Monday, August 3, 2009
"When is Enough, Enough?" - Roger Thurow & Scott Kilman Book Event Review
“When you look into the eye’s of a starving man, you are inflicted with a disease: a disease of the soul.” These words of compassion, and warning, were spoken to Roger Thurow, on his arrival to a refugee camp in Northern Africa, over fifteen years ago. Thurow, a veteran foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, has co-written an instructive and inspirational new book entitled Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. His co-author, Scott Kilman, reports on agricultural issues for the Journal, covering stories from biotechnology to food safety. Besides their credentials as journalists, both men are humanitarians at heart. Enough attempts to “outrage and inspire,” it emphasizes the importance of global food security and offers possible solutions to the multi-faceted problem.
While the book was researched and written before the global financial crisis, the current economic instability worldwide adds urgency to an already pressing issue. Thankfully, some people are listening. The authors spoke to a packed auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (located at the second biggest federal complex, after only the Pentagon) in downtown Washington DC, in order to publicize the problem, and their book. The event was sponsored by Reiter’s bookstore, an independent bookstore located on 20th and K Streets, not to far from the Wilson Center. The author’s signed copies of their book to be sold at Reiter’s bookstore, at no extra charge, in order to raise awareness. Thurow pointed out the importance of reaching beyond “the saloons of Washington,” and spreading the word to the grassroots American public. Both Thurow and Kilman have traveled extensively in Africa and South Asia, witnessing the horrors of hunger firsthand. For those without the opportunity to travel and see for themselves, reading this book would be a worthwhile step in understanding the multi-faceted problem. And understanding, Thurow and Kilman remind, is the first step toward fixing.