National Geographic : 1995 Jul
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Assignment ./vS~iu~icn * BURMA, THE RICHEST OF POOR COUNTRIES A Writer Returns WHILE MANY AUTHORS agonize over what editors cut from stories, Senior Writer JOEL SWERD LOW-here performing a purification rite at a Rangoon shrine-worried more about what he should leave in. "People risked their lives to talk to me about Burma's military dictator ship," he explains. "I had to make sure they couldn't be iden tified. I knew the government might retaliate." Born in Washington, D. C., into a world-roving family, Joel went to Burma-from Paris-at age nine. When the democratic government fell three years later, the Swerdlows moved to Syracuse, New York. While earning a doctorate at Cornell University, Joel resolved to become a writer. To earn money while working on a novel, he covered the Watergate trial for National Public Radio. His first GEOGRAPHIC article, "To Heal a Nation" (May 1985), described the creation of STEVE MCCURRY the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. the GEOGRAPHIC since 1992, his His book with that title became articles have ranged from the a TV movie, human brain (June 1995) to Joel's books, short stories, Walt Whitman (December and articles have been translated 1994)-a finalist in the 1994 into several dozen languages. At National Magazine Awards. BARRYBLANCHARD * ROCKY TIMES FOR BANFF Climbing Above the Crowds "IT WAS ANICE FALL DAY on the valley floor when we started climbing," recalls contract photographer RAY MOND GEHMAN, shown here part way up a glacier on the north side of Mount Athabasca. "You can hike to a different season in a few hours at Banff." And get away from the crowds in Canada's busiest national park. Ray first took up photography after the U. S. Army sent him to Germany. He traveled in Europe, where "taking pictures seemed like the natural thing to do." Back in the States, he studied photojournalism at the University of Missouri. He found working as a news paper photographer in Montana and Virginia "the best training in the world." It has served him well on GEO GRAPHIC assignments that include Hurricane Andrew (April 1993) and eastern wildlife (February 1992). NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC (ISSN0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHENATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY,1145 17THST.N.W .,WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036-4688.$25.00 AYEAR,$3.00 ACOPY. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGEPAIDATWASHINGTON, D.C., ANDELSEWHERE. POSTMASTER: SENDADDRESSCHANGESTONATIONALGEOGRAPHIC, P.O .BOX2174, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20013.