- June 28, 2012 : Vanity Fair has published a special edition : “Private Paradises : Inside the World’s Most Extraordinary Homes and Gardens.” The lead story is my May l997 “Camp Life,” a tour of the great camps of the Adirondacks
- June, 2012, Vanity Fair has published Alex’s portrait and memoir of 44th Street between 5th and 6th avenues. See Dispatch #73.
- March 23, 2012 : “Agony and Ivory,” Shoumatoff’s piece on elephants and the ivory trade in last August’s Vanity Fair (see Dispatch #65), has been awarded a Genesis Award in the Outstanding Written Word/Magazine category by the Humane Society of the United States. The Genesis Awards ceremonies took place at the Beverly Hilton in Hollywood.
- February 6, 2012 : Dispatch #31: The Desertification of Mali has been reprinted in a textbook called Water, edited by Noah Berlatsky and published by Greenhaven Press.
January 12, 2012 : Ohla amigos, DispatchesFromTheVanishingWorl
d.com has just launched its own print-on-demand, Kindle- and Ipad-downloadable publishing house, Last Look Books, with a new edition of my first book, retitled Postcards From Florida. With your support we hope to have twenty more titles out by the end of the year. Some of them will be important contributions to the efforts to preserve our biocultural diversity. Here’s the link : http:// blog.dispatchesfromthevanishingor go to Books and Products on the title page. world.com/ ?wpsc-product=postcards-from-fl orida
gworld.comAlex Shoumatoff, in his twenties, cruises around Florida in an old convertible in the early 1970′s and makes contact with the riotous flora and fauna and the incredibly friendly Floridians and produces this quietly surrealistic account of his travels, a classic American road trip.
- Internets from McGill in Jui Ramaprasad’s social networking course have giving DVW some great ideas. Jessica Lamb has retired DVW’s old group page and started a like page and invited all my 3500 facebook friends to like it and so far more than 200 have. A $2000 grant from the Winslow Foundation, DVW’s oldest and most loyal supporter, is on the way via Adirondack Community Trust.
- Our publishing division, Last Look Books, headed by Brooke Thorpe, is about to come out with its first offering, “Postcards From Florida,” a new edition of Alex’s first book, the l974 “Florida Ramble.”
- In November we put up a Dispatch investigating “Why Do the Chinese Eat Everything ?” Alex put up his song for the elephants on Youtube (go to Alex Shoumatoff : Song for the Elephants).
- In October we published two Dispatches, a big-hearted piece of pointilliste fiction by Elaine Rosenberg Miller, and Heather Pepe’s moving account of trying to keep the green turtles that nest on Tobago with us.
- September 13, 2011: Dispatch #66 : the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 and of the Creation of this Site
- July 1, 2011: Dispatch # 65: “Agony in Ivory,” a report on elephants and the ivory trade for the August Vanity Fair. Here). This piece has been translated into Mandarin and made available to the 300,000 individual members and 800 company members of the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association and to 55 millionaire members of China Nature Conservancy, and is being included in the educational packets given to Chinese workers heading for Africa, and it was reprinted in the October GQ China, so it is reaching the real audience it needs to reach. It has also been nominated for a National Magazine Award in the public interest category. It has done a lot of good for the elephants, for the magazine business, and shows there is still a need and an audience for 10,000-word, in-depth investigative literary journalism. Like my pieces on the ethnocide of Tibet and the murder of Chico Mendes, it is a seminal, conscience-raising piece and is a model for what this Web site is trying to accomplish.
