Recent Z Books
Parenti: Tropic of Chaos
Feb 02, 2012
From Africa to Asia and Latin America, the era of climate wars has begun. Extreme weather is breeding banditry, humanitarian crisis, and state failure. In Tropic of Chaos, investigative journalist Christian Parenti travels along the front lines of this gathering catastrophe--the belt of economically and politically battered postcolonial nations and war zones girding the planet's midlatitudes. Here he finds failed states amid climatic disasters. But he also reveals the unsettling presence of Western military forces and explains how they see an opportunity in the crisis to prepare for open-ended global counterinsurgency. Parenti argues that this incipient "climate fascism"--a political hardening of wealthy states-- is bound to fail. The struggling states of the developing world cannot be allowed to collapse, as they will take other nations down as well. Instead, we must work to meet the challenge of climate-driven violence with a very different set of sustainable economic and development policies.
Price: Worst Case Scenario
Jun 09, 2011
In this original and provocative new book, Stuart Price identifies the existence of a practice that lies at the core of the western security regime - the worst-case scenario. This consists of the projection of a significant material threat, made by an authoritative or executive power, used to bolster the security agenda of the neo-liberal state. This in turn has altered the conduct of military and police operations, which are increasingly directed against any substantial expression of dissent.
Peterson: The Politics of Genocide
Apr 12, 2011
In this impressive book, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson examine the uses and abuses of the word “genocide.” They argue persuasively that the label is highly politicized and that in the United States it is used by the government, journalists, and academics to brand as evil those nations and political movements that in one way or another interfere with the imperial interests of U.S. capitalism. Thus the word “genocide” is seldom applied when the perpetrators are U.S. allies (or even the United States itself), while it is used almost indiscriminately when murders are committed or are alleged to have been committed by enemies of the United States and U.S. business interests. One set of rules applies to cases such as U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Israeli oppression of Palestinians, Indonesian slaughter of so-called communists and the people of East Timor, U.S. bombings in Serbia and Kosovo, the U.S. war of “liberation” in Iraq, and mass murders committed by U.S. allies in Rwanda and the Republic of Congo. Another set applies to cases such as Serbian aggression in Kosovo and Bosnia, killings carried out by U.S. enemies in Rwanda and Darfur, Saddam Hussein, any and all actions by Iran, and a host of others. With its careful and voluminous documentation, close reading of the U.S. media and political and scholarly writing on the subject, and clear and incisive charts, The Politics of Genocide is both a damning condemnation and stunning exposé of a deeply rooted and effective system of propaganda aimed at deceiving the population while promoting the expansion of a cruel and heartless imperial system. “Destined to become a grim classic, The Politics of Genocide is an antidote to the stultifying doublethink of U.S. news media. The authors document a baseline of purposed journalism so subservient to power that it has routinely perpetuated ‘the normalization of anything the U.S. government chose to do in the realm of foreign policy, regardless of its brutality and criminality.’ Concise and devastating, this book turns the media wallpaper inside-out, debunking the most sacred conceits while showing us the intellectual and moral rot of Washington’s political structures. Herman and Peterson will make readers yearn for a political culture that embraces a single standard of human rights instead of selectively wielding such words as ‘massacre’ and ‘genocide.’ In the end, we’re left with an enhanced understanding of what ‘responsibility to protect’ really means—and how far we have to go before the lofty rhetoric of U.S. foreign policy resembles its realities.” —Norman Solomon author, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death “In this brilliant exposé of great power’s lethal industry of lies, Edward Herman and David Peterson defend the right of us all to a truthful historical memory.” —John Pilger journalist and filmmaker
Pickett: The Spirit Level
Sep 12, 2010
The authors of this book present over fifty years of combined research into the social determinants of health and present what they refer to as "evidence based politics". This evendence strongly suggests that the more unequal a society gets the more unhealthy it gets. The author also present some possible solutions and have set-up an organisation to help bring about possitive social change based on the finding presented in this book - http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/
Aug 25, 2010
History of the 1937 German bombing of Guernica.
Pannokoek: Workers Councils
Aug 16, 2010
A councilist scenario for society...
