January 2012

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Drug Wars

January 17, 2012

A growing number of addicts.  A ruthless business cartel.  A country determined to close its borders to imported drugs.  Violence and corruption in major cities.  Sound familiar? Welcome to the Opium War of 1839. In the late eighteenth century, opium was a key element in the British East India Company’s business plan.  The company grew […]

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Why I Want to Go to Omaha

January 10, 2012

Why is Omaha on my travel list?  Two words, okay three:  The Bodmer Collection. In 1832, German naturalist Prince Maximilian zu Weid-Neuweid led one of the earliest expeditions to the American West.*  As anyone who has snapped a picture of the Grand Canyon or the Grand Bazaar knows, expeditions need to be recorded.  Instead of […]

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William Howard Russell, Special Correspondent to the Times

January 5, 2012

William Howard Russell, “Special Correspondent for the Times”, was the original war correspondent. His unexpected career began in the Crimean War. As Russell later wrote, “When the year of grace 1854 opened on me, I had no more idea of being what is now–absurdly, I think, called a ‘War Correspondent’ than I had of being […]

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Estonia’s Singing Revolution

January 1, 2012

Most revolutions have a symbolic moment that defines them:  the Boston Tea Party, storming the Bastille, Gandhi’s march to the sea.  In Estonia, the struggle for freedom from Soviet Russia began on June 10, 1988, when 300,000 people stood up and sang. After two hundred years of control by Tsarist Russia, Estonia became an independent […]

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