Scotland Decides

My recent articles for National Geographic about the Scottish referendum on independence ….Why Scotland Might Break Away From The United Kingdom; Scotland Says No to Independence; and From Referendum to Reconciliation 

Book Talk: The Long Shadow by David Reynolds

The Great War, as it came to be known, lasted four years, from 1914 to 1918. But its aftereffects haunted Europe and the rest of the world through the 20th century—and are still felt in our own times.

Denali’s Howl

Forty-seven years ago, two teams of young climbers joined together to conquer Denali (Mount McKinley), America’s tallest peak, located in the interior of Alaska. It was the Summer of Love, and America rocked to the sound of The Doors and Jefferson Airplane. These young men wanted to get high on thin air. But there were serious divisions within the teams—conflicts that would only get worse as the wind began to howl.

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Seven members of the 12-man team were never heard from again. The survivors spent the rest of their lives coping with their memories—and dodging the finger of blame. Was it bad leadership? Bad teamwork? Or just bad karma?

Booktalk: American Catch

Why did Americans stop eating seafood from their own waters? How are seafood economics and ecology connected? What do T-shirts and Thai shrimp have in common? And why does a proposed copper mine in Alaska threaten the world’s most prolific sockeye salmon run?

The Real Lives of Writers 1

A new survey in Britain finds that writers’ incomes have shrunk dramatically since 2009, to a figure of just £11,000 per year, less than a garbage collector makes.

Of Wild Hearts and Weasels

No country has changed so much, so fast as China. In one generation, it has gone from being largely agricultural to a country of megacities and bullet trains and, soon, the world’s tallest skyscraper. The number of Chinese billionaires is growing faster than anywhere in the world, and this year the nation’s GDP is expected to overtake that of the United States.
For much of the past decade, New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos was on the front line of these momentous changes. In his new book, The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China he describes the decisive battle taking place between individualism and authoritarianism, how the Internet is transforming Chinese lives, and why having a weasel in your roof is a sign of good fortune.
But last year China also executed more people than any other country and has imprisoned an estimated 1,300 political or religious prisoners.