So it's been 22 days, but I just finished "The Way Of The World." While I've written about it extensively on my Myspace blog, I'll just share this paragraph from near the end:
"What's clear is that the human capacity for survival is asserting itself with some ingenuity. When people are tested - just as they are now by collisions of haves and have-nots, by destructive capacity and faith-driven violence - they often manage to discover saving truths. One, spoken by Benazir Bhutto in her last days, but understood by everyone..., is about the way of the world. When the world works, and it often has over the recent centuries, it's because everyone moves forward, in a kind of modest unison. It's not about a giver and receiver, and the obligations accrued therein. Or about who saved whom. It is, as Usman and Sadia agree, about defining human progress together, and making sure everyone advances, even if it's just one step."
Definitely the best thing I've read all year. Possibly the most important book published about the past decade. Hopeful, elegant - and above all incendiary.