McNally, David. ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Globalisation and Anti-Capitalism. 2002. Arbeiter Ring Publishing. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

He may be a respectable academic at York University, but what impressed me most was that this book was born in fumes of tear gas at the FTAA meeting in Quebec in April, 2002. It was there that the author, with his partner and children, in the heat of resistance, saw a beginning of a new left that would build a new global movement. McNally says, “It is written in the conviction that another world of freedom, justice and human cooperation is possible.” It is also good to read what some may consider yet another book on this subject by a Canadian Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, David McNally

McKay, Paul. Atomic Accomplice: How Canada deals in deadly deceit. 2009. Canada.

“ ´Follow the money´ is an axiom at the heart of investigative journalism…This book follows the atoms. Or more precisely, it audits the trail of Canadian fissile elements, sensitive materials, reactor sales and laboratory secrets which have abetted the global proliferation of atomic and hydrogen bombs.” Journalist Paul McKay has done his homework and reveals all in this comprehensive but easy to read exposé of our nuclear history. Add another bag of nails to the coffin of Canada´s image as “a nice peace loving country”. (Yves Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Paul McKay

Mayne, Elizabeth. A Passionate Continuity. Poetry & Illustrations. 2006. Ekstasis Editions. Victoria, BC.

“My tongue tastes pleasure, The future of change. My heart aches in the slowness of history.” This excerpt from “I Speak Again” expresses the many life long passions of Elizabeth Mayne, a Victoria resident and a visual artist who turned to expressing herself in poetry ten years ago. Her continuity of sensual passion and pleasure is for some, including the publisher, a major focus of this book, both in the poems and the drawings of fragments of men´s bodies as well as poignant renditions of women´s bodies. She loves beauty but Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Elizabeth Mayne

Mast, Edward & Haithem El-Zabri. NAKBA: The Ongoing Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. USA, 2008.

“…Take a stone from our house So that our descendents Will remember their way home.” Mahmoud Darwish, from the poem Your Eyes. Described as a concise guide to history and issues, this booklet packs an amazing amount of information into 40 pages. It is firstly a Palestinian history, going back 3000 years and forward to modern times, culminating in the NAKBA, the violent expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948 — while the world stood by, helping the Israelis or completely ignoring this ethnic cleansing. 531 villages Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Edward Mast, Haithem El-Zabri

Loney, James. CAPTIVITY: 118 days in Iraq and the struggle for a world without war. 2011. Alfred A. Knopf. Canada.

“None of us can know the measure of our lives. None of us can know what our actions might seed.” James Loney was a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, (CPT), a group that believes that pacifists should be willing to risk their lives for their principles. A commitment that has taken him and many others to dangerous conflicts in Palestine, Iraq and 1st Nations lands in Canada. The story of his captivity in 2005–6 by a small group determined to revenge the deaths of innocent members of their families by USA military in Iraq is harrowing Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, James Loney

Livesay, Dorothy. THE SELF-COMPLETING TREE. Selected poems. 1992. Press Porcepic. Victoria & Toronto, Canada.

Dorothy Livesay was a friend, an inspiration and a companera for me. We met late in her life, not at a literary event, but at a commemoration of Hiroshima Day on a warm sunny day in a field overlooking the sea, on a small island near Victoria. A few years later when she moved to Victoria, we became friends and co—workers in peace and social justice organizations. Although she never taught me a course in poetry, she passed on a few useful lessons. The most important lesson she taught me was that the engaged life of an artist, involved Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Dorothy Livesay

Litvinoff, Miles and John Madeley. 50 Reasons to Buy Fair Trade. 2007. Pluto Press. UK.

“The mainstream trading system is failing the poor. Fair Trade offers partnership in place of exploitation.” Beyond the general response when people ask why one should support fair trade – something that I usually sum up as a better life for producers and an opportunity for consumers to challenge the bottom line mentality of ruthless global corporations, this useful volume offers some very specific reasons and specific details of more general reasons. Fair Trade has been growing spectacularly in both quantity and variety of goods Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, John Madeley, Miles Litvinoff

Linn, Susan. Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood. 2004. The New Press, New York, USA and London, UK.

If I had small children, I would want to take them and run for the bush and homestead in the wilderness after reading this terrifying tale of the destruction of our first humanity - childhood. Billions of dollars are being spent to sell everything to children. Linn'concern is that, "The explosion of marketing aimed at kids today is precisely targeted, refined by scientific method and honed by child psychologists..." The author is a parent, a citizen activist and a lecturer in psychiatry. She researched this subject with passion and professionalism Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Susan Linn

Lindsay-Poland, John. EMPERORS IN THE JUNGLE: The Hidden History of the U.S. in Panama. 2003. Duke University Press, USA.

“…the book examines the manner in which Panama served as an instrument for grander U.S. aims and the role of ideas about race and the tropic…” The author of this excellent history is a peace activist and Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Task Force on Latin America and the Caribbean who lived for many years in Panama. He is one of the organizers of the NOUSBASES Network which hosted a panel at the World Peace Forum on ‘Foreign Military Bases: Instruments of Domination’. As Guillermo Castro, former Deputy Minister of Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, John Lindsay-Poland

Legault, Stephen. CARRY TIGER TO MOUNTAIN The Tao of Activism and Leadership. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2006 Vancouver, BC.

This is an unusual and refreshing book for activists told through the unfolding of the ancient Chinese work, the Tao te Ching, as it applies to the work and effectiveness of modern activism. I have never heard of the author, even though he also lives in Victoria. He is an environmental activist, whereas my focus has always been peace and social justice, I am, at best, a passive supportive environmentalist, so I am not too surprised we have not met. But is this a case of the prophet at home being ignored? I wonder if he gets more attention elsewhere. Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Stephen Legault

Langley, Billy & Dan Curtis. GOING WITH THE FLOW: Small scale water power. 2004. Centre for Alternative Technology Publications, Wales.

This little book excites me more than the whole heavy stack that PN recently sent me. It is immediate, politically and socially relevant, practical and comprehensive – we need it. Small scale water power - that is. The price of petroleum increases as the reserves dwindle; wars and coups are planned and executed to ensure the minority world gets what it considers “our oil”, no matter where it is. And those who complain about polluting coal-based energy, also from a non-renewal resource, are told the answer is nuclear which supposedly will Read more [...]

Filed under Billy Langley, Book Reviews, Dan Curtis

Kurlansky, Mark. Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea. 2006. Modern Library, Random House, New York, USA.

The kind of pacifism that does not actively combat the war preparations of the government is powerless and will always stay powerless. Albert Einstein One of the twenty-five lessons tells us that there is no proactive word for non–violence – at least in English and most languages. Another says that the state imagines it is impotent without a military because it cannot conceive of power without force; yet another lesson states that people motivated by fear do not act well. What are we ruled by? In my lifetime our society has always been fear Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Mark Kurlansky