Title: GLOBALISATION, DEMOCRACY AND TERRORISM
Authors: Eric Hobsbawm, (Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm, E. J. Hobsbawm)
Publication Date: 2008
Genre: Politics, History, USA, American, Terrorism, Nationalism
** ‘Hobsbawm is as intellectually lively and politically provocative as ever in these lectures on the “barbarisation” of society through technology, economic activity and globalisation’ THE TIMES
** ‘This collection of recent essays gives a good sense of the vigour and passion with which this famous intellectual surveys the contemporary world’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
** ‘Britain’s greatest living left-wing historian … GLOBALISATION, DEMOCRACY AND TERRORISM picks up where the bestselling AGE OF EXTREMES and THE NEW CENTURY left off’ THE SCOTSMAN
** ‘Hobsbawm is one of the leading intellectual authors of the concepts and language in which all of us now discuss our situation. He sketches here with great lucidity and his usual effortless compression the new landscape of the 21st century’ GUARDIAN
** ‘Eric Hobsbawm rounds off his splendid histories of the 19th and 20th centuries with a look at the factors that will shape the 21st … This book contains many valuable insights, presented in a clear and concrete fashion; it deserves to be widely read’ SOCIALIST REVIEW
** ‘The lasting impression of these speeches is of a fiercely unsentimental historian who has not stopped speaking out against Western imperialism’ METRO
Title: Walden, Civil Disobedience and Other Writings (Norton Critical Editions)
Author: Henry David Thoreau
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.
Publication Date: April 2008
In addition to the texts of ‘Walden’ and ‘Civil Disobedience’, this title reprints the important works, ‘Slavery in Massachusetts’, ‘Walking’ and ‘Wild Apples’. It includes the best critical writing on the texts by nineteen contributors.
Title: Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs
Author: Noam Chomsky
Publisher: South End Press
Publication Date: September 2000
[Chomsky] holds a mirror up to the United States, [showing] it in a very different light than the United States’ official rhetoric.” — Erkki Tuomioja, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs
An Excerpt from Rogue States by Noam Chomsky
The concept of “rogue state” plays a pre-eminent role today in policy planning and analysis.
The current Iraq crisis is only the latest example. Washington and London declared Iraq a “rogue state,” a threat to its neighbors and to the entire world, an “outlaw nation” led by a reincarnation of Hitler who must be contained by the guardians of world order, the United States and its British “junior partner,” to adopt the term ruefully employed by the British foreign office half a century ago. The concept merits a close look.
A secret 1995 study of the Strategic Command, which is responsible for the strategic nuclear arsenal, outlines the basic thinking. Released through the Freedom of Information Act, the study, Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence, “shows how the United States shifted its deterrent strategy from the defunct Soviet Union to so-called rogue states such as Iraq, Libya, Cuba and North Korea,” AP reports. The study advocates that the US exploit its nuclear arsenal to portray itself as “irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked.” That “should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries,” in particular the “rogue states.” “It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed,” let alone committed to such silliness as international law and treaty obligations. “The fact that some elements” of the US government “may appear to be potentially ‘out of control’ can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary’s decision makers.” The report resurrects Nixon’s “madman theory”: our enemies should recognize that we are crazed and unpredictable, with extraordinary.
The 21st-Century Economy: A Beginner’s Guide: With 101 Easy-To-Master Tools for Surviving and Thriving in the New Global Marketplace (Vintage Originals)
Author: Randy Charles Epping
Publisher: Vintage Books USA
Publication Date:April 2009
A comprehensive guide to understanding today’s global economy from the author of the bestselling A Beginner’s Guide to the World Economy. While reporting on today’s world, business and mainstream media alike use terms and mention trends that even the savviest consumer may find baffling. In his latest book, Randy Charles Epping uses compelling narratives and insightful analogies to clearly and concisely explain the rapidly changing way business is done in the twenty-first century, without a single chart or graph.
Epping defines key ideas and commonly used words and phrases like:
• Carbon footprint
• Economy of scale
• Outsourcing Epping also illustrates how central banks help navigate global crises and drive the global economy, discusses the benefits of Green Economics, shows how trade wars can be avoided, and explains the virtual economy, where multimillion dollar transactions take place in the blink of an eye.
Complete with 89 easy-to-master tools for surviving and thriving in the new global marketplace and an extensive glossary, The 21st Century Economy—A Beginner’s Guide is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the complex economy of the world in which we live.
Pity the Nation
Author: Robert Fisk
Publisher: Thunder’s Mouth Press
Publication Date:October 2003
With the Israeli-Palestinian crisis reaching wartime levels, where is the latest confrontation between these two old foes leading? Robert Fisk’s explosive Pity the Nation recounts Sharon and Arafat’s first deadly encounter in Lebanon in the early 1980s and explains why the IsraelPalestine relationship seems so intractable.
A remarkable combination of war reporting and analysis by an author who has witnessed the carnage of Beirut for twenty-five years, Fisk, the first journalist to whom bin Laden announced his jihad against the U. S. , is one of the world’s most fearless and honored foreign correspondents.
