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Tell Me No Lies (2004), edited by John Pilger

  • In one sentence: An anthology of the greatest investigative journalism, mostly about ignored or West-sponsored massacres.
  • Number of reads: 3 since 2007.
  • To be read when: one becomes too complacent about world politics, thinking it generally benign; when one despairs of journalism; when you need righteous anger; when evaluating Kissinger's place in history.
  • Galef type: Data 2 - What does it imply about the world, that this could happen? & Values 2 - thought experiments to reflect on how you feel about something.

(You don't resent Pilger putting his own Cambodia piece in.)

I went into this with one eye on Pilger's ideology, but almost every piece is grounded and humane and appalling and beyond the reach of theory to pervert. (Only the Eduardo Galeano rant addresses too many targets at once and fades into zine-ish aspersion. But even that's about half true.)

Gellhorn on Dachau. Cameron on North Vietnam. Hersh on My Lai. Lockerbie. Iraq. The overall target is the powerful who stand by or enable atrocities; Kissinger leers like a terrible wraith from more than a few of these pieces. I cried at this ten years ago and again now and again whenever.