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left forum 2013

Monthly Review at the Left Forum, New York City, June 7 to 9

Don’t miss the closing plenary featuring John Bellamy Foster, plus panels on Lettuce Wars and the struggles of farmworkers today, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya and an appraisal of the Libya invasion, a Socialist Register panel considering The Question of Strategy, and a discussion of István Mészáros, TINA, and OCCUPY. Don’t forget to visit the MR Press table for discounts on a wide range of titles, new and old!… | more |

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid

Alan Wieder on the Rivonia Raids & South African Non-Violent Struggle, KBOO Radio

Alan Wieder is the author of Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid, forthcoming from Monthly Review Press. In this segment he remembers the Rivonia Raid fifty years after it happened. The South African government in the early 1960s attacked the Rovonia farm, then occupied by the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party. These two groups, from which Nelson Mandela and Joe Slovo came, were against the apartheid government.… | more |

The Economic War Against Cuba reviewed in Cuba Si

Salim Lamrani presents a comprehensive and systematic study of the United States’ economic sanctions against Cuba and the harm they cause the Cuban people. Lamrani delicately combines a heartrending catalogue of human suffering with robust analysis—including the examination of official U.S, government documentation—as he considers the origins, provisions and legality of the blockade.… | more |

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

One Day in December Starred Review in Library Journal

The Cuban revolution so closely associated with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara also involved those such as Camilo Cienfuegos, Eloy Menoyo, Frank Pais, and Celia Sanchez, all revolutionary heroes in their own right. Sanchez was Castro’s supporter, confidante, and—depending on the source—his lover. In this impressive biography Stout (reference librarian, Fordham Univ. Libs.; Havana: La Habana) utilizes interviews, Cuban archives (to which she was granted special access by Castro himself), letters, and other documents to provide an accurate portrait of Sanchez, who ran the planning organization of the revolution after the death of Pais in 1957… Highly recommended for readers and scholars of Cuban history.… | more |

Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid

Alan Wieder interviewed on Ruth First and Joe Slovo

Alan Wieder is the author of Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid, forthcoming from Monthly Review Press. He was interviewed by Portland’s KBOO Community Radio about his book and the lives of Ruth First and Joe Slovo. … | more |

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

Horace Campbell, author of Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, on "Benghazi, Petraeus, and the CIA" for CounterPunch

Two years after the failed NATO intervention, Libyan society is in chaos. Over 50,000 were killed in a mission that was meant to protect civilians, and there are reportedly more than 1,700 competing militias marauding the streets. One outcome of this chaos was the attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi which led to the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens on September 11, 2012. There have been Congressional hearings on this attack, and on May 8, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, the California Republican who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called another inquiry into the September 11, 2012 event.… | more |

The Ecological Rift reviewed in Science & Society

Marxist ecologists John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York compellingly argue that our perpetual ecological crises are a direct product of global capitalism. The relationships of dominance within capitalism are the main obstacle to ecological sustainability. At over 400 pages in length (and an additional 90 pages in footnotes alone), The Ecological Rift uses the disciplines of political economy, human ecology and sociology to mount a powerful indictment of capitalism’s destructive effects upon our fragile ecosystems.… | more |

America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth

"Violence, USA": an excerpt from Henry A. Giroux's America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth

Since 9/11, the war on terror and the campaign for homeland security have increasingly mimicked the tactics of the enemies they sought to crush. Violence and punishment as both a media spectacle and a bone-crushing reality have become prominent and influential forces shaping U.S. society. As the boundaries between “the realms of war and civil life have collapsed,” social relations and the public services needed to make them viable have been increasingly privatized and militarized. The logic of profitability works its magic in channeling the public funding of warfare and organized violence into universities, market-based service providers, Hollywood cinema, cable television, and deregulated contractors. The metaphysics of war and associated forms of violence now creep into every aspect of U.S. society.… | more |

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

One Day in December reviewed on Human Needs Before Profit

For many years, I’ve been inspired to read about the lives of revolutionaries. These are people who had been raised in a more or less typical environment, and transformed themselves into leaders of political movements. These political movements didn’t merely attempt to reform one or another aspect of society. No, these leaders attempted to form a new kind of government that would have completely different priorities. The list of some of these leaders would include, Spartacus, Thomas Paine, Tecumseh, Frederick Douglass, Jose Martí, Ida Wells, Mother Jones, Vladimir Illyich Lenin, Eugene Debs, Malcolm X, Ernesto Che Guevara, and Nelson Mandela. Looking at this list we see that most of these leaders were men. Nancy Stout spent ten years researching her biography of Celia Sánchez. Reading Stout’s book, we can see why the name Celia Sánchez clearly needs to be added to this list. In this biography we see a woman who overcomes unbelievable odds to put in place a government that transformed the lives of the Cuban people.… | more |

America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth

NEW! America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth by Henry A. Giroux

America’s latest war, according to renowned social critic Henry Giroux, is a war on youth. While this may seem counterintuitive in our youth-obsessed culture, Giroux lays bare the grim reality of how our educational, social, and economic institutions continually fail young people. Their systemic failure is the result of what Giroux identifies as “four fundamentalisms”: market deregulation, patriotic and religious fervor, the instrumentalization of education, and the militarization of society. Giroux sets his sights on the war on youth and takes it apart, examining how a lack of access to quality education, unemployment, the repression of dissent, a culture of violence, and the discipline of the market work together to shape the dismal experiences of so many young people.… | more |

The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”

The Contradictions of "Real Socialism" reviewed in International Critical Thought

In The Contradictions of Real Socialism Lebowitz provides an insightful and penetrating analysis of the problems with the ‘vanguard’ leadership and he offers a partial blueprint for the socialism of the future. This new type of socialism will be founded upon the full and democratic participation of the workers and its goal will be the production of richly developed human beings. While scholars of Marxism and socialism are likely to be more appreciative of the complexities and details of Lebowitz’s book, its overall outlines are sufficiently clear to the general reader. Furthermore, this book seems to be intended not just for the socialist audience, but appears to be designed for an even larger group of readers. Anyone interested in the complimentary problems of real leadership and of involving workers in determining their own destinies will find Lebowitz’s thought-provoking book of considerable interest.… | more |

Lettuce Wars: Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California

Bruce Neuburger discusses Lettuce Wars in California

Join Bruce Neuburger, author of Lettuce Wars: Ten Years of Work and Struggle in the Fields of California for three upcoming events in the Bay Area. Ann López, Executive Director of the Center for Farmworker Families, calls Lettuce Wars “compelling and often spell-binding … surely one of the most important contributions to the social justice literature exposing farmworker injustice at all levels,” and will be joining Bruce at one event. … | more |

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

NEW! Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya: Lessons for Africa in the Forging of African Unity by Horace Campbell

In this incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO’s intervention in Libya. He traces the origins of the conflict, situates it in the broader context of the Arab Spring uprisings, and explains the expanded role of a post-Cold War NATO. Campbell points out that while political elites in the West were quick to celebrate the intervention in Libya as a success, the NATO campaign caused many civilian deaths and destroyed the nation’s infrastructure. Furthermore, the instability it unleashed in the forms of militias and terrorist groups have only begun to be reckoned with, as the United States learned when its embassy was attacked and personnel, including the ambassador, were killed. Campbell’s lucid study is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand this complex and weighty course of events.… | more |