One of the tangential characters in The Skies Belong to Us is the late William L. Eageleton, one of the most storied diplomats of the Cold War. When he wasn’t busy representing American interests in global hot spots, Eagleton passed the time by delving into the minutiae of rugs: He was a noted collector of Middle Eastern and North African rugs, as well as the author of an authoritative book on the topic. Tracking his interest in the art form led me the archives of Oriental Rug Review, a wonderfully geeky journal dedicated to the world’s unheralded weavers.
Much of the journal’s content is only available on paper, but a few in-depth articles have been posted on The Tubes. One of my favorites is this lengthy examination of Afghan war rugs, which includes some incredible photos of rugs created in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion. A highly recommended read for anyone who shares our fascination with the way in which conflict shapes creativity.