Academics from both sides of the Aegean discuss the recent thaw in Greek-Turkish relations in a number of anthologies. Greek-Turkish Relations in an Era of Détente
, edited by Ali Carkoglu and Barry Rubin (New York: Routledge, 2005), looks at the cultural and political factors leading up to this rapprochement. Greek-Turkish Relations: In the Era of Globalization,
edited by Dimitris Keridis and Dimitrios Triantaphyllou (Dulles: Brassey’s Inc. 2001) takes a broader view, examining how European and international pressures shape the Turkish-Greek relationship.
“Imagining the Future”
In The Future of Life
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002), Harvard naturalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner E.O. Wilson implores us to stop the accelerating destruction of our environment and the species it sustains. This book is the perfect antidote to unwarranted optimism (and extreme fatalism) about the state of the environment and our ability to confront the problems we have created.
(Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1999), Voltaire responds to philosopher Gottfried Leibniz’s idea that suffering and misery are merely pieces of a larger puzzle we cannot see. The hero, Candide, believes he and his contemporaries live in the best of all possible worlds. Voltaire demonstrates how foolish this is.
However, blind optimism can sometimes be a good thing—especially when you’re Helen Keller. Her 1903 book, Optimism
(Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2003) demonstrates that Keller’s positive outlook was in fact no “mild and unreasoning satisfaction.” This carefully articulated account of how a thinking person must consider the misery of the world yet still believe in “the beauty of truth and love and goodness” will show you why Keller was much more than an advocate for the blind (and for socialism—see Marxists.org
“Hear No Evil, Write No Lies”
Maher Arar has his own website
, where you can learn more about the specifics and timeline of his ordeal. There are selected news items and writing by Arar himself.
Two books that put Arar’s stories in context are Jennifer K. Harbury’s Truth, Torture, and the American Way: The History and Consequences of U.S. Involvement in Torture
(Boston: Beacon Press, 2005) and America’s Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees, and the “War on Terror”
by Rachel Meeropol, Barbara Olshansky, Steven MacPherson Watt, and Michael Ratner (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005). These critical texts examine the political machinery behind the detention of suspected terrorists.