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Save Our Unions: Dispatches from A Movement in Distress by Steve Early

Save Our Unions reviewed in Against the Current

The debate over how to save the labor movement suffers from a serious deficit of books written by organizers. Rarely do we get an entire book by someone who has been organizing for four decades, and is still actively engaged with union members, staff and leaders. Steve Early’s Save Our Unions doesn’t suffer from the luxury of being a memoir, but it is chock full of rich first-hand experience, as well as research, interviews, book reviews and labor history, followed by 26 pages of meticulous endnotes.… | more…

Save Our Unions: Dispatches from A Movement in Distress by Steve Early

Save Our Unions reviewed in Talking Union

Young activists seeking an introduction to the contemporary US labor movement have few places to turn. There are countless histories of labor’s golden age in the middle of the twentieth century. But there are too few analyses which have the courage to be critical and the perspective to place the movement today in the context of the last 40 years of struggle. Fortunately for activists in search of such an introduction, one does exist now in Steve Early’s latest book, Save Our Unions (Monthly Review Press, 2013).… | more…

Read an excerpt from Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century in Truthout

These are perilous times for capitalism, the reigning political economic system of the United States and the world. The economy is stagnating, and Mother Earth is gravely ill. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, we face widening economic inequality, plutocratic governance, endless militarism and mounting planetary ecological degradation. Not many years ago, this would have sounded hyperbolic to many people. But today, it is not just radicals who are sounding alarm bells.… | more…

Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality by Salim Lamrani

NEW! Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality by Salim Lamrani, foreword by Eduardo Galeano

In this concise and detailed work, Salim Lamrani addresses questions of media concentration and corporate bias by examining a perennially controversial topic: Cuba. Lamrani argues that the tiny island nation is forced to contend not only with economic isolation and a U.S. blockade, but with misleading or downright hostile media coverage. He takes as his case study El País, the most widely distributed Spanish daily. El País (a property of Grupo Prisa, the largest Spanish media conglomerate), has editions aimed at Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., making it a global opinion leader. Lamrani wades through a swamp of reporting and uses the paper as an example of how media conglomerates distort and misrepresent life in Cuba and the activities of its government.… | more…

One Day in December: Celia Sánchez and the Cuban Revolution by Nancy Stout

“Women Write About Che” by Nancy Stout, author of One Day in December

In the last five years, three women have written biographies of Ernesto “Che” Guevara after five decades of his life story being solidly in the hands of men. The question is: do women write biography differently? Lucia Alvarez de Toledo is the most explicit about the issue of being a woman biographer. She points out that The Story of Che Guevara (Harper Collins, 2011), has been written by a Latin American, a native of Buenos Aires and a woman. Whatever the advantages of those territorial factors, it seems clear that her account benefits as well from her talent for critical analysis and willingness to go over old territory to find facts anew. No less important is its vantage point: a woman’s point of view. Partly because Alvarez was her subject’s contemporary and compatriot, this biography provides interesting details of and insights into Che’s youth and the environment that shaped him, information either unknown to or ignored by earlier biographers.… | more…

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti reviewed in Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Wealthy and powerful countries have a variety of mechanisms available to them to control the fates of peoples in poor countries. These are not mutually exclusive, and most of poor countries have experienced more than one of these types of interventions. The use of propaganda, targeting populations both in the periphery and the metropole, was studied by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 1988, and since. The power of financial institutions in controlling the economies of dependent countries has been documented by many scholars, among them, for Haiti, Paul Farmer. US interventions specifically designed for electoral processes through State Department–sponsored organizations and others (called “democracy promotion”) have been analyzed by William Robinson and other scholars, including Nicholas Guilhot.… | more…

Socialist Register 2015: Transforming Classes

NEW! Transforming Classes: Socialist Register 2015 edited by Leo Panitch and Greg Albo

This 51st annual Socialist Register completes the investigation of class formation and class strategies on a global scale begun with last year’s volume. Deploying an understanding of class as an historical social process—rather than an abstract sociological category or statistical artifact—the essays here investigate the concrete ways that working classes are being made and remade in the struggles against neoliberalism, austerity, and authoritarian governments. Taking stock of the changing balance of class forces as well as old and new forms of workplace, household and political organization, they uncover the class strategies being debated and adapted in different zones of the world.… | more…

Race to Revolution by Gerald Horne

Gerald Horne discusses Race to Revolution on C-SPAN’s BookTV

Gerald Horne discusses his two books, The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America (published by New York University Press) and Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow (published by Monthly Review Press), at Eso Won Books in Los Angeles, California. … | more…

NEW! Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

According to Senator Bernie Sanders, “Robert McChesney reveals once again why he is one of the thinkers who really matter to American society. Whether he is analyzing military spending or the explosive growth of prisons, whether he is critiquing the destructive power of the wealthy on American democracy through massive political donations or the perils the monopolistic control of the media present for the future of our nation, McChesney shines a bright light on what the wealthy and powerful want to remain hidden. While I many not agree with every one of his conclusions, few have shown as powerfully how American democracy is at risk in the 21st century.”… | more…

Read an excerpt from Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century in Salon

The United States unique today among major states in the degree of its reliance on military spending and its determination to stand astride the world, militarily as well as economically. No other country in the post–Second World War world has been so globally destructive or inflicted so many war fatalities. Since 2001, acknowledged U.S. national defense spending has increased by almost 60 percent in real dollar terms to a level in 2007 of $553 billion. This is higher than at any point since the Second World War (though lower than previous decades as a percentage of GDP). Based on such official figures, the United States is reported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as accounting for 45 percent of world military expenditures. Yet, so gargantuan and labyrinthine are U.S. military expenditures that their true magnitude reached $1 trillion in 2007.… | more…

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself in Kirkus Reviews

Marsh shares his affection for Walt Whitman in this gentle, thoughtful consideration of the poet’s relevance to 21st-century America. Beset by moral malaise in his 30s, the author “suffered from fully-grown doubts, not just growing doubts, about the meaning of life and the purpose of our country.” Whitman’s insights on death, money, sex and democracy buoyed his spirits …. Marsh confesses his love for the legendary poet, and by the end of this insightful homage, readers are likely to feel the same. … | more…

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