Around the lunch hour today I went to pick up a copy of Samantha Power’s “Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World,” a biography of the former UN High Commissioner’s human rights work and untimely death in a terrorist attack. I really admired Power’s last book, “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide,” a must-read for her deep knowledge of the history of genocide worldwide and ability to make the subject of mass killings readable with actionable steps.
I was told I could find the book upstairs at Stacy’s and walked up to find the author mid-reading. I’d seen her once moderating a session with General Wesley Clark, but this time she talked more casually about her own work with the Kennedy School (oops, that would be the recently rephrased Harvard Kennedy School) and the Obama campaign. She elicited a few bookish laughs from an anecdote about her work campaigning for the Senator on Irish public radio, which refers to him as O’Bama (no comment). Otherwise she offered great explanations for why meeting with the US shouldn’t be treated as a prize for select countries only and why Hillary Clinton would make a fantastic Senate Majority Leader.
Much better than my normal coffee-and-salad routine. Book review to come, and she’s speaking at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley tonight at 7:30 in the meantime.