Bok, Sissela. ALVA MYRDAL: A Daughter’s Memoir. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. USA.

“The greatness in being human lies not in giving up, not accepting one´s own limitations.” “…:that by whatever means they choose, all human beings can and must struggle to resist propaganda and falsehoods; and that this resistance is never more important than for those who have thought and language as their professions.” Called by some, the mother of Swedish social democracy; it is her work in nuclear disarmament and peace issues is what Alva Myrdal is now usually remembered for; the work that earned her the Nobel Prize Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Sissela Bok

Boullata, Kamal. Palestinian Art. SAQI. 2009. London, UK & Beirut, Lebanon.

In the introduction to this big and beautiful book by Boullata, a prolific Palestinian artist and writer, the UK artist, John Berger, writes about the absurdity of the identity cards Palestinians are required to carry. He says they have nothing to do with identity; they are an inventory of stolen facts. He goes straight to the heart of Palestinian identity when he writes: True identity can be neither delivered on demand nor stored as mere information. To believe that it can be is weakness of all so–called security records kept by oppressors. Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Kamal Boullata

Bocking, Richard C. Mighty River: A portrait of the Fraser. Douglas & McIntyre. Vancouver/Toronto, Canada. 1997.

The Fraser is one of the largest rivers in the world, and still, one of the few unfettered by dams or diversions. It flows through British Columbia creating a giant “S” before it empties into the Pacific at Vancouver. Bocking, an eloquent writer and passionate naturalist, describes the Fraser as the organizing element of a vast landscape. The Fraser traverses desert, alpine meadows, forests, deep canyons and a broad island—dotted valley of its own creation over the last 12 million years. I lived most of my early life near the Fraser, Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Richard C. Bocking

Blum, William. Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, USA. 2004.

A new book by Blum is an occasion. He has only written two earlier books of political analysis; Killing Hope: U.S.A. Military and CIA interventions Since WW2 and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. His exhaustive research combined with witty commentary make his books easy to read but powerfully authoritative. In this latest collection of essays his fertile mind ranges across a wide geography of issues and events. On the subject of, “Interventions Are Us,” Blum reminds us of the USA bombing of a drug factory in Sudan Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, William Blum

Blum, William. Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Common Courage Press, Monroe, ME 04951, USA. Recently revised & republished in 3rd edition.

In Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, William Blum shows that in spite of the efforts of U.S. leaders to make their actions appear humanitarian and democratic, the U.S. has run a global protection racket based on four imperatives: (1) making the world hospitable for globalization, particularly for U.S.-based corporations; (2) enriching military contractors who donate generously to politicians; (3) preventing the rise of any society that might serve as an alternative to capitalism; and (4) extending political, economic and Read more [...]

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Bjornerud, Marcia. READING THE ROCKS: The Autobiography of the Earth. 2005. Westview Press, USA.

“It [the story of the earth] is larger than all of us, shaped by rules that antedate and superseded every economic, legal and religious doctrine humans have ever created.” It is not often that a scientist writes a book about her area of study that can be easily understood and appreciated by any reader. Bjornerud is a geologist with a deep and broad love of our planet; she makes the history and existence of our Earth relevant to the important issues facing humanity today. She makes all the vital inks between resource depletion, global warming Read more [...]

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Bertell, Rosalie. Planet Earth: The latest weapon of war Black Rose Books, Canada, 2001. The Women’s Press, London, UK, 2000.

“…in spite of fears of abuse, Earth is still an amazing and beautiful creation…It deserves our best efforts. Enjoy it, love it and save it!” RB Rosalie Bertell believes, as have many ecologists before her, that the current focus on economics is at the expense of ecology and the social environment. In Planet Earth, this internationally-respected scientist states that the most urgent problem facing humanity now is how to sustain Earth, our life-support system. To do this, we must find a new model of global living which is not based Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Rosalie Bertell

Bennis, Phyllis. Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN defy US power. 2006. Olive Branch Press, USA

However flawed the UN of the 21st century may still be, it remains a crucial part of any potentially successful effort to mount a serious challenge to US empire. PB Although this is mainly a book about USA foreign policy and the internal and global resistance to it, Bennis dedicates it: For the dead of Iraq and New Orleans who paid the price for empire. And an empire that wages war on distant shores also neglects its own shores with disastrous results. The cost of war has to come from somewhere and in the USA it comes from the poor and public Read more [...]

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Bennholdt-Thomson, Veronika, Nicholas Faraclas and Claudia Von Werlhof, eds. There is an Alternative: Subsistence and Worldwide Resistance to Corporate Globalization. Zed Books Ltd. London, UK. 2001.

Every once in awhile, involvement in the struggle becomes overwhelming, and an activist needs to recharge, and to remember what drew them into the movement at the start. One way to do this is to read a book that combines cutting analysis with alternatives and hope. There is an Alternative: Subsistence and Worldwide Resistance to Corporate Globalization is such a book There is an Alternative is an anthology of essays by academics and activists paying tribute to the important work of German scholar and activist, Maria Mies. Mies is widely respected Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Claudia Von Werlhof, Nicholas Faraclas, Veronika Bennholdt-Thomson

Bello, Walden. Deglobalization: Ideas for a New Economy 2002. Zed Books Ltd. London, UK and New York, USA. Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, N.S. Canada.

Victorians had the rare chance to hear Walden Bello discuss his thoughtful and constructive theories about globalization and the new global democracy movement at the Small World Social Forum in November. The New Internationalist magazine says,” Clear analysis and impressive scholarship have made Bello on of Asia's key progressive thinkers.” In Deglobalization, Bello explains the crisis of legitimacy in the institutions and actions of global financial powers – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization Read more [...]

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Behrangi, Samad. THE LITTLE BLACK FISH. Iranbooks USA.

When the Afghan MP, Malalai Joya, quoted from this book during her talk in Victoria, I looked for it and found it the youth section of the library. On one level it is a simple & vivid story of a brave and adventuresome fish; but given the political repression in Iran and the author’s politics and the circumstances around his early death in a drowning ‘accident’s, it can also be read as a political allegory. The Little Black Fish shows that it is impossible to completely suppress expression and resistance; the brave and creative will Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Samad Behrangi

Bechara, Soha. Resistance: My Life for Lebanon 2003. Soft Skull Press. USA.

I found this book in a small radical bookshop in Saskatoon this summer, just as the invasion of Lebanon ended with a ceasefire after incredible death and damage had been wreaked in a few days. I know little about this country and even less about Lebanese women so I bought it with interest. And I learned a lot about Lebanon and its political history. What I also found was a very intimate story of a bright young woman from happy Lebanese family with a Christian mother and a Communist father and how she became a member of a secret resistance group, Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Soha Bechara