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About this blog: I grew up in Menlo Park and have long been involved with both local journalism and local theater. After starting my career as an editorial intern with The Almanac, I was a staff reporter for the Almanac and the San Mateo County Ti...  (More)

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Ad Libs: Remembering a relief effort

Uploaded: Mar 30, 2011
"It is no light matter to be in the midst of a starving population and to be only able to feed about 10% of them." So said a relief worker during the effort to alleviate a widespread 1921 famine in Russia.

The worker's words were quoted by Stanford author Bertrand M. Patenaude in his 2002 book "The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921." They are far from the only dramatic element in the book, which is filled with stories of dark days and humanitarian deeds, and striking photos of those struggling.

Next month, the book premieres in a new format: It's been made into a documentary film that will be shown on TV as part of PBS' "American Experience" series. ...

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