The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Learn Something: Samantha Power

By Marcus Gilmer in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 11, 2008 3:08PM

2008_03_samanthapower.jpgSeveral years ago, we read Philip Gourevitch's powerful book on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, We Wish To Inform You.... This led us to eventually pick up Samantha Power's brilliant A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Power's book is a riveting look at the United States' policies, approaches -- and more than occasional avoidance -- to genocide during the 20th Century, beginning with the Armenian Genocide during World War I and running through the Kosovo War of the late 1990's. With it, Power established herself as one of the leading experts and writers on U.S. Foreign Policy.

Now, Power is back with a new book, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World. The book focuses on the life and work of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Brazilian humanitarian who was working as the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative in Iraq when he, and 21 members of his staff, were killed in the August 2003 bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad. Power will be in town on Wednesday, March 12, at the Chicago Public Library's Harold Washington Library Center as part of the "Facing History and Ourselves" program to read from and discuss this new book and, we're sure, much more on the current state of world affairs. As the war in Iraq reaches its fifth anniversary, we can't think of a better time to examine the life of a man who dedicated himself to promoting peace and we can think of a better conduit through which to learn about him than the gifted Power.

Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out Power being in the news lately for her recent comments and subsequent resignation from Team Obama, something that we're sure will come up at her presentation tomorrow.

Samantha Power, Wednesday, March 12, 5:30 pm, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street. The event is free, but a reservation is required. Call 312-345-3203 for more information.

Image taken from Samantha Power's Harvard Faculty website.