Watch as a rich and compelling history is turned into a snooze fest!
If this book consisted of the first three chapters alone, it would be 3 or 4 starWatch as a rich and compelling history is turned into a snooze fest!
If this book consisted of the first three chapters alone, it would be 3 or 4 star material. It is evident that much more research and time went into piecing those chapters together. So, is the writer or the editor at fault? Maybe both. The author seriously spent an entire chapter on the dangers of banana-peel slipping on urban sidewalks. If she had painted it in a larger context, or if the writing had been better, she (maybe) could have pulled it off.
The writing style is encyclopaedic, but if you are looking for facts, you will find them; however, if you are looking for something a little higher on the "interestingness" scale, there are probably better options. ...more
Engrossing tale of a murder in late 19th-century New York City, and the media frenzy surrounding the mystery, the indictment, and the trial. This wasEngrossing tale of a murder in late 19th-century New York City, and the media frenzy surrounding the mystery, the indictment, and the trial. This was the height of the Pulitzer / Hearst "yellow journalism" and this love triangle murder was the perfect fodder in the "anything goes" world of reporting of the time.
In the end, I was left wondering if the person who was tried and pronounced guilty and later executed, was really the culprit at all. Forensic science and crime scene investigation was just beginning to surface and make its way into the police investigations. Some forensic evidence came about, but with the primitive practices, I just couldn't shake the notion that there was a lot more to this story and that the wrong person paid the price.
A fascinating look at the time and the beliefs of this period; and how even though we believe ourselves to be so much more advanced now, there really is little difference.
"...any American who has eaten a winter tomato, either purchased at a supermarket or on top of a fast food salad, has eaten a fruit picked by the hand"...any American who has eaten a winter tomato, either purchased at a supermarket or on top of a fast food salad, has eaten a fruit picked by the hand of a slave. That's not an assumption. That is a fact." -pg.75
I first learned about the Florida tomato atrocities through Estabrook's article in Gourmet in 2009 http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s... . When I heard a public radio interview with him in 2011 upon release of this book, I wanted to find out more. There's a very dark side to this story - one of human trafficking and slavery on American soil, as well as the propagation of a fruit that bears little likeness to what it was even 25 years ago...
My hope is that more awareness and advocacy for this cause will shed light on both the egregious human rights violations and the environmental atrocities that are taking place in Florida's tomato industry....more
Gosh, this book was fabulous. Linden has such an engaging style - like you are just having a casual conversation. Each chapter is an essay that focuseGosh, this book was fabulous. Linden has such an engaging style - like you are just having a casual conversation. Each chapter is an essay that focuses on a location or people group that he has encountered during his long career as a foreign correspondent and journalist. After reading each chapter, I did my own research and further reading... he has a way of really piquing the reader's interest to learn more.
It's one of those books that you get so absorbed in and you learn all of these interesting facts that you want to share with people... for instance (IIt's one of those books that you get so absorbed in and you learn all of these interesting facts that you want to share with people... for instance (I just have to share!) tigers are known for their virility and their strength - and the Sanskrit word for tiger *vyagghra* was Anglicized into "viagra" for the well-known impotency medication. Interesting, right? Well, there's more to learn inside this book!
The author tries to accomplish a lot in this book, and by and large, he succeeds. At the core of the story is the investigation of a unique mauling in the remote forests in coastal Siberia in the mid-1990s. The team that is dispatched to look into the killing is very similar to a forensics team at a crime scene; they read the snow, see how the attack took place, follow the tiger's entrance and exit paths, and begin to formulate ideas based on what they find. The book focuses on this team (Inspection Tiger) and their members, as well as some of the nearby villagers. In doing so, the author's research delves into Soviet and new Russian politics, ideas towards the environment, science, and conservation, the biology and psychology of both the tigers and the humans, the wealth of myths and stories about tigers and other "monsters" throughout human history, the study of predator-prey biospheres, and the economics and black market demand for rare animals by superpowers like China. So, while the isolated incident of this one tiger on this one village is where the story starts, it is much bigger in context and ramifications.
Fascinating read - tied with Henriette Lacks as the best non-fiction of the year for me.