Title: Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians
Authors: Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappé
Editor: Frank Barat
Publisher: Haymarket Books; Original edition
Publication Date: November 9, 2010
Genre: Politics, History, Palestine, USA, Israel
From Publishers Weekly
Although much of the material collected here precedes Israel’s recent military attack on a Gaza-bound international flotilla of embargo-breaking humanitarian aid, this succinct and eye-opening collection of recent interviews and essays from the renowned linguist and activist Chomsky (Hopes and Prospects) and prominent Israeli historian Pappé (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine) gives essential context to the crisis. The reader will find Chomsky’s consistent positions on everything from the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the issue of a one- versus two-state settlement. Pappé adds vital and unexpected historical background, including a chapter on the deep American evangelical roots in the support of Zionism and the birth of modern Arab nationalism in Palestine. Pappé and Chomsky are not perfectly in synch on every point: Chomsky remains skeptical of an academic boycott of Israel, for instance, called for in the past by Pappé and others. But the fundamentals of the crisis—and its scale in humanitarian, moral and political terms—are clear, as well as clearly expressed, between them. This sober and unflinching analysis should be read and reckoned with by anyone concerned with practicable change in the long-suffering region. (Nov.) (c)
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“Chomsky is a global phenomenon … he may be the most widely read American voice on foreign policy on the planet.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Ilan Pappé is Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.”—John Pilger
Described by a UN fact-finding mission as “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population,” Israel’s Operation Cast Lead thrust the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip into the center of the debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict.
In Gaza in Crisis, Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé, two of the issue’s most insightful and prominent critical voices, survey the fallout from Israel’s conduct in Gaza and place it into the context of Israel’s longstanding occupation of Palestine.
Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s foremost social critics, and one of its most prolific. He is author of Failed States and Hegemony or Survival, both New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is institute professor emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.
Ilan Pappé is professor of history at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, where he is also co-director of the Exeter Center for Ethno-Political Studies, director of the Palestine Studies Centre, and a longtime political activist. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
Title: The Arabs: A History
Author: Eugene Rogan
Publication Date: January 2011
Starting with the Ottoman conquests in the sixteenth century, this book follows the story of the Arabs through the era of European imperialism and the Superpower rivalries of the Cold War, to the present age of unipolar American power.
The Spanish Civil War
Author: Paul Preston
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.
Publication Date: July 2007
The definitive work on the Spanish Civil War, a classic of modern historical scholarship and a masterful narrative.
Paul Preston is the world’s foremost historian of Spain. This surging history recounts the struggles of the 1936 war in which more than 3,000 Americans took up arms. Tracking the emergence of Francisco Franco’s brutal (and, ultimately, extraordinarily durable) fascist dictatorship, Preston assesses the ways in which the Spanish Civil War presaged the Second World War that ensued so rapidly after it.
The attempted social revolution in Spain awakened progressive hopes during the Depression, but the conflict quickly escalated into a new and horrific form of warfare. As Preston shows, the unprecedented levels of brutality were burned into the American consciousness as never before by the revolutionary war reporting of Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Herbert Matthews, Vincent Sheean, Louis Fischer, and many others. Completely revised, including previously unseen material on Franco’s treatment of women in wartime prisons, The Spanish Civil War is a classic work on this pivotal epoch in the twentieth century.
About the Author
Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War, Franco and Juan Carlos, and The Spanish Holocaust, is the world’s foremost historian on twentieth-century Spain. A professor at the London School of Economics, he lives in London.
A Short History of Cahiers du Cinéma
Publication Date:December 2009
Review Emilie Bickerton’s alert prose manages to convey to the drama and passionate confrontations of ideas, and she shows a keen eye for revealing detail. — Ramona Fotiade, TLS ‘The French New Wave directors all came from Cahiers du Cinéma, a magazine that turned film criticism upside down in the 1950s. The salvoes of its sagacity are finely charted by Bickerton, who also laments the recent slide into dumbed-down mediocrity.’ —Nigel Andrews, Financial Times Books of the Year Bickerton has done a valuable and highly informative job. —Philip French, Observer What I love is Bickerton’s certainty and courage.
She s stepping here into the viperous pit of French intellectual life like a mongoose with a mission. —Nick James, Sight & Sound Product Description Cahiers du Cinéma was the single most influential project in the history of film. Founded in 1951, it was responsible for establishing film as the ‘seventh art’, equal to literature, painting or music, and it revolutionized film-making and writing. Its contributors would put their words into action: the likes of Godard, Truffaut, Rivette, Rohmer were to become some of the greatest directors of the age, their films part of the internationally celebrated Nouvelle Vague. In this rich, authoritative new history, Emilie Bickerton explores the evolution and impact of Cahiers du Cinéma, from its early years, to its late-sixties radicalization, its internationalization, and its response to the television age of the seventies and eighties. Showing how the story of Cahiers continues to resonate with critics, practitioners and the film-going public, A Short History of Cahiers du Cinéma is a testimony to the extraordinary legacy and archive these ‘collected pages of a notebook’ have provided for the world of cinema.
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
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Author: Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn
Publisher: New American Library
Publication Date:August 2009
Summary: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ‘This is the first worthy translation into English and the one I have approved’ New Statesman ‘A masterpiece in the great Russian tradition. There have been many literary sensations since Stalin died. Doctor Zhivago apart, few of them can stand up in their own right as works of art. Ivan Denisovich is different’
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
Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone
Author: Eduardo Galeano
Publisher: Nation Books
Publication Date: August 2010
Summary: Mirrors is a sometimes bawdy, sometimes irreverent, sometimes heartbreaking unofficial history of the world seen and mirrored to usthrough the eyes and ears of historys unseen, unheard, and forgotten. Spanning 5,000 years of history, recalling the lives of artists and writers, visionaries from the Garden of Eden to twenty-first century New York and Mumbai, and told in hundreds of kaleidoscopic vignettes that resurrect the lives of our worlds oft-forgotten thinkers and feelers. Mirrors is a mosaic of our humanity.
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.
Japan: Its History and Culture (Japan: It’s History & Culture)
Author: W. Scott Morton, J. Kenneth Olenik
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Summary: Product Description:
Looks at Japan’s complex history. This work covers from the nation’s earliest known civilization (about 30009 BCE) onwards. It traces various aspects of Japanese art, religion, the imperial court, militarism, race, geography, and agriculture, and analyzes the social, political, and economic life of Asia’s wealthiest nation.