Monthly Archives: October 2012
Webber, Jeffrey R. From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales. 2011. Haymarket Books, Chicago, Ill. USA.
When I learned that Bolivia’s government has decided to rid the country of Coca Cola by the end of 2012 and that McDonald’s fast food is leaving Bolivia because it can’t sell its products due to what the company claims is a ‘cultural boycott’, I decided it was time to re-read this book and learn more about one of South America’s poorest countries where resource exploitation by imperial powers has dominated governments and the lives of the mainly indigenous peoples of Bolivia for centuries. Webber, a UK academic, has written an extensively Read more [...]
The New Internationalist: The people, the ideas, the actions in the fight for global justice Monthly periodical. Published in UK, Canada and Australia.
This monthly magazine (NI) has been a constant source of inspiration and information for many years. NI is published by a collective in UK, Canada, and Australasia with contributions from many parts of the world. Every colourful, well illustrated issue has a special focus, over the thirty years of publication that has included specific countries, issues like AIDS, water, Climate Change, Slavery, Fair Trade, and Human Rights. Every issue has stories of success, as well as actions and analysis. The August, 2003 issue is Songs of Dissent: the Politics Read more [...]
Zelter, Angie, editor. Faslane 365: a year of anti—nuclear blockades. 2008. Luath Press Limited, Scotland.
“We´re here at the gates of hell/ in the hills of Scotland…singing hope into life.” This amazing book is a political treatise, personal journals, lively commentary, an invaluable history and a guidebook to sustained activism, all in one volume. This is a work to be read and consulted for many years by activists everywhere. Activist Angie Zelter and her friends contemplated the weakening of the UK peace movement and its lack of energy in 2005. Instead of moaning and hand wringing they created an ambitious plan to galvanize British activists. Read more [...]
Don’t be deceived by the light and breezy style of this USA journalist – this is a serious and useful work. Single substance topics have become very popular with writers; everything from salt to saffron gets a book of its own. But few substances are as important and universal as oil and Yeomans does an excellent survey, from a USA perspective, of elaborating the significance of oil in our daily lives; he details the history, geography and geopolitics and global oil supplies and use. Whatever the USA does to satisfy its addiction to petroleum Read more [...]
Wilson, Duff. Fateful Harvest: True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry and a Toxic Secret. Perennial/ HarperCollins Publishers. 2002. New York, USA.
“The Soil is ours to make or mar, and we should aim to leave it when the time comes for us to pass it on, in as good or better condition than when it first came under our hand.” Seager Wheeler, famous Canadian farmer, 1919 see www.seagerwheelerfarm.org “Topsoil is more vital to human survival than almost any other resource, for without topsoil we cannot feed ourselves.” Michael S. Northcott, quoted in book’s introduction. When the author was contacted by an irate small town mayor who claimed toxic elements in fertilizers Read more [...]
In this beautifully written memoir of a naturalist and her love of place about the Great Salt Lake of Utah and the nearby sanctuary, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, both essential parts of her professional life, the author describes and illuminates her experiences, insights, and reflections in stories of lyric prose. Her life is relevant to many of us who both reflect and agonize about ethics and political activism as we seek meaning and hope in our brief lives. “It is a fertile community where the hope of each day rides on the back of Read more [...]
Wiles, Rich. Behind the Wall: Love, life and struggle in Palestine. 2010. Potomac Books. Virginia, USA.
“…it is a vehicle through which Palestinians themselves tell their own stories. While many people have an opinion about the Middle East, very few have actually listened to the people who have themselves suffered and struggled for more than 60 years…Palestinians have struggled…with profound dignity and humanity, while exhibiting inspirational sumoud (steadfastness).” Wiles is a photographer and his writing is like printed photos; he is true to his words, he lets the Palestinians in these stories speak directly for themselves. Every Read more [...]
Despite the Hunger Despite the hunger we cannot possess more than this: Peace in a garden of our own. Alice Walker (2003) This is more than a biography of a famous – still living and active – USA writer, poet and activist. It is a powerful history of the USA from the rare point of view of a woman, a woman of colour and an artist and social activist. The subject of the biography herself says Social Action is The Rent We Pay for Living on This Earth. All the rich and complex threads of a life lived with courage, creativity and honesty Read more [...]
“[Ariel] Sharon flying over the occupied territories once remarked, “Arabs should see Jewish lights every night from 500 metres.”” Quote at beginning of chapter on settlements. “Like all occupation, Israel´s was founded on brutal force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers, and daily intimidation, humiliation, and manipulation.” Benny Morris “We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society…engaging in theft and finding justification for these activities.” Michael Ben-Yair This Read more [...]
Wells, Troth & Nikki van der Graag. THE BITTER SWEET WORLD OF CHOCOLATE with 50 delicious recipes. New Internationalist Publications. 2006.
The Bitter Sweet World of Chocolate is much more than a beautiful cookbook. It intersperses short articles about many aspects of the life of cocoa and its use with really good recipes. It is a cookbook with a difference – it is a cookbook to encourage Fair Trade. Through the book are photos and the words of farmers who benefit from Fair Trade, mainly on cooperative farms in Ghana and the book ends with sources of more information, contacts and action ideas on Fair Trade. The layout and illustrations are beautiful, this is a great book to own Read more [...]
Wells, Troth. T—Shirt. Trigger Issues series: One small item — one giant impact. 2007. The New Internationalist. UK.
This small book is from an excellent series on single items — others worth reading are on condoms, diamonds and mosquitoes; as are most writing by The New Internationalist, including other books series and their monthly magazine; pithy, easy to read and packed with interesting information — that always makes global connections. The universal T—shirt started with a simple undershirt, a singlet, worn in Europe, became an army garment and it emerged by 1950s as a popular outer garment in the T form we know today — cotton, short sleeves Read more [...]
A work of fiction by the famous British novelist, this is truly the most brilliant satire I have ever read on war, militarism, social justice and human stupidity; written nearly twenty years ago, it is still as biting and relevant as when first published. It is the story of a events on a snowy winter’s night at the Shrapnel Academy, named after Henry Shrapnel, inventor of the exploding cannonball. The occasion is the annual Wellington Lecture to be given by General Leo Makeshift. Guests, both honoured and otherwise, assemble for the Eve–of–Waterloo Read more [...]