Liberia in Focus

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The Liberia that the writer Graham Green traveled to in 1935 was still marked on maps by the words “cannibals” and “dense forest.”

Reports accused then-Liberian president Edwin Barclay of massacring civilians, and Greene, on a break from writing fiction, was there to find facts. What he found was a president who thrilled to his own rhetoric and power. I’m “in charge of the machine,” Barclay boasted. “I’m the boss of the whole show.”

Almost seven decades later, the new boss of the whole show, Charles Taylor, is at the heart of a civil war that has got many in the international community, and inside West Africa, clamoring for American intervention.


Aminatta Forna, journalist and author of “The Devil that Danced on the Water”

Philip Gourevitch, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families:Stories from Rwanda”

Mark Bowden, columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War”

Stephan Faris, Time magazine correspondent in Monrovia