Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
Mark Danner
Mark Danner, photo by Robin Holland
-Watch Video
Read Transcript
Comment
October 16, 2009

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama laid out his vision for a new era of diplomacy and international cooperation — but can a President who inherited two wars change the course of a nation?

Journalist Mark Danner speaks with Bill Moyers about the challenges Obama will face as he attempts to reset the mindset of America from war to peace, and redefine America's role in the international community.

In three decades of reporting from the frontlines of violent upheavals, journalist Mark Danner has seen countless deaths over ethnic and political divides, and witnessed firsthand the often disastrous unforeseen consequences of U.S. involvement.

STRIPPING BARE THE BODY

Danner's new book, STRIPPING BARE THE BODY, explores the intersection of politics and violence, drawing on three decades of reporting from conflict zones — from the end of the Cold War to the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Danner writes in the introduction:
Want to understand a society, comprehend the roots of its injustices, trace the structure of its power? Examine it at a moment of intense political struggle, when leader assassinates leader, party milita battles army, death squads liquidate rivals, paramilitaries massacre the defenseless — and above it all power, that great distinguished thing, suddenly disembodied and contested, floats free, bobbing up and down above the roiling crowd like a brightly colored ball, ready to be seized and claimed by the strongest, the most clever, the luckiest.
"With this vivid and deeply disturbing book," writes Andrew Bacevich, "Mark Danner affirms his standing as our preeminent guide to the world's broken places, littered with the detritus of American carelessness and delusions."

You can read some of the articles that appear in the book here.

Mark Danner

Mark Danner is a writer, journalist and professor who has written for more than two decades on foreign affairs and international conflict. He has covered Central America, Haiti, the Balkans and Iraq, among many other stories, and has written extensively about the development of American foreign policy during the late Cold War and afterward, and about violations of human rights during that time.

His books include STRIPPING BARE THE BODY (2009), THE SECRET WAY TO WAR: THE DOWNING STREET MEMO AND THE IRAQ WAR'S BURIED HISTORY (2006), TORTURE AND TRUTH: AMERICA, ABU GHRAIB AND THE WAR ON TERROR (2004), THE ROAD TO ILLEGITIMACY: ONE REPORTER'S TRAVEL'S THROUGH THE 2000 FLORIDA VOTE RECOUNT (2004) and THE MASSACRE AT EL MOZOTE: A PARABLE OF THE COLD WAR (1994). Danner was a longtime staff writer for THE NEW YORKER and is a regular contributor to THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS.

He is also professor of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, where he directs the Goldman Forum, and the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics, and Humanities at Bard College.

Published October 16, 2009.

Guest photos by Robin Holland.
Related Media:
Mark Danner and Bruce Fein on torture
A new debate followed the release of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel memos approving extreme measures of interrogation under the Bush administration. Bill Moyers sits down with Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the American Freedom Agenda, and Mark Danner, who has been reporting on the US treatment and interrogation of detainees for the NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. (May 1, 2009)

Andrew BacevichAndrew Bacevich
Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers interviews history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life. (August 15, 2008)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999)
Bill Moyers sat down with Archbishop Tutu in 1999 discussing his chairmanship of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Jane Mayer on torture
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL goes inside the July 2008 hearings on torture in Congress and gets perspective from journalist Jane Mayer on the debate over whether the U.S. sanctioned torture to prosecute the war on terror. Mayer's recent book, THE DARK SIDE: THE INSIDE STORY OF HOW THE WAR ON TERROR TURNED INTO A WAR ON AMERICAN IDEALS, documents the war on terror and the struggle over whether the president should have limitless power to wage it. (July 25, 2008)

Philippe Sands
International lawyer and law professor Philippe Sands, author of TORTURE TEAM, talks about the approval of coercive interrogation by high-level American officials. (May 9, 2008)

Rory StewartRory Stewart
Rory Stewart, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, lays out an alternate strategy for the international community in Afghanistan. (September 25, 2009)

Nancy YoussefNancy Youssef
The JOURNAL takes a hard look at the state of affairs in ever-divided Afghanistan with McClatchy DC Pentagon correspondent Nancy Youssef. (September 11, 2009)

Drone Bomber, photo by U.S. Air ForceShahan Mufti and Juan Cole
As the world follows the violence and unrest in Pakistan, Bill Moyers speaks with historian Juan Cole and journalist Shahan Mufti about the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, how it relates to the war in Afghanistan, and why they think Pakistan is not likely to become a failed state anytime soon. (May 15, 2009)

Sarah Chayes, photo by Robin HollandSarah Chayes
As a new administration is set to take over in the White House, Bill Moyers checks in with author Sarah Chayes on the state of affairs in America's other war in Afghanistan. An author and journalist, Chayes has lived the last eight years in Afghanistan helping to rebuild the country. (December 19, 2008)

References and Reading:
Articles by Mark Danner.

"Iraq: The War of the Imagination"
by Mark Danner, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, December 21, 2006.

"Taking Stock of the Forever War"
by Mark Danner, THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 11, 2005.

"Beyond the Mountains"
by Mark Danner, THE NEW YORKER, November 27, 1989.

Also This Week:
MARK DANNER
Reporting from the world's most troubled hotspots, Mark Danner has seen countless deaths over ethnic and political divides, and witnessed firsthand how U.S. attempts to exploit those conflicts have resulted in disastrous unforeseen consequences. Danner speaks with Bill Moyers about Obama’s challenges in resetting the mindset of America from war to peace, and redefining the US as a nation.

>THE JOURNAL ON WAR
View a collection of JOURNAL stories on foreign affairs, war, and veterans' issues.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CRUSADE
The JOURNAL profiles public health doctor America Bracho, who serves her Santa Ana, CA community – notorious for crime, poverty and disease – with her organization, Latino Health Access.

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES AND PODCASTS EMAIL US
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