The Democratic Republic of Congo is known best for its robust but troubled mining sector, which attracts 80 percent of the country’s Foreign Direct Investment but generates only 10 percent of its tax revenue. But far less attention is paid to Congo’s agriculture, which generates 42 percent of its GDP and involves the majority of… more
Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Now, the Pan-Asia Railway portion of the One Belt One Road initiative could transform Southeast Asia. Will Doig traveled through Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to chronicle the dramatic transformations taking place. Do ordinary people have a voice in this… more
Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen is an outspoken critic of Putin and Trump, and was just named one of the Five Most Important Intellectuals in America Today by The Washington Post. Her new book "Never Remember" with photos by Misha Friedman, commemorates those who died in the gulags and explains how Putin’s totalitarian state is whitewashing… more
CGR Director Nicholas Lemann sits down with investigative reporter Erin Banco, author of the new book Pipe Dreams: The Plundering of Iraq’s Oil Wealth. When the United States invaded in 2003, the Bush Administration promised that oil revenue would be used to win the war and to rebuild and democratize the country. But fifteen years… more
Those who recall Mark Zuckerberg’s controversial $100 million philanthropic experiment to transform Newark public schools might be surprised to learn that Zuckerberg, the Gates Foundation, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and other Silicon Valley visionaries have been quietly investing in another educational experiment an ocean away. Bridge International Academies was conceived in 2007 to be the… more
Nicholas Lemann sits down with Emily Witt, author of the new book NOLLYWOOD: THE MAKING OF A FILM EMPIRE. Amid electricity cuts, fuel scarcity, and countless other obstacles, Nigerians are pursuing the very real possibility that Nollywood dramas could become a global brand, as recognizable as the Bollywood musical, the Hong Kong kung fu flick,… more
This week on UNDERREPORTED, Nicholas Lemann welcomes Atossa Araxia Abrahamian to the studio to talk about her book THE COSMOPOLITES: THE COMING OF THE GLOBAL CITIZEN, published by Columbia Global Reports in 2015. Nick and Atossa discuss the global business of buying and selling citizenships and what it means to be a "cosmopolite." Is globalization… more
On this week's episode of UNDERREPORTED, Nicholas Lemann sits down with Helen C. Epstein to talk about her new book ANOTHER FINE MESS: AMERICA, UGANDA, AND THE WAR ON TERROR. Is America to blame for decades of war in eastern Africa? Who is Yoweri Museveni? And where is Trump on all of this?
In the first episode of UNDERREPORTED, we bring in the team to talk about Columbia Global Reports' mission, our lessons learned from entering the book business, and populism's role in the German election.
Critics called it the “sleep campaign” because Angela Merkel did everything in her power to send voters into a slumber. Her tactic in the German federal election, termed “asymmetric demobilisation,” was designed to depress turnout amongst opposition parties by making a maximally inoffensive pitch to the electorate. It successfully pushed her main opponents, the Social… more