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Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl became the focus of international concern when he was kidnapped by Islamic extremists in Pakistan while investigating a story. News of his brutal murder in February 2002 was universally denounced, a tragic loss of a good man and a compassionate journalist who was at home anywhere in the world. At Home in the World celebrates Pearl's life through 50 of his best stories. Edited by his longtime friend and colleague, Helene Cooper, At Home in the World gives testimony to Mr. Pearl's extraordinary skill as a writer and to his talent for friendship and collaboration. With datelines from the United States and abroad, the articles showcase a dogged reporter who never lost sight of the humanity behind the news. A foreword by his widow, Mariane Pearl, and a contribution by his father, Judea Pearl, celebrate his desire to change the world, his basic decency and fair-mindedness and his sense of fun and love of family. Mr. Pearl's eye for quirky stories -- many of which appeared in the Journal's iconic "middle column" -- and his skill in tracking leads, uncovering wrongdoing and making friends of strangers of all backgrounds and cultures are apparent throughout this carefully assembled collection. The selections range from child beauty pageants in the South to the making of the world's largest Persian rug to the Taliban's exploitation of a gemstone market in order to fund terrorism. Anecdotes from friends and colleagues in the introduction to each section provide background, context and a glimpse of his life at the Journal. At Home in the World keeps alive Daniel Pearl's spirit through his words and the work that was so important to him.
Helene Cooper is "Congo," a descendant of two Liberian dynasties -- traced back to the first ship of freemen that set sail from New York in 1820 to found Monrovia. Helene grew up at Sugar Beach, a twenty-two-room mansion by the sea. Her childhood was filled with servants, flashy cars, a villa in Spain, and a farmhouse up-country. It was also an African childhood, filled with knock foot games and hot pepper soup, heartmen and neegee. When Helene was eight, the Coopers took in a foster child -- a common custom among the Liberian elite. Eunice, a Bassa girl, suddenly became known as "Mrs. Cooper's daughter." For years the Cooper daughters -- Helene, her sister Marlene, and Eunice -- blissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage. But Liberia was like an unwatched pot of water left boiling on the stove. And on April 12, 1980, a group of soldiers staged a coup d'état, assassinating President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet. The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted, being imprisoned, shot, tortured, and raped. After a brutal daylight attack by a ragtag crew of soldiers, Helene, Marlene, and their mother fled Sugar Beach, and then Liberia, for America. They left Eunice behind. A world away, Helene tried to assimilate as an American teenager. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she found her passion in journalism, eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She reported from every part of the globe -- except Africa -- as Liberia descended into war-torn, third-world hell. In 2003, a near-death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberia -- and Eunice -- could wait no longer. At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country, The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy, forgiveness, and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor's gentle humor. And at its heart, it is a story of Helene Cooper's long voyage home.
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