I’ve just finished reading this. I enjoyed it, although that’s a strange reaction to assert in context of this book. What I enjoyed was not the bad news that the authors offer (things haven’t changed that much, and the big change – 9/11 – wasn’t particularly positive), but the incisive arguments made by the contributors. Click the book cover for the book’s amazon.ca page.
You may have seen the current Time Magazine cover story on the women of Afghanistan (August 9, 2010. The cover reads “What happens if we leave Afghanistan”, and the cover picture is of a woman whose face was mutilated by Taliban troops after she tried to leave the home of her in-laws). The articles and photo essay concentrate on the position of Afghan women as the US considers “exit strategies”. The Afghan state may be forced to reconcile with the Taliban if foreign troops leave. Reading Time after reading Yasmin Jiwani (media representations) and Sunera Thobani (feminist positions on the war) affected my thinking about the “point” of the Time article profoundly.
We do not run this story or show this image either in support of the U.S. war effort or in opposition to it. We do it to illuminate what is actually happening on the ground. As lawmakers and citizens begin to sort through the information about the war and make up their minds, our job is to provide context and perspective on one of the most difficult foreign policy issues of our time. What you see in these pictures and our story is…. a combination of emotional truth and insight into the way life is lived in that difficult land and the consequences of the important decisions that lie ahead.
There are other interesting pieces in The States of Race. I’m writing a review for the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and haven’t finished it yet. But I’m ready to recommend the book!