Africa

I might not read most of these but I’m sure anyone would find something good here in this (near) Top 100 list of American nonfiction for 2010. You can never go wrong with long nonfiction journalism.

One of these reads like Apocalypse Now meets National Geographic – a New Yorker investigative piece on a wildlife activist couple who may have gone over the edge in protecting elephants in Zambia. Having written books and been featured on American TV, the couple (both Americans) created a program in a remote area in Zambia to train rangers to patrol and capture poachers. The allegations are they crossed the line by directing their rangers to kill poachers, among other things. It would not be a surprise if they did, when I was in South Africa last year, I heard about how rangers do this in Zimbabwe and SA – kill poachers on sight and leave their bodies in the wild- and there wasn’t much sympathy for the poachers. It’s a tough issue because on one hand, are animals’ lives worth more than human’s but on the other hand, when humans purposefully and illegally hunt and kill magnificent creatures, do they deserve much sympathy if they die? I don’t think I can give a clear answer but I definitely find poaching of large rare animals reprehensible, especially for non-food purposes. The article comes with a dark twist towards the end, pertaining towards a controversial event during a live ABC broadcast.

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