- June 16, 2011: Dispatch # 64: The Pandemic That Never Happened. This is a diary of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic through September of that year, by which time Mexico and Argentina had been devastated by the virus. But the rest of the world, it turned out would be spared– this time. It turned out to be a very expensive exercise in pandemic preparedness, and a thoroughly worthwhile one, as we are only going to see more of theselethal outbreaks. The people at the CDC, and the doctors and epidemiologists in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, were really impressive. Click here to see the dispatch. (Adobe PDF format)
- June 16, 2011: Dispatch # 63: Cartagena Redux. This is the first piece I did for Travel & Leisure, in early 1999, I believe. It was never published, because the magazine feared its readers who decided to go to Cartagena could be kidnapped. This was the beginning of my association with Sheila Glaser, one of the best editors I have ever had, who is now at the New York Times Sunday Magazine. From a literary point of view, the writing in this piece has a degree of sophistication that doesn’t exist in travel writing any more. It harks back to the golden age of travel writing in the thirties. Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Andre Malraux, etc, to a tradition that Bruce Chatwin and I were among the last practitioners of. Raymond Sokoloff in a review of my book African Madness for the Wall Street Journal, called me “overqualified,” in the sense that A.J. Liebling was. This piece was certainly over the head of the average reader of Travel & Leisure. Probably another reason why it wasn’t published. Click here to see the dispatch. (Adobe PDF format)
- June 16, 2011: Dispatch # 62: The Emperor Who Ate His People. This piece was published in the July, l987, Vanity Fair. It is one of the ousted dictator stories that Tina Brown had me doing. The others were Alfredo Stroessner, Mengistu Haile Meriam, and Mobutu Sese Seko. I’d love to do one on Gadaffi. I was just in the Central African Republic for the first time in 25 years, when I covered Bokassa’s trial, and little has changed. The current president, Francois Bozize, who was Bokassa’s aide-de-camp and has been ruling for eleven years, the last three extrajudicially, has just posthumously rehabilitated Bokassa, and Barbet Schroeder, who did the famous l974 documentary on Idi Amin Dada, is making a movie about him. At least when Bokassa was emperor, the country counted for something. Today, not many people in the world are even aware that there is a country called the Central Africa Republic. Click here to see the dispatch. (Adobe PDF format)
- June 9, 2011: Dispatch # 61: Saving The Land That Gives Life. About the battle to keep Manitoba Hydro from running a huge transmission line down the east side of Lake Winnipeg, which would ruin the World Heritage site that that five Ojibwe nations are trying to get for their spectacular still virgin ancestral wilderness. This Dispatch is causing quite a furor in Manitoba, which is just what we want. Manitobans need to inform themselves about this issue and to do the right thing, or future generations will never forgive them. The great news is that in the October elections four months later Hugh McFadyen lost to the incumbent NDP premier, Greg Sellinger, so the east side route is toast. Click here to see the Dispatch.
- March 9, 2011: Dispatch # 60: the text of a speech called “Westchester, Bedford, and the Education of a Conservationist,” that Alex gave in his hometown on March 6. Click here to see the dispatch. (Adobe PDF format)
- October 3, 2010: Dispatch # 59: God Save the Ridley. Will the most critically endangered of the world’s seven sea turtle species survive the Gulf oil spill? Click here to see the dispatch (Note: a link to edition that appeared in Vanity Fair is posted, as well as the original version that is slightly longer).
- September 15, 2010: Dispatch #58, about Boston-born William Lobkowicz, who is from an old Bohemian princely family and went back to Prague after the Velvet Revolution and got back everything that had been nationalized by the Soviet occupiers: the ten palaces, the land, the fabulous art and book collections– and is trying to make it work– not an easy proposition. Click here to read. (Adobe PDF)
- September 14, 2010: Reposting Dispatch #13: The Garter Snake Dens of Manitoba. As posted in the 2004 edition of Audubon Magazine, here is an article that originally appeared here as Dispatch #13: Each spring, on the plains of Manitoba, tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes come boiling out of the depths of the earth. Before dispersing, they come together to mate in what is truly one of nature’s most riveting spectacles. Click here to read.
