The Fifth Estate
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Award-winning journalist and author Roger Cohen meets Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft for a wide-ranging spotlight conversation on his memoir, his body of work and his perspective on international affairs.
'There's been a tremendous commitment of blood and treasure to far away places, and the results seem pretty paltry.'
Cohen has worked from 15 different countries as a foreign correspondent, reporting for some of the most prestigious news outlets in the globe. His association with the New York Times has spanned 25 years – as a foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and now as an op-ed columnist. Of his trade, he’s said: ‘The journalist moves in the opposite direction from the crowd, toward danger, often leaving the settled majority perplexed.’
In the latest of Cohen’s four books – 2015’s The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family – he turns that reporting ethos to his own family’s complex and itinerant history, centring on his mother’s travails with mental illness, geographical displacement and loneliness. It’s a slow-burning account of love, revealed layer by layer; it’s also an intergenerational search for the meaning of Cohen’s complex inheritance, and for ‘Jewishness’, touching on his sometimes controversial views on key issues facing modern Israel.
Roger Cohen has worked for The New York Times for 25 years as a foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and now columnist. Prior to that he worked for The Wall Street Journal and Reuters. He is the author of four books. The latest, a family memoir entitled The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family (2015), was published to wide acclaim.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
The Fifth Estate
The important stories of the day – off the front pages.
Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.