Paul Danahar

Paul Danahar

It was a book that led to me to my chosen profession. John Pilger’s ‘Heroes’ opened my eyes to the world of a foreign correspondent but more importantly to the value of viewing huge geopolitical events through the prism of the lives touched, or more often destroyed, by them. I’ve moved country six times with my collection of books. Each move inevitably involves an evaluation of whether or not any given book justifies being shipped half way around the world at the expense of another. My wife and I ask ourselves if a book is brilliant, or still relevant or whether my sons will one day want to read it. Those still here have passed one or other of those tests. However when I wrote my own book on the Middle East I found Kindle editions much easier to work with. I often re-bought books I already physically owned because then, no matter where I was in the Middle East, I could still carry out my research. Though I personally still enjoy the feel of a book in my hands I fear my bookshelf, like many others, will eventually appear frozen in time as e-books take their place and ornaments and mementos take their space on the shelves.

Bio

Paul Danahar is the BBC’s North America Bureau Chief and author of the book ‘The New Middle East: The World after the Arab Spring’. He has lived and worked as a journalist in South Asia, Africa, the Far East, the Middle East and is presently living in Washington DC. He is one of a small number of journalists to have reported from all three countries that make up the so-called ‘Axis of Evil’: Iraq, Iran and North Korea. He tweets on Middle Eastern affairs at @pdanahar