#96, June 24, 2017: Reviews, Op-eds, and Interviews about “The Wasting of Borneo”

Washington Post review: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/where-headhunting-once-thrived-natives-now-gather-before-communal-televisions/2017/05/12/5cd11322-1003-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.53aa3c6c11ea


Millbrook Independent review: http://www.themillbrookindependent.com/content/wasting-borneo-dispatches-vanishing-world


Op-ed on Yale’s Environment 360 site: http://e360.yale.edu/features/vanishing-borneo-saving-one-of-worlds-last-great-places-palm-oil


Interview on Mongabay: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/06/borneos-biocultural-holocaust-an-interview-with-author-alex-shoumatoff/

#79 : The Waterfalls of Ithaca, New York, by Louise Silberling

The Waterfalls of Ithaca: Thoughts on nature, history, and our future

–Louise Silberling, Ithaca, NY

(All photos © 2012 Louise Silberling)

Forest Falls, Ithaca, NY

The waterfalls of Ithaca, NY are a natural treasure and geological wonder.  There are hundreds of waterfalls, some spectacular, some humble.  Gorges cutting through the shale, sandstone, and limestone are everywhere.  Fifteen thousand years …Read More

#77 : Alberta’s Nefarious Tar Sands

Alberta’s Nefarious Tar Sands
After I got arrested in Bohemian Grove (all for a good cause : the piece I wrote for Vanity Fair– see Dispatch #57, “Bohemian Tragedy”– helped stopped the Bohemian Grove Club’s clandestine logging of its magnificent redwoods) the fam and drove up the coast to Vancouver and from there over the glorious …Read More

#73 : The Magnificent Mesnak

This is a article I wrote for BBBB.

by Alex Shoumatoff
A long-time contributing editor of Vanity Fair and the editor of DispatchesFromTheVanishingWorld.com, Shoumatoff has been advocating for traditional peoples all over the word for forty years.
     I was deeply affected by Mesnak, the first full-length feature film and fully native production about Canada’s North, and …Read More

#61: Westchester, Bedford, and the Education of a Conservationist

Here’s a speech I gave in my hometown, Bedford, New York, for the Westchester Land Trust’s annual annual Leon Levy environmental symposium, at the Bedford Historical Hall, on March 6, 2010. It’s called

“Westchester, Bedford, and the Education of a Conservationist”

For every person, the place where you grew up becomes your inner universe, the focus of …Read More

#58: Bohemian Legacy

September 14, 2010: Dispatch #58: Bohemian Legacy (as it appeared in the July issue of Vanity Fair’s International edition; not to be confused with Bohemian Tragedy, a couple of Dispatches down). Boston-born William Lobkowicz, from an old Bohemian princely family, went back to Prague after the Velvet Revolution and got back everything that had been …Read More

#53: Bohemian Tragedy

Members of the ultra-exclusive Bohemian Club—2,500 of America’s richest, most conservative men, including Henry Kissinger, George H. W. Bush, and a passel of Bechtels, Basses, and Rockefellers—are known to urinate freely against the ancient redwoods that cover their 2,700-acre property. Have they been chopping down the trees as well? According to one former member turned …Read More

#45: Tracing the interconnected origins of world music from flamenco to the blues.

Tracing the interconnected origins of world music—from flamenco to the blues—Alex Shoumatoff travels to India in search of the Gypsy music of Rajasthan.
By Alex Shoumatoff

The overnight train from New Delhi to Rajasthan is called the Pink City Express, and at nine in the morning it pulled into the big, seething capital city of Jaipur. After …Read More

#40: Brazil’s Mata Atlantica: The Critically Endangered Coastal Rainforest of Brazil

Dispatch #40:  Brazil’s Mata Atlantica: The Critically Endangered Coastal Rainforest of Brazil, With a Postscripton the Musicality of Birdsong.  By Alex Shoumatoff   www.dispatchesfromthevanishingworld.com

The Atlantic Coastal Forest, or Mata Atlântica, is the second-largest rainforest in Brazil, after the Amazon. One of the most  biologically rich and varied, and most devastated, biomes on  the planet, it runs …Read More

#36: A Miraculous Meeting With My 22nd Cousin

By Alex Shoumatoff

This originally appeared in the January, 2007 Travel + Leisure, and is reproduced from travelandleisure.com.