He spares no one in this saga of the civil war and subsequent Israeli invasion: the PLO, whose thuggish behavior alienated most Lebanese, the various Lebanese factions, whose appalling brutality spared no one, the Syrians, who supported first the Christians and then the Muslims in their attempt to control Lebanon, and the Israelis, who tried to install their own puppets and, with their 1982 invasion, committed massive war crimes of their own.
It includes a moving finale that recounts the travails of Fisk’s friend Terry Anderson who was kidnapped by Hezbollah and spent 2,454 days in captivity. Fully updated to include the Israeli withdrawl from south Lebanon and Ariel Sharon’s electoral victory over Ehud Barak, this edition has sixty pages of new material and a new preface. “Robert Fisk’s enormous book about Lebanon’s desperate travails is one of the most distinguished in recent times. “
Edward Said http://t.co/AcUClOD
On Empire: America, War, and Global Supremacy
Author: Eric J. Hobsbawm
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date:June 2009
PRAISE FOR ERIC HOBSBAWM’S The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991 “The fact is that no other living historian of whatever political affiliation has the intellectual firepower–the range and depth of knowledge, the analytical skill–to bring off a book like this.” –Niall Ferguson, The Sunday Telegraph “Hobsbawm’s magisterial treatment of the short twentieth century will be the definitive fin-de-siècle work.” –Kenneth Prewitt, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University “No historian can match his overwhelming command of fact and source… Hobsbawm’s gift for startling, often seductive generalizations from his material has only grown. He is a historian, not a novelist, but the engine inside his head is a Rolls-Royce imagination.”
–Neal Ascherson, The Independent
M.I.A., Or, Mythmaking in America: How and Why Belief in Five Pows Has Possessed a Nation
Author: Franklin H. Bruce
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date:May 2006
Summary: reviewed by MC45 In his Preface to this myth-shattering volume, Bruce Franklin writes: “When I began investigating this belief in live POWs, I intended the results to be only a chapter in a book about how American culture shaped and was reshaped by the Vietnam War. I had little sense of the depth or breadth of the faith, perhaps because it seemed so obviously irrational and related to an issue of such apparently minor significance compared with other effects of the war on both America and the nations of Indochina.”(p. xi) From a chapter on Amerikan culture and the war in Vietnam Franklin’s project grew into a detailed explosion of the manufactured documentation, trumped up charges of barbarism against the Vietnamese, and mass wishful support for the idea of remaining POWs fed by popular culture of the Rambo variety.
MIA or Mythmaking in America is a fast-paced account of the development and perpetuation of the myth that live u.$. soldiers remain as POWs in Vietnam. Throughout, Franklin puts the POW/MIA myth in the context of Amerika’s war against Vietnam. This is not the work of a liberal who argues that the governments of Indochina have done all they can to satisfy the u.$. Franklin consistently argues that many failures of Vietnamese record-keeping (i.e., records on the state of prisoners of war) were a direct result of their country being bombed. It is difficult to retain records and keep prisoners alive when bombs and troops are attacking every day. He also notes repeatedly where Amerikan economic and military interests are served by keeping the POW/MIA myth alive as a lever against the Vietnamese government in negotiations on any topic.
MIM recommends this book highly both for people who are familiar with the war in Vietnam and those who are not. A former anti-war activist who remembers the developing logic of the POW/MIA campaign has told MIM that s/he has never believed in the tens or hundreds of POWs supposedly being held. The logic is simple: why? What could a country already brutalized by the Amerikan military possibly have to gain by hanging on to prisoners-of-war and keeping them secret? For liberals and for others familiar with the war, Mythmaking in America provides the detail to substantiate the apparent logic that the u.$. government has manufactured the POW/MIA myth to serve imperialism. For younger readers who are new to the history of this country’s war against Vietnam, Mythmaking in Amerika is a solid introduction to the war’s major events. Because his subject is the united snakes’ propaganda machine as it developed around the war, Franklin does a better job explaining the reactionary version of the war’s history taught in school or in the movies. Franklin explains how the myth began, when Richard Nixon’s administration collapsed the categories of POW and MIA into one as the war was going badly and protests against the war became larger.
Nixon’s public relations tactics amounted to lying to the families of Amerikan soldiers. Franklin describes how a soldier who is lost in action can only be found to be presumptively dead after “investigation over a lengthy period of time” and “a complex administrative and legal process.”(pp. 16-7) The u.$. government further decided to hold both the Viet Minh and National Liberation Front responsible for a list of individuals who had been lost in the war even if they were known to be dead.
The administration complicated this demand by excluding CIA employees from the list (while reserving the right to demand their return), and reporting all on the list as having been lost in Vietnam (even if they were in Laos, Cambodia, or the South China Sea).(pp. 68-9) The MIA/POW category eventually included more than 1,000 soldiers who were originally designated as Killed in Action/Body not Recovered (KIA/BNR).
