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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Apr 21, 2011

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Ever a ready critic of what some call the 'US military industrial complex', Claudia Cragg was at first extremely hesitant to interview Rye Barcott on his memoir 'It Happened on the Way to War' (Bloomsbury). Before she read the book, it appeared as though it might possibly be just another warped US military propaganda message to justify the ever-burgeoning expansion of the US Armed Forces around the world in the guise of 'doing good'. 

However, having read it, Cragg met with Barcott and found a highly intelligent man, the son of a Vietnam veteran and a Margaret Mead-inspired anthropologist mother. Always the proud marine, though, Barcott is not willing at any point to concede that his time might have been spent better in some pursuit other than that of marine, of course. The Peace Corps for example. The result is a complex view into the genesis of a young and very bright idealist as a catalyst for good in Kibera, the largest slums in Africa and the second largest in the world. God forbid, though, that anyone should think Barcott 'a liberal' (always a pejorative term apparently in the US). 
Barcott co-founded 'Carolina for Kibera' (CFK) in 2001, an international non-governmental organization for which he was named a Time Magazine and Gates Foundation 'Hero of Global Health' for its model of participatory development. Barcott is also a TED fellow
Music for the piece is written by J Kutchma ("Arms Around The World")and taken from the forthcoming film 'Chasing The Mad Lion'.