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Senior Fellow Maryn McKenna was honored as a 2014 APUA Leadership Award from the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics.

Michael Blanding's new book "The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps" was named as one of NPR's 2014 Good Reads.

Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern's new book "This Way More Better" received the 2014 Best Travel Book Award and Best Nonfiction Award in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Their book “Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos,” was a finalist for three prestigious prizes: the Eric Hoffer Book Award, the Montaigne Medal, and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award.

Schuster Institute has received a 2014 Clarion Award for its article "Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife with Human Rights Abuses," July 22, 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek, in the category of Magazines - Feature Article, External Publication - Circulation of 500,000 or more - Current News.

Erin Siegal McIntyre was named "Freelancer of the Year" by the Guild Freelancers and received three 1st place awards in 2014 for her reporting on immigration.

Madeline Drexler has been honored with a Grand Gold Award for Best Article of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Her article, "Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll," (Spring 2013, Harvard Public Health), was selected out of 75 entries.

Phillip Martin has received a 2014 RTDNA National Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting for his piece "Underground Trade: From Boston to Bangkok," (WGBH Boston Public Radio), which was also selected for a regional award. 



Investigative News Network 

Global Investigative Journalism Network

Committee of Concerned Journalists

Futuro Media Group

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© 2008-2014 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454. All rights reserved.

The Front Page

International Adoption Ethiopia

"They Steal Babies, Don't They?" 


Exclusive U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa documents received through Freedom of Information Act requests reveal how humanitarian adoptions in Ethiopia metastasized into a mini-industry shot through with fraud, becoming a source of income for unscrupulous orphanages, government officials, and shady operators—and was then reined back in through diplomacy, regulation, and a brand-new federal law. 

Read our new report on fraud and corruption in international adoption, "They Steal Babies, Don't They?" and find links to all the documents we received, published here for the first time.


More Recent Reporting & Commentary  

Michael Patrick MacDonald Remembering Busing In South Boston With Michael Patrick MacDonald, Phillip Martin, December 17, 2014, WGBH News.
Antibiotic resistance and global health The Coming Cost of Superbugs: 10 Million Deaths Per Year, Maryn McKenna, December 15, 2014, Wired Science.
Anti-poverty program Need a Doctor? This Anti-Poverty Program Will Get You a Lawyer Too, Seth Freed Wessler, December 13, 2014, NBC News.
Florida tomato pickers Florida Tomato Pickers' Wins Could Extend To Dairy, Berry Workers, Tracie McMillan, December 12, 2014, The Salt, NPR.
What Black Parents Are Teaching Their Kids About Police | Phillip Martin What Black Parents Are Teaching Their Kids About Police, Phillip Martin, December 8, 2014, WGBH News.
Craig Watts Hoping to Change the Industry, a Factory Farmer Opens His Barn Doors, Maryn McKenna, December 4, 2014, Wired Science.
Epsosde pills New Analysis Says FDA Farm Antibiotic Reduction Won't Work as Planned, Maryn McKenna, December 3, 2014, Wired Science.
You Want A Dialogue On Racism? You Want a Dialogue on Racism? This Black Teens are Living It, Seth Freed Wessler, December 2, 2014, Talking Points Memo.
Karen Abigail Lopez Garcia The Limits of Jurisdiction, Erin Siegal McIntyre, December 1, 2014, Guernica Magazine.
Michael Brown Ferguson Protest photo Vladimir Badikov Mass. Residents Protest Ferguson Decision, Phillip Martin, December 1, 2014, WGBH News.
United Nations Headquarters Who Really Runs the World? A New Study of the U.N. Sheds Some Light, Michael Blanding, December 1, 2014, HBS Working Knowledge, Forbes.


The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

When Beinecke librarian Naomi Saito found an X-Acto knife on the floor of a reading room, alarm bells rang in her head. The library where Saito works is the Beinecke The Map Thief by Michael BlandingRare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University.

"Few objects could be more disturbing to someone who works in a building full of rare books than a tool that can separate the pages of a book from its binding," writes Michael Blanding, Senior Fellow, in his new book, "The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps" (Gotham Books, May 29, 2014).  

Saito, library colleagues, and security staff soon identified the owner of the knife. He was still in the library–a dealer in rare maps named E. Forbes Smiley III.

When they confronted Smiley, he'd already slipped into his jacket pocket a map he'd lifted out of a book. He'd had no need for the X-Acto. The book's 400-year-old glue had long loosened its contents.

Eventually, Smiley admitted to stealing millions of dollars worth of rare maps and went to prison. 

In "The Map Thief," Blanding reports on the crime, the man behind the crime, the history of specific maps, and map-making. Smiley granted Blanding only two interviews and then went silent. Although he told Blanding much of his story, mysteries remain and maps are still missing.

Read more about The Map Thief>

Eternal Harvest: Forty Years Later, Tens of Millions of U.S. Bombs Dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War Continue to Devastate Laotians

Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

What most of us don't know about the Vietnam War is that the United States military, in its efforts to quash the Communist insurgency in the North and stop supply routes connecting North and South Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, dropped tens of millions of bombs on the people and landscape of neighboring Laos. Beginning in 1964, American forces bombed Laos on average once every eight minutes for nine years.

“Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos" (ThingsAsian Press, December 1, 2013) is a new book by Schuster Institute Senior Fellows Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern dedicated to telling this story. In it, the bombing missions over Laos during the Vietnam War and their devastating effects are described through the experiences of Laotians and people on the ground there trying to clear the land of unexploded ordnance (UXO).

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