Readers write: Chronicle of Ukraine, opportunities from technology, best government

Letters to the editor for the Dec. 4, 2017 weekly magazine.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in central Moscow, Russia on Feb. 23, 2017.

Chronicle of Ukraine

Regarding the Oct. 19 book review “ ‘Red Famine’ chronicles the ruin wrought upon Ukraine by Joseph Stalin” ( I recently heard “Red Famine” author Anne Applebaum speak at the Ukrainian Museum in New York. My grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine in the 1920s. I believe that Ms. Applebaum deserves another award for this book.

Joan Carmody

New York

Opportunities from technology

The Oct. 4 Monitor Daily article “Digital humanitarianism harnesses the power of crowds” was fascinating and encouraging. 

I help mentor two high school students who seem a bit lost in trying to figure out what to do after graduating from high school. I like to share and discuss articles with them that may spark an idea. I will be sharing this article with them. I love learning of the new opportunities that technology opens for us. Thanks.

Janice Delacy

Black Diamond, Wash.

Best government

Thank you so much for the very interesting and thought-provoking Nov. 6 cover story about Russia, “1917 today.” It is so tempting to think that the Western government model is right for every country, but obviously that is not the case. Your article brings out so clearly that each nation must have a unique approach to the right governmental fit. 

I especially appreciated how the article – via interviews with three generations of a Russian family – illustrated so clearly that Russia is not like the West and we should not expect our government model to work there. 

The best government grows out of a nation’s historical experiences. Personally, I look forward to seeing how the Russian government model evolves.

LuAnn Condon

Traverse City, Mich.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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