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A Punjabi farmer, using a hand tool to create a channel for his irrigation water, takes a break on a foggy morning. Photo by APF Fellow Russell Clemings

“The Gift of the Indus”

If any one place deserves to be called the birthplace of modern irrigation, that place is the Punjab, a sandy triangle of pancake-flat alluvium where India’s British rulers built the first of their 46 “canal colonies” in 1849. The first colony consisted of

Rubber tappers at the Cachoeira Extractive Reserve load up mules with sacks full of Brazil nuts, which they have collected from the forest floor. Photo by Ricardo Azory

Hard Rows: The Amazon after Chico Mendes

SERINGAL CACHOEIRA, BRAZIL–It doesn’t look much like a battlefield. A huddle of wooden huts raised on stilts crowns a grassy knoll. Tidy dirt paths stitch the way between the houses. Lush orange trees dot the hill, throwing deep shadows, and at the crest,

Robert Group picture of the first ABC class, at Dartmouth College, 1964. Photo courtesy of A better Chance, Inc.

Clearing a Path from the Ghetto to Choate

In Judith Berry Griffin’s office on Boston Common, a watercolor called The People Could Fly hangs on the wall. It portrays blacks of every age and size taking to the sky like birds. As president of ABC: A Better Chance, Inc., Griffin’s job

Red Cross doctors and Palestinian rioters in the Shuafat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem flee from rubber-coated steel bullets fired by the Israeli army during a battle last March with stone-throwing camp residents. The night before, two Palestinians were shot dead and dozens injured. The doctors and nurses from the camp’s Red Cross clinic dangerously station themselves amidst the fighting to provide quick first-aid to the wounded.

The Palestinian Revolt: New Miseries in an Endless Feud

WEST BANK–Well into its third year, the most recent Israel/Palestinian conflict continues to grind along unrelentingly. Israel’s control of the 1.7 million Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is maintained through military occupation, provoking an internal political and moral debate

Harvard Law School professor Derrick Bell addresses a rally at the law school, threatening to take a leave of absence if the school did not give tenure to a black woman. AP/Wide World Photos

The Push for Diversity in America’s White Male Faculties

Until recently, the broad debate over race relations at the nation’s colleges and universities focused largely on students. No longer. Pushed by a series of dramatic events during the past year, that often fractious discussion has now expanded to include those who teach

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Cold War Resartus

Whether or not the endless winter of menace known as the Cold War is actually over, it already seems bracketed in history. At the beginning was competition between Washington and Moscow for politico-economic control of a destitute Europe, lethalized by the spread of

A Hungarian gypsy family.

Gypsy Liberation In Hungary

Text and Photos by Victoria Pope MISKOLC, Hungary–On streets without names, collapsed sheds circle the slag-heaps of the metal factory. Pigeons coo among the refuse. When dawn breaks, the wake-up sounds of coughing and coal-shoveling echo through the treeless hinterland. The gypsy community

Contra soldiers training in the Honduras. Photo by Jason Bleibtrew/Sygma

A Contra Rampage–With Blessings from the United States

The October 1983 attack by U.S.-financed contra rebels on the northern Nicaraguan town of Pantasma was, militarily, a brilliant surprise strike, a classic town takeover, one of the few that the rebel forces ever achieved. It was also one of the single most

Peter Avram, a peach grower in Victoria, examines trees killed by rising groundwater at his orchard near Shepparton. Photo by APF Fellow Russell Clemings

“A Flood From Below”: The Downfall of Irrigation

SHEPPARTON, Victoria, Australia–When spring came to the Riverine Plain of northern Victoria in September 1989, Peter Avram’s peach orchard slowly awakened and burst into leaf, just as it always had before. Peter Avram, a peach grower in Victoria, examines trees killed by rising

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Coca, Campesinos, and a Controversial General

Until recently, Tarapoto was a sleepy agricultural town located deep in Peru’s tropical midlands. The lush fields surrounding the town were worked by industrious small farmers cultivating rice, corn, and other staples. Nighttime entertainment consisted mostly of casual strolls around the central plaza.

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The Alarming Increase in Alcohol-Damaged Children

Malvina is a million dollar baby. Malvina has fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Her mother, a young Indian woman from Alaska who drank heavily while angrily denying her pregnancy, sought medical assistance only after the first labor pains signaled Malvina’s imminent arrival. During her

Impoverished farmer Marianna Kowalewicz (right) and her neighbor.

Little Food, Bad Water: The Tatters of Poland’s Rural Life

Text and Photos by Victoria Pope BOJARY, Poland–in this cluster of small villages near Bialystok, Poland, there is a funeral every month and a wedding every two years. The planting cycle, like the life cycle, is out of kilter. Though it’s harvest time,

Contra soldiers during a cease fire in Yamales, Honduras. Photo by Jason Bleibtreu/Sygma

The Contras Murdering Their Own: A Grisly Retribution

In 1983, leaders of the CIA-financed Nicaraguan contra army ordered the detention of four field officers accused of insubordination, graft and murder. Argentine and Honduran military officers interrogated the detained, and then the rebel general staff ordered them executed. With dozens of rebel

Frequent sampling and analysis of the Kesterson Reservoir bolstered the Interior Department’s resolve to stop its pollution by drain water. Bureau of Reclamation photo by D. M. Westphal

Death Traps

Gary Zahm remembers it as just a feeling, a vague impression that something was wrong at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, which he had just been put in charge of. Mostly, it was the smell. “I’ve worked in alkaline marshes all my career,”

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From the Cold War to the Drug War

As Moscow’s satellites spin wildly out of control, all the world’s eyes are focused on Checkpoint Charlie, Wenceslas Square, and Europe’s leap into the post-Yalta future. But what about the rest of the world? If the Cold War is ending in Europe, can

Military Parade in Concepción, Chile. Photo byt APF Fellow Pamela Constable

Crime and Impunity in Chile: Perverting the Law of a Legalistic Land

Item: A teacher is kidnapped by the secret police, and his family files a petition for judicial protection, which is rejected after the government asserts the man is not in custody. Several months later, he is found in a prison camp, recovering from

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Beating Alcohol Through Tribal Self-Help

A giant of an Indian knocked at a door in Custer, Montana on a sultry afternoon in the late 1940s. The big man wore three braids under a flat-brimmed, dome-crowned hat. He asked for my father and Dad joined him on the front

David Halberstam, July, 1961. Courtesy of The New York Times Archives.

David Halberstam: The Making of a Critic

When David Halberstam arrived in Saigon in early September, 1962, his new dateline remained distant and obscure to his readers and even his editors. It would be several months before he would move back onto the front page with the regularity he had

Lech Walesa, Solidarity chairman, on his way to address striking shipyard workers in Gdansk in 1988. AP/Wide World Photo.

Growing Up: Solidarity’s Turbulent Times

May 15-20, 1989:   A week of highs and lows for Lech Walesa. In Strasbourg, France, the Council of Europe honors him with a human-rights award. In ceremonies there, he is accorded the protocol usually reserved for heads of state. Before Mass at