March 15, 2008

Stolen Angels

Excellent book by Kathy Cook. Here's a review I wrote for the Spec.

I knew a woman once who asked me if I could think of any way she could get 'smarter'. She was sick of not being able to hold a conversation about anything but kids, and had pretty much decided politics and world issues were just too complicated to learn. While certainly no genius, I was raised with a healthy curiousity in just those things, and I told her what I still believe is good advice.

Read the front page of a newspaper each day for a week. The entire thing. Where a story is continued, continue it. After a week, read the entire front section. I don't care what political lean the paper has, just read it. If you don't know a word, look it up. Read this section for an entire month, religiously. It works. You will at least be able to ask decent questions, which is always a great starting point.

Tackling a subject like Uganda and the Sudan is one of those massive balls of string with no end. I never know where to start, so I remain basically ignorant and ashamed of that ignorance. Sometimes a movie can help, like the Last King of Scotland, or for Rwanda, Hotel Rwanda.

This book, Stolen Angels, is a gift. Decades of history and political turmoil distilled and presented to you in a highly readable fashion. It's about the children, who always pay the highest price. You can get it through Amazon, or a shop. But get it.


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