In search of family history—and to meet a long-lost, distant cousin—Alex Shoumatoff crosses the country to the ancient city of Novgorod and finds a place of exhilarating beauty and personal resonance.  From January 2007
I think of myself sometimes as …Read More

#35: Reinhold Messner’s Longest Ordeal

By Alex Shoumatoff

This article originally appeared in the UK edition of Vanity Fair
and on VanityFair.Com, in September of 2006.

Reinhold Messner at Castle Juval, his home in South Tyrol, Italy, 2001. Photograph by Jonas Karlsson.




A decades-old mountaineering scandal has bubbled back up to the surface: did climbing legend Reinhold Messner—who made his name by being the …Read More

#33: The Amazon Research and Conservation Center on the Rio de Las Piedras, in the Peruvian Amazon

By Alex Shoumatoff

From the plane we catch glimpses of the Urubamba River, below Machu Picchu, plunging thousands of feet, then snaking through an ocean of trees that spreads east until it is lost in haze—the Amazon, the world’s largest and most diverse rainforest. We land in the humid furnace of Puerto Maldonado, the fourth-largest city …Read More

#27: Manitoba’s Many-Headed Hydro

By Alex
Original Magazine Article

The Bloodvein, a Canadian Heritage River, flows 186 miles through Manitoba’s roadless wilderness to Lake Winnipeg.

Manitoba Hydro wants to build transmission lines (that no one needs) through a proposed World Heritage site. First Nations and conservationists have a better idea.

It is the beginning of September, and my 10-year-old son Oliver and I …Read More

#23: Cultivating Culture: Emergence or Emergency

Cultivating Culture: Emergence or emergency? 
By Jonathan Golick 

August 2003
Copyright J. Golick 2003 ©
All rights reserved.  No use without permission.
In 1994 I spent several months in Mali, West Africa. It is a country with a rich and ancient cultural heritage where more than a dozen local languages are spoken. At first the unfamiliar social customs and elaborate …Read More

#21: Introduction to Keeper’s Memory : The Kim Esteve Art Collection and a Narrative History of Chacara Flora

by Edward Leffingwell

      I had heard about this great scene in Sao Paulo revolving around a man called Kim Esteve. In February of l999 the opportunity came to check it out. Kim is a bosom buddy of the New York-based photographer Jonathan Becker, and Jonathan and I   were doing a piece for Vanity Fair on …Read More

#15 The Decimation of the Amazon Indians

Draft of an  entry on the decimation  of the Amazon Indians for a forthcoming three-volume encyclopedia on genocide and crimes against humanity, to be published by MacMillan, under the general editorship of Diane l. Shelton
The decimation of the Amazon’s native people over the past four centuries illustrates two patterns outlined in Benjamin Whitaker’s l985 …Read More

#14: A Speech Given for Adirondack Voices For Peace at the John Brown Homestead, North Elba, New York, on August 16, 2003

I am now [having sung and strummed a few peace songs with my three little boys] going to give a brief speech that is probably going to get me audited and sent to Guantanamo, but here goes :
      The John Brown Homestead seems a somewhat strange venue for a peace rally, considering that Brown’s approach …Read More

#12: Annals of Investigative Golf : The Gavea Golf Club in Rio de Janeiro.

This piece was  commissioned by TheSpook, a lively Web rag started by the multi-talented and multifaceted Anthony Sapienza, who subsequently changed the name to Metropole. Posting it  as a Dispatch is admittedly a bit of a stretch—what, after all,  does investigative golf have to do with the vanishing world ?—but  I’m  including it  because it’s …Read More

#10: A Report for the J.M.Kaplan Fund on the Transborder Effort to Create Marine Protected Areas in the Gulf of Maine

1. The Ocean As The Last Frontier of Planetary Stewardship
        In l997 I wrote a proposal for a long magazine piece about the state of the world’s oceans, part of a series on the state of the environment at the turn of the millennium, that never happened.    “I will first head for the pool …Read More

#8: The Prairie Churches of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota: A Report for the J.M.Kaplan Fund

(This is the full, the complete, unexpurgated “twenty-three-thousand-plus” Dispatch, more than seven times longer than the report the Kaplan Fund commissioned.  But there was so much of interest that I wanted to do it full justice, because few people are aware of the amazing churches in the northern plains of Canada, and they are going …Read More

#7: A Preliminary Report on the Philanthropic Possibilities of Cuba

by Alex Shoumatoff, based on his visit to the island  March 19-26, 2001
        Cuba is rife with philanthropic possibility on both the architectural and ecological
preservation fronts. The casual visitor is impressed by how well this last bastion of communism seems to work for all its citizens, how despite the embargo there is food and health care …Read More

The Genesis of the Dispatches