Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar

Stories of Food During Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents

By Matt McAllester (Editor)
University of California Press, Hardcover, 9780520268678, 232pp.

Publication Date: October 2011

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These sometimes harrowing, frequently funny, and always riveting stories about food and eating under extreme conditions feature the diverse voices of journalists who have reported from dangerous conflict zones around the world during the past twenty years. A profile of the former chef to Kim Jong Il of North Korea describes Kim's exacting standards for gourmet fare, which he gorges himself on while his country starves. A journalist becomes part of the inner circle of an IRA cell thanks to his drinking buddies. And a young, inexperienced female journalist shares mud crab in a foxhole with an equally young Hamid Karzai. Along with tales of deprivation and repression are stories of generosity and pleasure, sometimes overlapping. This memorable collection, introduced and edited by Matt McAllester, is seasoned by tragedy and violence, spiced with humor and good will, and fortified, in McAllester's words, with a little more humanity than we can usually slip into our newspapers and magazine stories.

About the Author
Matt McAllester is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a contributing editor at "Details" magazine. He is the author of "Bittersweet: Lessons from My Mother s Kitchen, Blinded by Sunlight: Surviving Abu Graib and Saddam s Iraq", and "Beyond the Mountains of the Damned: The War Inside Kosovo". He is also Visiting Professor of Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches international reporting. His website is
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