ISIS saturates the news. But few of us know much about its origins or its founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In his new book, Black Flags: The Rise of Isis, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick takes us inside the twisted mind of Zarqawi and his followers, reconstructs the hunt for Zarqawi by a female CIA agent who could have stepped right out of the movie Zero Dark Thirty, and traces the U.S. response to ISIS across several administrations, laying bare our mistakes.
Starting with eyewitness accounts and in-depth analysis of the zeppelin catastrophe, Ed Regis, author of The Hindenburg Disaster and The Birth of Pathological Technology, also tells the story of other mega-projects that were inherently flawed and often dangerous but which, despite their astronomical cost, became reality.
Will it one day be possible to bring a woolly mammoth or a Neanderthal back to life? If so, should we? How is climate change affecting the evolution and extinction of species? These are some of the questions explored in science writer Maura O’Connor’s new book, Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction And The Precarious Future of Wild Things.
My tribute in National Geographic to Queen Elizabeth
As Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans on August 29th 2005, singer, Charmaine Neville, niece of legendary recording artist, Aaron Neville, found herself trapped in the Lower Ninth Ward. As the flood waters rose, she took refuge on the roof of a school. But in the middle of the night, that safe haven became a nightmare when a figure appeared out of the darkness. She managed to wade to safety and began to organize relief efforts, eventually commandeering a city bus to take people to safety. Traumatised by her experiences, and ignored by the American media, she eventually confided her story exclusively to me.
He’s been called Twitter’s favourite shepherd (https://twitter.com/herdyshepherd1). For more than five hundred years James Rebanks’ family have been sheep farmers in England’s ruggedly beautiful Lake District. It was an unchanging way of life that they were proud of. But as he grew up, he realised that some people in the modern world regarded sheep farming [...]
In 1997, a newly discovered and previously unpublished poem by the much-loved American poet Emily Dickinson was auctioned in New York. There was great excitement at the idea that a new work by this iconic artist had come to light – as if a new Shakespeare Sonnet had been found locked in a trunk in a Stratford attic, or an unknown Picasso had been stumbled upon at a car boot sale.
After the poem was sold at auction and brought home to Emily Dickinson’s home town of Amherst, with much fanfare, it was revealed to be a brilliant fake. It had been created by a man named Mark Hofmann, a convicted double murderer once dubbed the ‘greatest forger of the 20th century’. He had not only matched the paper, handwriting and pencil with astounding historical accuracy, he had produced a new Dickinson work that passed off as authentic.
How was a convicted double murderer able to craft a poem so perfect that it fooled leading Emily Dickinson scholars and experts in historical documents? Dickinson famously lived much of her life as a recluse, producing her works of concentrated brilliance from the bedroom of her father’s house in Amherst, Massachusetts. She chose not to publish during her lifetime and hand-sewn booklets containing some 1,800 poems were discovered in a locked box in her room after her death. Why does Dickinson continue to fascinate, and what might Hofmann’s fake poem tell us about the true poet’s work and life? The writer and journalist Simon Worrall unfolds a gripping true story of poetry, murder and the art of forgery.
Why Elephants Are As Ritualistic and Violent As the Mafia.
When Elizabeth Minchilli was 12, her parents gave up their life in St. Louis, Missouri, and moved to Rome. So began her love affair with Italy and its cuisine. Today, her blog has thousands of devoted followers. Her latest book, Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City, celebrates la dolce vita.
Albert Podell, a former editor of Playboy magazine, did what all of us fantasize about but very few achieve: He traveled to all 196 countries on Earth.
It took him 50 years. On the way he was chased by water buffalo, broke a few bones, ate weird foods, and was arrested, robbed, and almost lynched. But he lived to tell the tale in a new book, Around the World in Fifty Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth.