Thursday April 24th, 2014

Monthly Review Press

Monthly Review Press

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Earth Island Journal

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Earth Island Journal

There are more factors than climate change that threaten our existence on Earth. Scientists warn that it is only one of nine “planetary life-support systems” vital for human survival. The other boundaries are: global freshwater use, chemical pollution, ocean acidification, land use change, loss of biodiversity and the increasing extinction rate, ozone and aerosol levels in the atmosphere, and the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles that regulate soil fertility. … | more |

Steve Brouwer on Health Care in Venezuela & Cuba, NYC, 9/2

Steve Brouwer on Health Care in Venezuela & Cuba, NYC, 9/2

Drawing on long-term participant observations as well as in-depth research, author and journalist Steve Brouwer tells the story of the innovative and inspirational health care programs pioneered in Cuba and being adapted to the needs of Venezuela today.… | more |

The Devil's Milk reviewed on Counterfire

The Devil’s Milk reviewed on Counterfire

What is a commodity? On the face of it, simply an object. Marx pointed out however that it is really ‘a very queer thing indeed, full of metaphysical subtleties and theological whimsies’. A commodity like rubber on the one hand contains all sorts of useful, non-reducible physical properties, and on the other, within a capitalist economy, is just the equivalent of a given quantity of money; it contains an abstract exchange value of a definite amount. Moreover, the individual commodity contains within itself all the natural and social processes which brought it into being as a discrete product, from the growth, in this case, of the rubber-producing tree, to its harvesting, transport and manufacture into commercial rubber.… | more |

The Science & Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould reviewed in Human Ecology Review

The Science & Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould reviewed in Human Ecology Review

Undoubtedly, Stephen Jay Gould is one of the great thinkers of the Twentieth Century. Gould was a leading figure in the fields of evolutionary biology and paleontology, and made important theoretical and empirical contributions to those fields over his accomplished career. The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould, by sociologists Richard York and Brett Clark, broadly examines the philosophical underpinnings of Gould’s work, and its application for understanding the interweaving relations among and between natural and social systems. This book provides a concise, yet remarkably thorough, survey of key aspects of Gould’s powerful worldview and philosophy, applying a rich overarching analysis of a scientific perspective that reveals numerous insights into the complexity of nature and, compellingly, society. … | more |

John Tully interviewed on Radio New Zealand

John Tully interviewed on Radio New Zealand

Listen to the author of The Devil’s Milk discuss the social history of rubber on This Way Up with Simon Morton. … | more |

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Journal of World-Systems Research

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Journal of World-Systems Research

Ecological degradation is the elephant in the room for many people; they are aware of its presence yet would prefer to ignore it rather than be forced to consider both its severity and possible remedies. This practiced ignorance occurs despite numerous problems, such as global climate change, species extinction, deforestation, overfishing, and dramatic disasters such as the recent oil “spill” from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the radiation releases from nuclear power plants in post-tsunami Japan. This elephant is enormous, destructive, and cannot be imagined away. John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York have been taking on the elephant for years.… | more |

Ben Dangl reviews MRP classic Let Me Speak!

Ben Dangl reviews MRP classic Let Me Speak!

The life experiences of Bolivian mining activist Domitila Barrios de Chungara traverse some of the most important and tumultuous events in 20th century Bolivian history. Her account of this life in the book Let Me Speak! offers a view from the trenches of militant, leftist organizing within the country labor movements and beyond.… | more |

Class Dismissed reviewed on Democracy In Education blog

Class Dismissed reviewed on Democracy In Education blog

…Seriously, Marsh is my new favorite smartperson. Everyone should read this book. Don’t have it yet? Go on over to whatever online book retailer you like and order it right now. I’ll wait. Okay, here’s what you need to know about this fascinating book before you read it yourself and admonish me for all the fascinating tidbits I didn’t write about here. Marsh, an English professor with a head for statistics (which suggests he may be an alien from another planet, if you ask me) smashes so many prevailing notions about how education works and what it can (and mostly cannot) do for people that I don’t even know where to begin to list them.… | more |

Class Dismissed reviewed in Baltimore City Paper

Class Dismissed reviewed in Baltimore City Paper

As Baltimore schoolteachers and students return to their classrooms later this month, the enduring tale of America as a land of opportunity will resound again with great fervor. All good teachers will weave into their lesson plans a narrative of hope: If you do this drill on the board, keep your uniform neat, complete your homework, follow the curriculum, make the grade—above all, matriculate upward—you can change your condition, overcome economic insecurity, and procure a spot in America’s bounteous middle class or beyond.… | more |

NEW! What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism

NEW! What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism

Just released! 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.… | more |

The People's Lawyer reviewed in The Progressive Populist

The People’s Lawyer reviewed in The Progressive Populist

In a post-9/11 world, a “new normal” exists in the US. It tilts in no small way towards the power of government’s three branches. The trio focuses, almost obsessively, on national safety and security. Against that backdrop, Albert Ruben’s new book amplifies the strengths and weaknesses of a progressive institution involved in civil liberties and human rights struggles for nearly five decades.… | more |