Patel: The Value of Nothing
Mar 25, 2010
Opening with Oscar Wilde’s observation that “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing,” Patel shows how our faith in prices as a way of valuing the world is misplaced. He reveals the hidden ecological and social costs of a hamburger (as much as $200), and asks how we came to have markets in the first place. Both the corporate capture of government and our current financial crisis, Patel argues, are a result of our democratically bankrupt political system. If part one asks how we can rebalance society and limit markets, part two answers by showing how social organizations, in America and around the globe, are finding new ways to describe the world’s worth. If we don’t want the market to price every aspect of our lives, we need to learn how such organizations have discovered democratic ways in which people, and not simply governments, can play a crucial role in deciding how we might share our world and its resources in common. This short, timely and inspiring book reveals that our current crisis is not simply the result of too much of the wrong kind of economics. While we need to rethink our economic model, Patel argues that the larger failure beneath the food, climate and economic crises is a political one. If economics is about choices, Patel writes, it isn’t often said who gets to make them. The Value of Nothing offers a fresh and accessible way to think about economics and the choices we will all need to make in order to create a sustainable economy and society.
Postman: End of Education
Mar 12, 2010
The End of Education is a book by Neil Postman about public education in America. The use of the word "end" in the title has two meanings: primarily, as a synonym for "purpose", but also as a prediction about the future of public schools if they do not successfully identify and communicate an inspiring, unifying narrative about their purpose within our culture.
May 05, 2009
Pygmy - a young adult from a totalitarian state, disguised as an exchange student - plans a terrorist attack and depicts U.S. Midwestern life through the eyes of a hateful, indoctrinated little killer, in a satire of American xenophobia.
Peasants, religious heretics, witches, pirates, runaway slaves, prostitutes and pornographers, frequenters of taverns and fraternal society lodge rooms, revolutionaries, blues and jazz musicians, beats, and contemporary youth gangsâ€”those who defied authority, choosing to live dangerously outside the defining cultural dominions of early insurgent and, later, dominant capitalism are what Bryan D. Palmer calls people of the night.
Palecek: Iowa Terror
Apr 01, 2008
Petrovato: Live from Palestine: International and Palestinian Direct Action Against the ...
Mar 08, 2008
The primary function of the ISM is to participate with Palestinians in locally organized non-violence resistance to Israeli occupation, and to bear witness to the ongoing humanitarian, political, and social crises of the region. Membership in this organization is composed of an international array of activists concerned with the Palestinian crisis, and the achievement of equity and justice in the area. Some of the activities that ISM volunteers regularly participate includes: Monitoring and documenting human rights abuses at some of the many dozens of military checkpoints; Participate in the removal of roadblocks that restrict Palestinian movement; Participate in nonviolent marches, demonstrations, etc.; Media work - informing international media of what is occurring in the Occupied territories and put them in touch with those who may speak to them; Participate in the annual Olive harvest with Palestinian farmers who are at high risk of injury due to violent attacks by Israeli settlers; And work with communities that are being affected by the building of the so-called "security wall" and are seeking creative ways to bring attention to and to resist the stealing of their land and means of livelihood. Moreover, ISM volunteers get involved with numerous other emergency situations from accompanying children through checkpoints to school in an effort to prevent them from being tear gassed for defying orders to return to their homes; to accompanying and making sure that ambulances are able to get through check points, to bringing food and supplies to families whose houses have been taken over by soldiers for military purposes and in which they are unable to leave; to the very important monitoring and documenting the unreported late night military invasions and the destruction such caused. First, the ISM has been extremely influential in organizing and supporting various forms of non-violent resistance in Palestine. While Palestinians have a history of nonviolent resistance, the Israeli government considers all forms of resistance as dangerous and illegal. Thus it is not surprising that it is common to have Palestinians involved in actions that, say in the united states would be protected - like demonstrations - is met with incredible violence and arrests. ISM volunteers have come to participate in such nonviolent forms of resistance and as such, hopes that they will less dangerous for Palestinians to engage in and thus keeping such a form viable. These non-violent forms of protest clearly do not receive anywhere the amount of attention by the media or others, as do violent forms of resistance, such as suicide bombings. Thus, left undiscussed is the structural and implicit violence that shapes everyday life for ordinarily Palestinians; this violence is not of a "spectacular" nature but, rather, hinges on repeated and routine forms of harassment (such as road checks, curfews over entire regions for many weeks, house searches, arrests without charges, verification and seizure of