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At Home in the World Hardcover – June 18, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1ST edition (June 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074324317X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743243179
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One of the special talents of the late Wall Street Journal reporter Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by Pakistani Islamic extremists earlier this year while working on a story, was creating arresting leads. "Dusan Dujic has a seemingly modest ambition: to die in his own house," begins one of his stories, on the persistence of ethnic segregation in Croatia. "This is a small town in search of a really big floor," begins another, on the world's largest carpet in Ben, Iran. Yet this collection, which gathers 50 of Pearl's pieces from the last 10 years, makes it clear that the clever opening line was the least of Pearl's talents: he fills his elegant stories with memorable, vivid characters without sacrificing complexity. Selected by Pearl's friend and colleague Cooper, assistant bureau chief of the Journal's Washington bureau, the articles showcase his foreign correspondence (he worked in the London, Paris and Bombay bureaus, as well as in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.) and some of his niches: music, tech and communications; the "counterintuitive" story (Hindu India has a thriving cow leather industry; the war in Kosovo was not really genocide). The range of subject matter is wide: he reports on Pashtun Afghani refugees cheerfully making a profit by buying up afghanis every time there is a Taliban battlefield defeat; a new technique for surgically extracting caviar from sturgeon without killing the fish; and a nine-year-old "Little Miss Georgia" who was stripped of her crown on the kiddie beauty pageant circuit. Cooper has done a nice job choosing stories with staying power; though a handful of them do feel like old news, most of these thoughtful and often witty pieces will be a treat for readers who missed them the first time around and the book as a whole stands as a fitting tribute to a journalist who lost his life in the pursuit of truth.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Pearl was a reporter who loved the truth. His acceptance and tolerance of differences among people garnered him respect from his colleagues and a position as bureau chief of the South Asia division of the Wall Street Journal. Kidnapped and viciously murdered in February 2002 by Islamic extremists in Pakistan, Pearl gave his life for the values he held as a journalist and as a humanitarian. This book is a memorial to this courageous man. Edited by his friend and Wall Street Journal colleague Cooper, the book comprises 50 stories by Pearl that appeared during his 12-year reporting career. Organized thematically, the book reveals Pearl's ability to cover diverse topics, ranging from the serious (war-ravaged Kosovo) to the mundane (Iran's pop music stars). A foreword by Pearl's wife, Mariane, a French freelance journalist, celebrates a man dedicated to his profession and to making the world a better place. Proceeds from the book will go to the Daniel Pearl Foundation to aid his wife and child. For academic and larger public libraries. Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wells Glueck on July 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this selection of articles by the late Daniel Pearl has been taken from a theater essay by the playwright Arthur Miller entitled "The Family in Modern Drama." Miller describes the role of a family's breadwinner, whom he envisions as a traditional paterfamilias, as making the world just as familiar and comfortable a home as his immediate family environment. Dan Pearl succeeded notably in that enterprise, writing with professional detachment, objectivity, elegance, humor, and a tincture of scholarship about the ironies of the human condition in far-flung, exotic places - India, where cows may be sacred but leather goods are manufactured; Iran, whose youths may publicly spout anti-American slogans but scheme to obtain in, say, Turkey, a U.S. visa "to study, perchance to stay" - an allusion to Hamlet's "to sleep, perchance to dream"; even Kosovo, where "genocide" turned out to be "small acts of intimate barbarity." Throughout his educative articles, which he honed until he heard the sentences "sing," Dan Pearl exhibits the total lack of malice, the calm and perceptive gaze, and the disinclination to histrionics for which his father justly praises him in a prefatory eulogy. The articles fit perfectly what the book's jacket calls the Journal's "iconic middle column," and together they constitute a lasting tribute to their late author.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Lizzi on July 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Being an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade, the tragic loss of Daniel Pearl struck me hard even though I couldn't ever recall associating his name with a specific article. "At Home in the World" is an excellent collection of writings exemplifying the in-depth--yet sometimes quirky--reporting like that often found in the middle column of the Journal's front page. They're my favorite articles: almost always interesting; so well-written. Since I actually remembered some of the stories, perhaps I've been a fan of Mr. Pearl's all along.
I like the way this book is organized: six parts, each one highlighting a literary style or theme infused with interesting facets of Mr. Pearl's life and personality (Editor Helene Cooper provides some insightful anecdotes at the beginning). For example, Part Four ("Finding the Potholes ...") reveals his propensity for delving deep into the fabric of a society to get an unexpected story; Part Two ("I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music") plays off of his love for music ... all music. The writings in each part are presented pretty much (occasional exceptions) in reverse chronological order, so that his work from WSJ stints in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., London, and India are kept together. The fifty articles range in length from two to eleven pages, lending themselves well to intermittent reading when time is tight. I don't imagine every article will be of interest to all readers, so there's the option of covering everything or just picking out what you consider interesting (I chose the former). The book got better as I went along, with Part Six ("Nice Lede!") being the most entertaining. The Appendix articles from the North Adams Transcript are hilarious.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "maryparker1" on November 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
i highly recommend this book if you love the printed word, if you love reading about other cultures , if you love anecdotes about life in America. I bought this book last year but put it away until i wasnt so upset by Daniel Pearl's torture and murder. If you want to honor Daniel Pearl and even honor yourself by enlightening your world, i highly recommend this book. Wonderful articles! I wish i had known of his work before he was kidnapped and murdered..such a shame but he lives on in this fine book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "milyen22" on January 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this to see what Daniel Pearl was all about after his tragic death. I'm so glad I did. It makes me wish I'd known him. Kudos to the people who chose and organized the articles - it's a wonderful tribute.
Wait - those of you who haven't read this yet, please don't get the wrong idea! - just because I'm being sentimental about it doesn't mean that the book requires you to be. The articles in here are so worth reading by anyone, for any reason - please pick it up and see what you learn about the world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wells Glueck on July 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this selection of articles by the late Daniel Pearl has been taken from a theater essay by the playwright Arthur Miller entitled "The Family in Modern Drama." Miller describes the role of a family's breadwinner, whom he envisions as a traditional paterfamilias, as making the world just as familiar and comfortable a home as his immediate family environment. Dan Pearl succeeded notably in that enterprise, writing with professional detachment, objectivity, elegance, humor, and a tincture of scholarship about the ironies of the human condition in far-flung, exotic places - India, where cows may be sacred but leather goods are manufactured; Iran, whose youths may publicly spout anti-American slogans but scheme to obtain in, say, Turkey, a U.S. visa "to study, perchance to stay" - an allusion to Hamlet's "to sleep, perchance to dream"; even Kosovo, where "genocide" turned out to be "small acts of intimate barbarity." Throughout his educative articles, which he honed until he heard the sentences "sing," Dan Pearl exhibits the total lack of malice, the calm and perceptive gaze, and the disinclination to histrionics for which his father justly praises him in a prefatory eulogy. The articles fit perfectly what the book's jacket calls the Journal's "iconic middle column," and together they constitute a lasting tribute to their late author.
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