This was because in spite of direct military witness accounting that these soldiers had been killed, the military changed their classification using the excuse that if the bodies were not in the care of the government or the families they could not be sure.(pp. 11-13) Franklin writes: “Even without subjective elements coming into play, these rigorous definitions lead unavoidably to creating more MIAs than actually exist.”(p. 17) There are some rational reasons to expand the MIA classification. Some soldiers whose deaths really are unconfirmed will initially be called MIA.
The more difficult it is to find identifiable remains, the longer their MIA status will persist. By turning so many people who were clearly KIA/BNR into MIAs, and the into potential POWs by combining the categories, Nixon’s spin doctors purposely gave false hope to soldiers’ families in the name of creating a reason to stay in this increasingly questionable war. Out of Nixon’s P.R. machine grew a number of families’ and support organizations that were dedicated to the task of spreading a very emotional brand of propaganda about the existence of live POWs.
The “You Are Not Forgotten” slogan we still see on bumper stickers shows how bent this movement was on sustaining the belief that Amerikans in Vietnam are only waiting to be rescued. To “forget” these men has become synonymous with telling these families that their 30 years of waiting for the return of their loved ones has been nothing but a service to the Amerikan government’s desire to keep an enemy in Vietnam. Nixon could never have developed such a fierce following for his war effort through the state alone. The POW/MIA Fact Book, first issued in 1982 by the Reagan Administration,(p. 5) has done much to confuse the issue and the facts. Franklin takes a handful of cases from the factbooks of the 1980s and early 1990s and compares the stories of the same supposed POWs from year to year.
The Fact Books commit such butchery of history as to count one individual of a crew of six as a POW — although his five crew members were openly released to the Amerikan government. The Fact Books of later years have resurrected soldiers and spies who had been reported as dead in years past, without explanation of how the prior reporting was incorrect. Yet another Amerikan soldier who died (and whose death was substantiated in writing by a fellow solder) remained in the Fact Books because the government of Vietnam had not reported on his death to the Amerikan government.(pp. 28-32) Franklin takes time to elaborate the responsibility borne by the Amerikan press and movie industry. He refers to the Pentagon as “using ink as an octopus does, clouding the waters to obscure its own activities.”(p. 88) In this effort, the newspapers were complicit — printing the stories as they came out of the Defense Department rather than doing some basic math to figure out that the day to day reports didn’t add up.
Cataloging the Hollywood movies that provided explicit imagery for the POW/MIA myth, Franklin details historical falsehoods in The Deer Hunter, POW: The Escape, Uncommon Valor, The Rambo Series and many more. He writes that The Deer Hunter took “images of the war that had become deeply embedded in America’s consciousness and transform[ed] them into their opposite.”(p. 133) So a scene that could have been the massacre by Amerikan troops at My Lai features Vietnamese soldiers brutalizing a village and an Amerikan stepping in to stop the bloodshed.
In Praise of Barbarians
Author: Mike Davis
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication Date:August 2007
Book Review: “In Praise of Barbarians” by Mike Davis, 2007
The recent past has seen a profusion of left-wing books, films and documentaries. This blog in part is a tribute to this wave of intellectual fervor, which is greater than anything seen since the late 60s and early 70s. Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, the elder warhorse intellectuals of the left, have been joined by a raft of hard-core atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, environmental activists like Vandana Shiva and James H Kunstler and social and economic critics… the latter including Kevin Phillips, Doug Henwood, Greg Palast, Thomas Frank, Susan Faludi, William Grieder, Michael Parenti, Eric Schlosser, John Perkins and Mike Davis.
Read More : http://is.gd/xxWcKg
A History of Iraq
Author: Charles Tripp
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date:August 2007
To understand Iraq, Charles Tripp’s history is the book to read. Since its first appearance in 2000, it has become a classic in the field of Middle East studies, read and admired by students, soldiers, policymakers and journalists. The book is now updated to include the recent American invasion, the fall and capture of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent descent into civil strife. What is clear is that much that has happened since 2003 was foreshadowed in the account found in this book. Tripp’s thesis is that the history of Iraq throughout the twentieth-century has made it what it is today, but also provides alternative futures.
Unless this is properly understood, many of the themes explored in this book - patron-client relations, organized violence, sectarian, ethnic and tribal difference - will continue to exert a hold over the future of Iraq as they did over its past. Book Description To understand Iraq, Charles Tripp’s history is the book to read. The updated book includes the recent American invasion, the fall of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent descent into civil strife. Tripp argues that the history of Iraq throughout the twentieth century has shaped where it is today.
Democrats, The: A Critical History
Author: Lance Selfa
Publisher: HAYMARKET BOOKS
Publication Date:November 2008
Summary: The 2006 elections put Democrats in the majority in both houses of the US Congress, yet those hoping for change have been deeply disappointed. Lance Selfa looks at the Democrats in broad historical perspective, showing the institutional roots of today’s betrayals.