Recent Z Books
Fridell: Fair Trade
Apr 09, 2013
Is fair trade a radical movement aiming to transform global systems of production and exchange, or is it a marketing niche that delivers small benefits to Southern farmers and a clean conscience to Northern consumers? Schisms currently opening between the US-based Fair Trade USA and the rest of the international fair trade movement are reflective of this choice. This book evaluates the extent to which fair trade is likely to be a transformative movement. The authors show that fair trade's most significant, and threatened, contribution is its potential to reveal to otherwise 'blinded' consumers the qualitative aspects of labour and nature embodied in commodities. Integrating insights from economic and sociological theory and research, the book sheds new light on this potential of the movement, its role in producing social change, and, given the recent strategic trajectory of the movement, the serious problems it now faces.
There is a growing consensus that the planet is heading toward environmental catastrophe: climate change, ocean acidification, ozone depletion, global freshwater use, loss of biodiversity, and chemical pollution all threaten our future unless we act. What is less clear is how humanity should respond. The contemporary environmental movement is the site of many competing plans and prescriptions, and composed of a diverse set of actors, from militant activists to corporate chief executives. This short, readable book is a sharply argued manifesto for those environmentalists who reject schemes of “green capitalism” or piecemeal reform. Environmental and economic scholars Magdoff and Foster contend that the struggle to reverse ecological degradation requires a firm grasp of economic reality. Going further, they argue that efforts to reform capitalism along environmental lines or rely solely on new technology to avert catastrophe misses the point. The main cause of the looming environmental disaster is the driving logic of the system itself, and those in power—no matter how “green”—are incapable of making the changes that are necessary. What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know about Capitalism tackles the two largest issues of our time, the ecological crisis and the faltering capitalist economy, in a way that is thorough, accessible, and sure to provoke debate in the environmental movement. I’m not sure who needs to read this relentlessly persuasive book more: environmentalists who imagine we can solve the ecological crisis without confronting capitalism, or leftists who have yet to recognize the ecological crisis as the highest expression of the capitalist threat. How about both, and then some. Indispensable. —Naomi Klein, author, The Shock Doctrine As we journey through the early stages of the end of the industrial mind an ecological world view awaits us on the horizon. We have no map, but rather a wildly oscillating compass needle. These two bold grown-ups, old hands at hard thinking, are steadying the needle. This book properly pondered will reveal that capitalism is the product of abstract thought whose particularity is to propel us to the edge of humanity’s version of a Petri dish. —Wes Jackson, President, The Land Institute With the debate about environmental collapse so dominated by technological, population, and market-based solutions, this book is a powerful antidote. Only by addressing global capitalism can we hope to avert catastrophe. Magdoff and Foster have written an up-to-date, accessible, and comprehensive account of a grim situation, yet manage to inspire the reader with their call for an ‘ecological revolution,’ already in process in parts of the world. An essential book for classroom use, to give to friends who need to learn more about what’s happening to the planet, or for the nightstand as a continual reminder of what’s really important. —Juliet Schor, author, True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically-Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy A superb introduction to an essential conversation about capitalism’s ability to coexist with environmental progress. Magdoff and Foster do an excellent job of addressing the important issues at stake in this debate. —Michael T. Klare, author, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy Fred Magdoff is professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont. His most recent books include Agriculture and Food in Crisis (edited with Brian Tokar), The ABCs of the Economic Crisis (with Michael Yates), and The Great Financial Crisis (with John Bellamy Foster). John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review. He is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and author of The Ecological Revolution, The Great Financial Crisis (with Fred Magdoff), Critique of Intelligent Design (with Brett Clark and Richard York), Ecology Against Capitalism, Marx’s Ecology, and The Vulnerable Planet.
Finkelstein: This Time We Went Too Far
Aug 21, 2010
Provides a brief historical background and context to the 2008-9 Israeli war in Gaza. The book then goes on the systematically document the waging of the war, the international response, and the prospects raised for building support to end the Israeli occupation and blockade of Gaza.
