensively from Iraq for Washington Post, compares the ground reality in the two wars: "The battlefield privation here is unlike much of the combat in Iraq, which often involved day trips from large, well-appointed forward operating bases. Even when Marines there had to rough it, during the first and second campaigns for Fallujah, they didn’t have to walk as far and they remained closer to logistics vehicles … ‘This isn’t all that different from the way our fathers and grandfathers fought,’ said Cpl. Blake Burkhart, 22, of Oviedo, Fla."

Annie Lowrey: Today brings two long profiles of major economic figures from the recession-era: Paul Krugman in the New Yorker and Timothy Geithner  in Vogue. The former (which Krugman cheekily linked to on his New York Times blog with the words “Me, me, me, me”) tracks Krugman’s evolution from economist obsessed with dumb and smart to policy thinker obsessed with left and right (and right and wrong). The 10,000-worder is enlivened with personal detail: Krugman in board shorts, Krugman with his cats, Krugman drinking a pina colada, Krugman not seeing much of Stiglitz these days. I’m not through with the second piece yet, but thus far, I’ll note, it does well to humanize Geithner, who too often seems like little more than a D.C. punching bag or admin fall guy.

Britt Peterson: I’m reading a great novel by Jane Gardam, Old Filth. It’s the story of an aging British lawyer, Edward Feathers, a.k.a. Old Filth (“Failed In London, Try Hong kong”), a true child of the empire, brought up by a Malaysian nurse, spending much of his life in Hong Kong, and washing up in Dorset at the end. Filth is a evolutionary throwback (another character calls him a “coelacanth”), a relic of a time when empire brought people together in bizarre ways and nationality meant both less and more than it does now: i.e., Filth doesn’t learn English until he’s 5; yet his father refers to England, in Malay, as “Home” with a capital H.

Preeti Aroon: "The Healing," by Phil Zabriskie in the Washington Post Magazine. Paul was tortured in his native Cameroon, but managed to escape to the D.C. area. He received psychological help from Advocates for the Survivors of Torture and Trauma and was eventually granted asylum. But the pain hasn’t ended, as we learn from his painful story.

Elizbeth Dickinson: An odd but intriguing piece from this issue of The Atlantic delves into how and why Brazilian rodeo-ers have become some of the best rough riders in town. Yet another reminder that a) Brazil is fast coming to dominate the cattle industry b) Brazil’s foreign policy is soft, powerful, and on the rise and c) Ain’t no party like a Sao Paolo party. 

Joshua Keating: Just started FP contributor Stephan Faris’ excellent Forecast: the Surprising — and Immediate — Effects of Climate Change,  a worldwide look at the political and security implications of global warming. 

Christina Larson: Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s account of the minutia and daily routine of fighting in Marja, Afghanistan. Chandrasekaran, who also reported extensively from Iraq for Washington Post, compares the ground reality in the two wars: "The battlefield privation here is unlike much of the combat in Iraq, which often involved day trips from large, well-appointed forward operating bases. Even when Marines there had to rough it, during the first and second campaigns for Fallujah, they didn’t have to walk as far and they remained closer to logistics vehicles … ‘This isn’t all that different from the way our fathers and grandfathers fought,’ said Cpl. Blake Burkhart, 22, of Oviedo, Fla."

Annie Lowrey: Today brings two long profiles of major economic figures from the recession-era: Paul Krugman in the New Yorker and Timothy Geithner  in Vogue. The former (which Krugman cheekily linked to on his New York Times blog with the words “Me, me, me, me”) tracks Krugman’s evolution from economist obsessed with dumb and smart to policy thinker obsessed with left and right (and right and wrong). The 10,000-worder is enlivened with personal detail: Krugman in board shorts, Krugman with his cats, Krugman drinking a pina colada, Krugman not seeing much of Stiglitz these days. I’m not through with the second piece yet, but thus far, I’ll note, it does well to humanize Geithner, who too often seems like little more than a D.C. punching bag or admin fall guy.

Britt Peterson: I’m reading a great novel by Jane Gardam, Old Filth. It’s the story of an aging British lawyer, Edward Feathers, a.k.a. Old Filth (“Failed In London, Try Hong kong”), a true child of the empire, brought up by a Malaysian nurse, spending much of his life in Hong Kong, and washing up in Dorset at the end. Filth is a evolutionary throwback (another character calls him a “coelacanth”), a relic of a time when empire brought people together in bizarre ways and nationality meant both less and more than it does now: i.e., Filth doesn’t learn English until he’s 5; yet his father refers to England, in Malay, as “Home” with a capital H.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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