identification papers, obstacles to travel, and school and work closures) carried out by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the name of state security. However, nonviolent practices, besides the fact that they are the preferred method by ordinary Palestinians, they also exercise an important counter-effect to the relentless neo-Zionist position that all Arab others are "by nature" unruly, disorderly, and violent. It is through such rhetoric that Israel repeatedly casts itself as the civilized "first world" to the unruly "third world" -- even when that so-called and self identified "first world" is in the one who is in the process of barbarically colonizing the territory of that of the barbaric third world. This is one of the most fundamental problems in the media representation and popular understandings of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Perceiving that Israel - exercising a rote, disciplined, and routine form of violence is a "civilized" state, precisely because its use of violence in its everyday forms is so routine. Counter to that is the perception that the Arabs are fundamentally uncivilized because they use "barbaric" and sporadic methods of violence and intimidation. The problem with this perception is that it leaves unquestioned the Israeli state's use of everyday and ritualistic violence. Non-violent forms of protest trump both of the above options and, since these forms of protest come from the Palestinian side, they very importantly undermine the prevailing ideology concerning "unruly" Palestinians from which the Israeli state has gained so much mileage. Second, the presence of ISM activists in the occupied territories brings a level of understanding to the conflict that would be completely impossible otherwise. Were it not for the information that activists bring to the outside world - through their writing, formal, and informal talks, the only news sources would be the media and strictly partisan viewpoints. It is the sustained and daily presence of activists in the daily life of Palestinians which allows participants to bring perspective and an in-depth knowledge of the ritual forms of harassment which these people must endure - everything from the constant crossing of borders and barricades, to the displacement of people due to the building of the "security wall", to the shooting of rubber bullets at children who maybe ignoring orders to return home just in order to go to school, or the effects of twenty-four hour curfews. Given the tendency of the American media at least to present a picture of the conflict that favors Israeli interests, it is absolutely indispensable to have a perspective which provides some balance to common representations. This is an important, though less obvious, form of resistance as well in the sense that it disrupts the continual flow of ideologically driven and one-sided representations. Perhaps even more importantly and in a direct and tangible way, ISM activists can continue to counter the repeated acts of violence, harassment, and human rights violations which are such an ingrained aspect of daily life for Palestinians in the Occupied territories. These are state-generated techniques of violence and intimidation, which can only be countered by non-state generated and NGO supported forms of non-violent resistance. John Petrovato
Paul: The Modern School Movement
Dec 15, 2007
Based on extensive interviews with former pupils and teachers, this Pulitzer Prize-nominated work is a seminal and important investigation into the potential of educational alternatives. Between 1910 and 1960 anarchists across the United States established more than 20 schools wherein children studied in an atmosphere of freedom and self-reliance. The Modern Schools stood in sharp contrast to the formality and discipline of the traditional classroom and sought to abolish all forms of authority. Their object was to create not only a new type of school, but also a new society based on the voluntary cooperation of free individuals. Among the participants were Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, Alexander Berkman and Man Ray. (From Amazon.com)
Pilger: Distant Voices
Oct 12, 2007
Prashad: Fat Cats and Running Dogs
Oct 12, 2007
Pilger: Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire
Oct 12, 2007
Well-known journalist and filmmaker Pilger remains faithful to his decades-long quest to penetrate the citadel of political power and show that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Reminding readers that "if power was truly invincible, it would not fear the people so much as to expend vast resources trying to distract and deceive them," he surveys five countries where freedom has been deferred. In his first example, Pilger conducts a searing probe into the widely unrecognized fate of the Chagos islanders, who in 1971 were brutally expelled from their homeland through secretive and illegal actions by successive British administrations to make way for a massive American military base at Diego Garcia. Then he examines Israel, which he calls "the undisputed world champion violator of international law" and its brutal grip on the West Bank and Gaza. He also looks at India, a country in which, he argues, the "modern imperial cult of neo-liberalism" has led to increases in poverty. In South Africa, he shows, poverty is rife and whites still own most of the good land, and in Afghanistan, land mines, "gender apartheid" and despotism still reign supreme, despite the American-led "liberation." This highly informed, thoughtful and passionate work is as important a thread in the world's growing tapestry of political counternarratives as those of Dee Brown or Howard Zinn. (Apr.)
Oct 12, 2007
Pilger: Hidden Agendas
Oct 12, 2007