Freire: Pedogogy of the Oppressed
Aug 16, 2010
No other text has ever given me a greater understanding of the plight of those oppressed by the 'majority' or dominating populations. My whole understanding of the world and history was turned on its head. I recommend this book to anyone interested in social justice, affirmative action, civil rights, minority struggles...it applies not only to the community in Brazil, but all peoples facing social and economic oppression.
Fake: Darfur Intervention & U.S.A.
Apr 13, 2010
"Kevin Funk and Steven Fake have written a devastating critique of the ‘humanitarian’ response of the United States to the Darfur crisis, while offering a genuine humane alternative that would lessen the ordeal, if not bring it to an end. Well-researched, easy to read, and utterly convincing, a crucial book for anyone concerned about achieving a morally and politically acceptable U.S. foreign policy." –Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of Law Emeritus, Princeton University
Fair Bananas! is one of the first books to examine the issue of "fair-trade bananas." Specifically, Henry Frundt analyzes whether a farmer-worker-consumer alliance can collaborate to promote a fair-trade label for bananasâ€”much like those for fair-trade coffee and chocolateâ€”that will appeal to North American shoppers. Researching the issue for more than ten years, Henry Frundt has elicited surprising and nuanced insights from banana workers, Latin American labor officials, company representatives, and fair-trade advocates.
â€œIn this time of growing ecological and economic crisis, John Bellamy Fosterâ€™s voice stands out like no other. In his new book, The Ecological Revolution, he demonstrates that questions of ecology cannot be separated from questions of economics, and that building a truly sustainable future means putting people and the planet before profit.â€ â€”Howard Zinn author of A Peopleâ€™s History of the United States â€œFoster is the most systematic thinker on red-green politics writing todayâ€”and he is quite clear about What is to be done! In these essays, he applies Marxâ€™s theory of metabolic rift to elucidate a variety of contextsâ€”the Pentagonâ€™s pursuit of oil, neoliberalism and the Joâ€™burg Manifesto, the poverty of contemporary sociology, imperialism and ecological debt, critique of the New Sustainability Paradigmâ€”all the while keeping his synthesis of historical scholarship, natural scientific detail, and Marxist theory readily accessible to a wide readership. Here is reason and discipline driven by passion and care.â€ â€”Ariel Salleh Research Associate in Political Economy at the University of Sydney, author of Ecofeminism as Politics, editor of Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice, and co-editor of the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism â€œIn The Ecological Revolution, John Bellamy Foster rightly shows the inadequacy of the technological approaches to which the capitalist response to the ecological crisis is limited, raising the question of a wider revolution in ecology and community. In the process he puts to rest the widely held assumption that Marx and Marxists have little to contribute on the ecological crisis. His book demonstrates that Marx addressed the ecological issues with keen insight and that the historical materialist ecological tradition is alive and relevant today.â€ â€”John B. Cobb, Jr. Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology coauthor with Herman Daly of For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, The Environment, and a Sustainable Future â€œFor fifteen years, in the books The Vulnerable Planet, Marxâ€™s Ecology, and Ecology Against Capitalism, Foster has warned us of capitalist ecological catastrophe. With accessibility, grace, and a powerful intellectual punch, this new collection tackles the neoconservative petro-military complex of the Bush years sandwiched between Clinton-Gore-Obamaâ€™s pernicious eco-neoliberalism. Fosterâ€™s searing denunciations of environmental commodification give us confidence to fight bourgeois economic ideologyâ€”from the likes of Thomas Friedman, William Nordhaus, Larry Summers, and Nick Sternâ€”and to demand an eco-socialist future.