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'Food During Wartime': Correspondents share stories

Matt McAllester's new book gets some love at the Overseas Press Club.
Charles Sennott Overseas Press ClubEnlarge
GlobalPost executive editor and co-founder Charles Sennott reads from "Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food During Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents" at the Overseas Press Club in New York City on January 4, 2012. (Ron Haviv/GlobalPost)

Whether strictly for sustenance or also as a rare source of pleasure, certain meals were sacred acts for a group of war correspondents whose work was assembled by editor Matt McAllester for his new book, "Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food During Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents."

The Overseas Press Club hosted an event Wednesday night in New York City featuring readings by some of the authors featured in the book. GlobalPost executive editor and co-founder Charles Sennott read his chapter, "The House of Bread" about the birth of his son Gabriel in Bethlehem during the beginning of the second intifada in December 2000. Sennott was reporting there as Middle East bureau chief for the Boston Globe.

Sennott wrote: "I was working on a book at the time, retracing the path of Jesus' life in the year 2000. I can feel—and sometimes see—people roll their eyes when they hear we had a child born in Bethlehem in that year of researching the book. The whole reality we were living in sometimes felt a bit too contrived. It didn't go unnoticed by my fellow correspondents, who relished teasing us about it. Some jokingly suggested that we might even be suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome, the extraordinary psychosis in which people living in the Holy Land take on biblical characters as part of their persona. There's even a mental ward dedicated to such sufferers in Jerusalem, and in the millennial year the ward was packed with several John the Baptists, a few Marys and at least one Moses and one Jesus."

McAllester is a longtime, Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent formerly of Newsday and GlobalPost and now with Newsweek / The Daily Beast.