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Facing the Anthropocene

Facing the Anthropocene reviewed in Socialism & Democracy

This book underscores the depth of the environmental crisis and, with its thorough grounding in the scientific literature, situates the onset of the crisis in geological as well as historical time. These two time-scales now converge, signifying the end of the ecological conditions that allowed the human species to flourish. … | more…

The Reawakening of the Arab World: Challenge and Change in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring

Samir Amin’s The Reawakening of the Arab World reviewed by Marx & Philosophy

Samir Amin’s latest book on the revolutionary foments in the Arab world, The Reawakening of the Arab World, provides a timely voice in contrast to the obfuscated discourse of the Western media regarding the Arab Spring and its ensuing political developments. Such discourse is marked by a pronounced contradiction that at once emphasizes the urgency of confronting ISIS (Daesh) as a global terrorist threat while simultaneously decrying the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria…. Amin’s analysis cuts against ideological reactions of this kind with a detailed historical and social examination of the concrete situation in this region, and shows, primarily with regard to Egypt and Syria, how Western imperialism has throughout the 20th century aimed at stifling the modernization of the Arab world.… | more…

The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?

Want to “make America great again?” Read John Marciano’s The American War in Vietnam: reviewed in The Veteran

In the current environment of ‘embedded’ journalists, the truth about our wars is difficult to discern, but the history of the Vietnam War is well-documented and certainly provides evidence of the deadly, viciously destructive mind set of America’s political and military leadership since World War II. It is difficult for a high school student to accept that his or her country would tell boldface lies to lure them into enlisting and deploying to areas devastated by almost fifteen years of desperate war. As Vietnam veterans, we have tried to suggest the truth for decades. Now we have a compact, well-documented, and most informative little book we can suggest they read before enlisting. I can’t help but imagine a lot of heavy, fact-based conversations will result.… | more…

“Studs Terkel and third-party politics” by Alan Wieder, via LINKS.org

When Noam Chomsky recently told Amy Goodman that he would hold his nose and vote for Hillary Clinton if he lived in a swing state, it reminded me of Studs’ statements during the 2000 Gore-Bush election for the presidency. In 2000, Studs endorsed Ralph Nader, but like Chomsky at the present time, he suggested that it might be prudent in certain cases to vote for Gore. In 1970, when Chomsky appeared on Studs’ show to discuss his book, The New Mandarins, much of the conversation focused on conquest and corporate power. And the men agreed that grassroots movements, not heroes, changed history…. ¶ So each day when I hear Trump and Clinton speak, I long to hear Studs talking about the coming election.… | more…

The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?

“Back to the realm of remembering…” The American War in Vietnam reviewed in Counterpunch

In classical mythology, the Acheron is one of the rivers of the Underworld. It marks the boundary between the living and the dead. The ferryman Charon ferries the dead across the Acheron to a place where they lose memory. Nothing of what made them human remains—happiness, suffering, love, hatred, guilt, regret, redemption, betrayal, forgiveness. ¶ John Marciano’s recently published book, The American War in Vietnam, functions as such a Charon in reverse. It ferries readers back to the realm of remembering. This slim volume could not have come at a more opportune moment. American political culture is punch-drunk with the pursuit of war. The altered state is reaching the point of delirium tremens. Thwarted in the neocolonial scheme of annexing Syria by Russia’s legal intervention, the American elite are pushing for confrontation.… | more…

Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement

Lost Strike Revisited: John Tully’s Silvertown reviewed by Socialism & Democracy

The importance of revisiting past strikes lies not only in recovering the often hidden memory of working-class mobilisations, but also in revealing the dynamics of those strikes—whether victorious or not—so as to draw conclusions for future collective action. This is clearly the purpose of John Tully’s study of the great strike of labourers at the Silvertown rubber and electrical factory in London in 1889. Not only is this strike a forgotten chapter in the history of the New Unionism that ultimately gave rise to the modern British labour movement; in addition, the tactics first developed by the employers at Silvertown also ‘became a blueprint for British union busters to follow.… | more…

facing the anthropocene

“Live issue on the eco-left”: Facing the Anthropocene reviewed by Socialist Resistance

This book is the best I have seen, from a Marxist point of view, on the issue of the Anthropocene and its implications for life on this planet. It combines a clear warning of the scale of the crisis we face with a well informed exposition of what the Anthropocene is and why we need to take it seriously. ¶ It is an unequivocal declaration the Anthropocene is here, at that its implications, in terms life on this planet, including our own, are dangerous in the extreme, and that it now determines the framework in which the struggle to save the biosphere of the planet as a habitable space now takes place.… | more…

Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

Imperialism in the 21st Century: “novel forms, old problems”: International Socialism review

The significance of John Smith’s book lies in his powerful critique of mainstream economics and official statistics as he attempts a renewal of dependency theory. Mobilising Marxist value theory to this end he argues that the Global South’s formal independence masks an abiding economic and political subordination to the imperialist powers and powerful Northern capitals. The book’s impact is reflected in the critical commentary that it has provoked, including on Michael Roberts’s blog.… | more…

Cuba: Its Hidden History and the U.S. Empire: 2 MRP books reviewed in International Socialism

A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas’ Victory
By Steve Cushion
Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History
By Jane Franklin
The last year and a half have left no doubt that the history of the Cuban Revolution will need to be revisited and probably rewritten. From the moment that Raúl Castro and Barack Obama met, and the American president visited the island, everything changed.… | more…

Facing the Anthropocene

Facing the Anthropocene reviewed in Socialism and Democracy

This book underscores the depth of the environmental crisis and, with its thorough grounding in the scientific literature, situates the onset of the crisis in geological as well as historical time. These two time-scales now converge, signifying the end of the ecological conditions that allowed the human species to flourish. ¶ Herein lies the drama—and, with it, the challenge—that we are now living….… | more…

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