- June 20, 2010: Dispatch #57: Presenting General Aidid. Suitcase sneaks behind enemy lines in Mogadishu in l994 and interviews the “warlord” Mohammed Farah Aidid, whom the U.S. blew off in much the way it did Pancho Villa, and with remarkably similar consequences. Click here to read. (Adobe PDF)
- June 20, 2010 : Suitcase’s Vanity Fair story, “The Lazarus Effect,” (Dispatch #42) has been reprinted in the textbook Writing the Critical Essay: Aids, edited by Lauri S. Friedman, Greenhaven Press
- March 15, 2010: Since our Call to Action went out 5 days ago, visits to DFVW have tripled, and the response has been global and phenomenal and very moving. So this is kind of like a chain letter for a good cause: please keep it going and especially send it to a core group of 20 friends who you know believe in it and will act. We’ve created a new section above called Ecowarriors: Building the Movement. You may also join our Facebook group which keeps tabs on this program.
- March, 2010: Dispatch #55: Sometimes You Gotta Buck The Tide: A Call to Action To All Who Care About the World. Click here (Adobe PDF)
- March, 2010: Dispatch #56: Notes on the Dialect and Culture of the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. A 100-page treatise that Shoumatoff has been working on for 30 years. Click here (Adobe PDF)
- December, 2009: The Dispatches has started a new section, Fiction.
- July, 2009: Dispatch #54: In Search of the Source of AIDS in Africa. With swine flu spreading around the world, and mankind bracing for the second wave in the fall, here is a 1988 Vanity Fair piece about another virus and its devastating effects and the race to understand and contain it. Click here to read the Dispatch (Adobe PDF)
- June 1, 2009: “The Scramble for the Arctic” has been reprinted as a chapter in Adaptation and Climate Change, ed. Sarah Flint Erdreich, Greenhaven Press.
- The Dispatches has started a new section, Nature Art.
- The May issue of Vanity Fair, now on the stands, and VanityFair.com have an article by Shoumatoff/Suitcase called “Bohemian Tragedy,”which recounts how he was arrested in the Bohemian Grove while trying to help an old college buddy stop the cutting of its magnificent redwoods.
- We have now posted 53 Dispatches posted on the site since it went up in 2001. Click here to check them out.
- Suitcase on the Loose, Alex Shoumatoff’s long-await debut album, has been posted on the site in its entirety on Dispatches. Click here to listen to it. It is also available for puchase/download at Itunes Amazon, emusic, and other digital jukeboxes. You can also hear two of its ten songs, “Too Too Much,” a green song, and “Pennsylvania Turnpike Blues” with a slideshow of Shoumatoff’s old postcards, on VanityFair.com. The latter was aired on National Public Radio’s weekend edition the Sunday morning before the Pennsylvania primary for the 2008 Presidential Election.
- ‘How can I become part of this effort?’ Click here to see the June, 2007 report and here to read a lecture Alex recently gave at the McGill school of business.
- March, 2008: The Dispatches are now host to some astounding performances of traditional gypsy music from Rajasthan. Take a listen to them here.
- February, 2008: We’ve just heard from Marylise Lefèvre, one of our far flung interns, who is volunteering at a chimp sanctuary in Cameroun. In the summer she will resume her study of the movements of returning salmon in eastern Quebec. Here is a photo of her with three chimps, orphaned by poachers, that she is taking care of.
- February, 2008: Bob Dylan airs an old blues song about the death of FDR and Shoumatoff’s grandmother, Elizabeth Shoumatoff, and talks about her afterwards on his radio show. Click here to listen to the broadcast and here to read about Alex’s grandmother.
- Fantastic news! The Shoumatoff’s hairstreak lives! The following e-mail was received in February 2008. Click here
- January, 2008: Dispatch #38 was re-printed by Vanity Fair in a booklet called “A Guide to Green Living” and in an anthology for English 101, the college composition course, called The Reader, edited by Judy Sieg
January, 2008: Dispatch #41 has been submitted by Walrus Magazine for two Canadian National Magazine Awards.