Allan Little analyses four parts of the world where the 'tectonic plates' of history keep bringing the regions into the news headlines generation after generation.
Allan reported from Sierra Leone in the 1990s, during the bleakest times of the conflict that engulfed the country.
Now he returns to examine some of the reasons why a place that offered promise at Independence descended into such chaos and brutality.
Colonial rule, insufficient preparation for Independence and a structure that allowed dictators to emerge, all played a part.
But he finds a new realism and determination, too.
In candid and revealing interviews, he talks to those who feel their country must move on from being a 'victim of colonialism' and take responsibility for its own future.
|02||The Mexico/us Border||20060515|
Allan travels to Arizona and Mexico border towns to meet Mexican migrants about to embark on a 100-mile trek across the desert to find work in the US.
He explores the part 'Manifest Destiny' played in the United States' claim to just over half of Mexico's territory when it re-drew its border in the late 19th Century.
It propelled the US into war with Mexico, but also halted it from going further as concerns were voiced in Congress about the effects of incorporating other races into the 'perfect democracy' that the United States was establishing.
As one interviewee puts it: "They wanted Mexico but not the Mexicans".
Does 'Manifest Destiny' still play a part in US foreign policy today?
|03||China And Japan||20060522|
No country is watching China's phenomenal economic growth more closely than Japan.
The most intimate of friends, then enemies, over the centuries, Allan Little analyses the ways in which both countries have manipulated their historical narratives to fulfil their different destinies.
With the end of the Cold War, China can no longer rely on Communism alone to connect its vast population.
It is turning to nationalism to provide a unifying force.
And within that story, Japan has assumed centre stage once more.
sits among some of the strongest cross currents of history, currents that pulled it into a vortex of war and mayhem that ended just 15 years ago.
Allan looks at the reasons why Lebanon's beguiling cultural and religious pluralism dragged it towards mutual destruction.
What were the fault lines that became battle lines?
With Lebanon again at the centre of a Middle East conflict, Allan Little examines why its beguiling cultural and religious pluralism has dragged it towards destruction.
What are the fault lines that have once again become battle lines?