â€ â€”Patrick Bond senior professor of development studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban Since the atomic bomb made its first appearance on the world stage in 1945, it has been clear that we possess the power to destroy our own planet. What nuclear weapons made possible, global environmental crisis, marked especially by global warming, has now made inevitableâ€”if business as usual continues. The roots of the present ecological crisis, John Bellamy Foster argues in The Ecological Revolution, lie in capitalâ€™s rapacious expansion, which has now achieved unprecedented heights of irrationality across the globe. Foster compellingly demonstrates that the only possible answer for humanity is an ecological revolution: a struggle to make peace with the planet. Foster details the beginnings of such a revolution in human relations with the environment which can now be found throughout the globe, especially in the periphery of the world system, where the most ambitious experiments are taking place. This bold new work addresses the central issues of the present crisis: global warming, peak oil, species extinction, world water shortages, global hunger, alternative energy sources, sustainable development, and environmental justice. Foster draws on a unique range of thinkers, including Karl Marx, Thomas Malthus, William Morris, Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Rachel Carson, Vandana Shiva, and IstvÃ¡n MÃ©szÃ¡ros. The result is a startlingly radical synthesis, which offers new hope for grappling with the greatest challenge of our age: what must be done to save the earth for humanity and all living species. John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review. He is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and author of The Great Financial Crisis (with Fred Magdoff), Critique of Intelligent Design (with Brett Clark and Richard York), Naked Imperialism, Ecology Against Capitalism, Marxâ€™s Ecology, The Vulnerable Planet, and The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism.
"I think this book is a positive contribution to the discussion about contemporary Islam and certainly a valuable addition to the voices that are critically looking at Islam's right-wing. . . . I don't think there is any other public intellectual in the North American arena -- Muslim or other -- who could have written this book." (HuffingtonPost.com, April 15th, 2008) "...a book worthy of attention...both for its contents and for the courage of its author." (Haaretz, October 2008) "Tarek Fatah has written a provocative and challenging book, which is a must-read for anyone who cares about these issues."--Janice Gross Stein, Director, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto "Chasing a Mirage is an extremely valuable contribution to the fight by progressive Muslims against Islamic fascism. This book should be required reading for the Left in the West who have mistakenly started believing that Islamists represent some sort of anti-imperialism."--Farooq Tariq, Secretary General, Pakistan Labour Party "Fatah argues passionately for universalism instead of exclusivism, integration instead of ghettoism, and makes a powerful appeal for the silent majority of Muslims to speak out before it is too late. This work of courage and daring needs to be read widely."--Pervez Hoodboy, Professor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan "This fascinating work by brave and brilliant Tarek Fatah is simultaneously thought-provoking, instructive and enlightening for laymen and scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim ... an invaluable and rare addition to the corpus of Islamic literature in the post 9/11 world, a bold step towards Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment."--Taj Hasmi, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu "Tarek Fatah's is a voice that needs to be heard. Canada needs a healthy, reasoned debate about the issues he is raising, and indeed, so does the world."--Bob Rae, Member of Parliament, Canada
Feb 22, 2009
Social science fiction. If you liked the movies V for Vendetta or Munich, or the books 1984 or Brave New World, this is for you. Blood, sex, violence, and if it ever gets made into a movie thereâ€™ll be rock â€˜nâ€™ roll, too. Or mabe thrash, because I like thrash. Rock â€˜nâ€™ rollâ€™s getting so passe. The main underlying theme of the novel questions what terrorism really is, while making a few minor philosophical deviations into the â€œreason before passionâ€ maxim. Even if itâ€™s an entertaining adrenaline rush, a good book should make you stop and think once in a while. It needs to give you something to talk over once youâ€™re done reading it - otherwise you just end up feeling blasÃ©.
Our best historians offer fresh insights on Abraham Lincoln and his time to mark the upcoming bicentennial of Lincoln's birth.
A new direction for labor by two of its leading activist intellectuals.
Franklin: Vietnam and other American Fantasies
Dec 16, 2007
Discusses the Vietnam War (and anti-war movement) as seen in US culture - movies, TV, science fiction.
Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom!
Oct 12, 2007
Flanders: Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species
Oct 12, 2007
Franzen: How to Be Alone
Oct 12, 2007