We all know the basics behind the Danny Pearl story. This book tells you the details of what happened from the woman who lived it.
It is a difficult,We all know the basics behind the Danny Pearl story. This book tells you the details of what happened from the woman who lived it.
It is a difficult, frustrating, hard, riveting, necessary story. In a world where East and West mistrust each other, a band of people from India, Pakistan, and the United States come together to try and right one wrong, and as hard as they work, they still fail. It doesn't give me much hope that the world can be peaceful one day. If the government agencies of Pakistan can't work with each other, can't even agree that the crime of kidnapping and murder is even all that serious, how can we expect different countries, different religions, different tribes whose irrational hatred of all persons different from them dates back centuries to finally "get along"? This story exposes the differences in the Western and Eastern cultures and attitudes and shows that we have a long, long way to go in understanding what peace is exactly before we can attain it.
I may write to Mariane Pearl personally to ask her how she kept her strength throughout the ordeal, and how she continues to do so. I think she's my new hero....more
I'm not going to finish this book. It's melodramatic and disorganized. I've done quite a bit of reading on the 1938 hurricane and I can't follow the nI'm not going to finish this book. It's melodramatic and disorganized. I've done quite a bit of reading on the 1938 hurricane and I can't follow the narrative of this book. Sudden Sea is much better....more
"As necessary as the groom might be for the proper Delta wedding, a Southern girl must never--nevah!--be congratulated upon obtaining one. To do so is"As necessary as the groom might be for the proper Delta wedding, a Southern girl must never--nevah!--be congratulated upon obtaining one. To do so is an insult to the whole of Southern womanhood."
This book is quite amusing, but I can't help but think it would have been even funnier if I weren't Yankee-born. It's part study, part satire of the lengths Southern women, particularly mothers of the bride in the Mississippi Delta region, will go through to put on the perfect wedding. (There are some translations and explainations for Yankees.) It's told with juicy bits of gossip interspersed, as if you're sitting down to bourbon-laced punch with the ladies.
One really neat thing is that menues and recipes are included for certain types of weddings and the events surrounding them: traditional last Delta wedding, wedding brunch, Baptist wedding, wedding cakes, shotgun wedding, etc. I didn't realize it until just now, but it's along the lines of Amy Sedaris's "I Like You" in that it contains useful information on etiquette and traditions but it's wrapped up with a nice big satirical bow.
This is the first Sarah Vowell book I ever read and while I've read all her others, I've come back to this one several times to reread. We move in andThis is the first Sarah Vowell book I ever read and while I've read all her others, I've come back to this one several times to reread. We move in and out of the Washington, D.C., area every few years and I usually read it when we're heading back there in anticipation of seeing some of my favorite monuments and hearing some of my favorite stories. I of course had to read it again this summer since I'll be starting a job as a tour guide with our next move there this fall. I wanted to refresh my memory of the funny and interesting observations Ms. Vowell shares.
Assassination Vacation gives us a look at the assassinations of three presidents -- Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Students don't learn much about he presidencies of Garfield and McKinley these days but they are definitely worth a look. At the time she was writing, Ms. Vowell makes comparisons to the McKinley and Bush administrations. I'd make similar comparisons to a possible Trump administration this year.
Ms. Vowell makes American history accessible and points out how American history and politics have always been mired in scandal and downright silliness. I love how she goes into the lives of the assassins as well. Everyone knows John Wilkes Booth, but Guiteau and Czolgosz rarely get much mention. Ms. Vowell points out that many people were relieved to hear that Czolgosz had a foreign name because it made them assume a foreigner had shot the president. But Czolgosz was an American citizen, born in the Midwest to immigrant parents. Sound familiar to the fears one of our presidential candidates is helping to fester this year?
I do not want a presidential assassination. But I think it's worth learning about what drove others to do it in the past and take a look at the atmosphere of politics and the entire country surrounding those events. I recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in American history, politics, or current events....more