In the United States, sports enthusiasts have long touted the adage, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” But while that saying has guided many of us in competition — be it in the stock market, on the battlefield, or at the sports stadium —winning, though tantalizing, is rarely that simple. What about the losers? How are they affected? Can a winner go too far in the quest to achieve success? And can victors end up worse off than they were before tasting success?

In this issue of InTheFray, we examine these questions in a variety of international contexts. We begin in Uganda, where Anna Sussman and Jonathan Jones examine The difficulties of ending a war. As the duo of journalists discover, ending Uganda’s long-running war requires resolving another conflict — that over the International Criminal Court, which many Ugandans regard as a threat to negotiations, while others see it as the ticket to peace and justice.

And back home from a visit to Malaysia, Mindy McAdams is Missing the mango, or the rich diversity of cultures, foods, and religions that have shaped the 50-year-old nation. But, McAdams worries, this successful mixture is threatened by a trend toward cultural separatism.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Fishbein reviews Dave Eggers’ What Is the What, the retelling of Valentino Achak Deng’s struggle to come of age in the midst of Sudan’s civil wars. In Eggers’ account, Deng has been victimized in his adopted country — the United States — as badly, perhaps even worse than, he was in Sudan. Here, he is invisible, negligible, leaving readers desperate “to rekindle belief in humanity,” as Fishbein eloquently puts it.

Rounding out this month’s pieces is an eclectic collection of poems by Gaia Holmes about Summer heat, moths in the moonlight … and the mysteries of love, life, and longing.

Happy reading!

Laura Nathan
Editor
Buffalo, New York

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