In this rich collection, bestselling author Adam Hochschild has selected and updated over two dozen essays and pieces of reporting from his long career. Threaded through them all is his concern for social justice and the people who have fought for it. The articles here range from a California gun show to a Finnish prison, from a Congolese center for rape victims to the ruins of gulag camps in the Soviet Arctic, from a stroll through construction sites with an ecologically pioneering architect in India to a day on the campaign trail with Nelson Mandela. Hochschild also talks about the writers he loves, from Mark Twain to John McPhee, and explores such far-reaching topics as why so much history is badly written, what bookshelves tell us about their owners, and his front-row seat for the shocking revelation in the 1960s that the CIA had been secretly controlling dozens of supposedly independent organizations.
With the skills of a journalist, the knowledge of a historian, and the heart of an activist, Hochschild shares the stories of people who took a stand against despotism, spoke out against unjust wars and government surveillance, and dared to dream of a better and more just world.
Adam Hochschild is a lecturer at Berkeley Journalism. He is the celebrated author of acclaimed books of political history, including King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and the New York Times bestseller To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, a seminal narrative about the Great War that was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His 2005 book, Bury the Chains won the L.A. Times Book Prize.
Elizabeth Farnsworth is a filmmaker, foreign correspondent, and former chief correspondent and principal substitute anchor of PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Her 2008 documentary, The Judge and the General, co-directed with Patricio Lanfranco and co-produced by Andrés Cediel (’04), professor of visual journalism at Berkeley Journalism, aired on television around the world winning many awards. She has reported on television and in print from Cambodia, Vietnam, Botswana, Chile, Peru, Haiti, Iraq, and Iran, among other places. Her recent memoir, “A Train Through Time: A Life Real and Imagined,” was published by Counterpoint Press.