Nonfiction reading like fiction-The Way of the World

I found Ron Suskind's latest work The Way of the World:A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism on the "new books" shelf of my local
library not long ago and I had to grab it. Suskind, a recent Pulitzer
prize winning writer and former senior national affairs writer for the Wall Street Journal,
creates a sweeping, multi-layered yet highly readable portrait of the
much studied and debated conflict between the secular/modern west and
the traditional/Muslim east. Like a painter using a wide canvas,
Suskind weaves numerous personal stories into his narrative, proving to
the reader that the various players in this global drama are individual
human beings and not merely labels or statistics. We see the "clash of
civilizations" not through sound bites or policy statements but through
the experiences of a teenage Afgan exchange student, a 24 year old
Pakistani emigre, a human rights lawyer assigned to a Gitmo detainee,
and CIA personnel entrusted with stopping terrorists from acquiring
nuclear weapons. Suskind also looks at the perhaps willful manipulation
and disregard of valuable intelligence regarding Iraq's WMD program
during the run up to  America's 2003's invasion. (And yes, in case you
might be wondering, the number one suspect in this sordid tale has a
first name of Dick and a last name of Chaney. Yeah, don't act
surprised). Suskind also goes behind the scenes of Benazir Bhutto's
brief presidential campaign and lays much of the blame for her
assassination on Pakistan's government. If they did not outright
orchestrate her murder, their willful negligence in creating the
security lapses that ultimately allowed the militants to murder her are
considerably damning.
    Suskind's book reads like fiction and although its close to 400 pages long I
burned through it in no time. I found it superbly written and

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Filed under Area Studies/International Relations

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