In his book, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges writes, "The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent." One wonders whether Janine Di Giovanni, in spite of having witnessed and reported on some of the worst war atrocities and human-rights abuses of the past two decades, might agree with Hedges. Growing up in Caldwell, New Jersey, she knew that she had to get out or suffer the fate of being "married to a cardiologist and playing golf." Her memoir, Madness Visible, is among the most comprehensive looks at the war in the Balkans, passionately told with both political and on-the-front-line details. She has filed from Rwanda, Nicaragua, Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan. On another sort of front line, Playboy once asked her to pose as its first journalist centerfold. She refused, telling New York magazine, "My career would have gone down the tubes—or I would have been hired by network television."
Tue., Nov. 27, 7 p.m., 2007