At Home in the World: Collected Writings from The Wall Street Journal Hardcover – Jun 18 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
One of the special talents of the late Wall Street Journal reporter Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by Pakistani Islamic extremists earlier this year while working on a story, was creating arresting leads. "Dusan Dujic has a seemingly modest ambition: to die in his own house," begins one of his stories, on the persistence of ethnic segregation in Croatia. "This is a small town in search of a really big floor," begins another, on the world's largest carpet in Ben, Iran. Yet this collection, which gathers 50 of Pearl's pieces from the last 10 years, makes it clear that the clever opening line was the least of Pearl's talents: he fills his elegant stories with memorable, vivid characters without sacrificing complexity. Selected by Pearl's friend and colleague Cooper, assistant bureau chief of the Journal's Washington bureau, the articles showcase his foreign correspondence (he worked in the London, Paris and Bombay bureaus, as well as in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.) and some of his niches: music, tech and communications; the "counterintuitive" story (Hindu India has a thriving cow leather industry; the war in Kosovo was not really genocide). The range of subject matter is wide: he reports on Pashtun Afghani refugees cheerfully making a profit by buying up afghanis every time there is a Taliban battlefield defeat; a new technique for surgically extracting caviar from sturgeon without killing the fish; and a nine-year-old "Little Miss Georgia" who was stripped of her crown on the kiddie beauty pageant circuit. Cooper has done a nice job choosing stories with staying power; though a handful of them do feel like old news, most of these thoughtful and often witty pieces will be a treat for readers who missed them the first time around and the book as a whole stands as a fitting tribute to a journalist who lost his life in the pursuit of truth.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Pearl was a reporter who loved the truth. His acceptance and tolerance of differences among people garnered him respect from his colleagues and a position as bureau chief of the South Asia division of the Wall Street Journal. Kidnapped and viciously murdered in February 2002 by Islamic extremists in Pakistan, Pearl gave his life for the values he held as a journalist and as a humanitarian. This book is a memorial to this courageous man. Edited by his friend and Wall Street Journal colleague Cooper, the book comprises 50 stories by Pearl that appeared during his 12-year reporting career. Organized thematically, the book reveals Pearl's ability to cover diverse topics, ranging from the serious (war-ravaged Kosovo) to the mundane (Iran's pop music stars). A foreword by Pearl's wife, Mariane, a French freelance journalist, celebrates a man dedicated to his profession and to making the world a better place. Proceeds from the book will go to the Daniel Pearl Foundation to aid his wife and child. For academic and larger public libraries. Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
I like the way this book is organized: six parts, each one highlighting a literary style or theme infused with interesting facets of Mr. Pearl's life and personality (Editor Helene Cooper provides some insightful anecdotes at the beginning). For example, Part Four ("Finding the Potholes ...") reveals his propensity for delving deep into the fabric of a society to get an unexpected story; Part Two ("I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music") plays off of his love for music ... all music. The writings in each part are presented pretty much (occasional exceptions) in reverse chronological order, so that his work from WSJ stints in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., London, and India are kept together. The fifty articles range in length from two to eleven pages, lending themselves well to intermittent reading when time is tight. I don't imagine every article will be of interest to all readers, so there's the option of covering everything or just picking out what you consider interesting (I chose the former). The book got better as I went along, with Part Six ("Nice Lede!") being the most entertaining. The Appendix articles from the North Adams Transcript are hilarious.Read more ›
Wait - those of you who haven't read this yet, please don't get the wrong idea! - just because I'm being sentimental about it doesn't mean that the book requires you to be. The articles in here are so worth reading by anyone, for any reason - please pick it up and see what you learn about the world.