Khalidi, Anbara Salam. MEMOIRS of AN EARLY ARAB FEMINIST: The life and Activism of Anbara Salam Khalidi. 2013. Pluto Press. London, UK. Translated from Arabic by Tarif Khalidi ISBN 978 0 7453 3356 4

Review by Theresa Wolfwood “I do not intend to write journal or history of my family...these memoirs might be described as a history of some landmarks of the age in which I lived...” Readers should not be put off by the naïve and simple style of writing in this memoir. The author, lauded in the Arab world for her early bold feminism, writes with clear insight and impassioned engagement about a complex and conflict-ridden period of history in Lebanon and its neighbouring states; complexities and conflicts that are still with us today. Khaladi, Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Khalidi Anbara Salam

Karmi, Ghada. MARRIED TO ANOTHER MAN: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine. Pluto Press. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-7453-2065-6

Review & author photo by Theresa Wolfwood The author writes that the title of this book comes from, “following the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897 at which the idea of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was first mooted, the rabbis of Vienna dispatched two representatives to investigate the suitability of the country for such an enterprise. The men reported the result of their explorations in this cable to Vienna: The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man. It was not “A land without people for a people without Read more [...]

Filed under Ghada Karmi

Michiko Midge Ayukawa. HIROSHIMA IMMIGRANTS IN CANADA 1891-1941. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC ISBN 978-0-7748-1432-4

Review by Theresa Wolfwood          Author photo by Betty Andrews With the passing of the author in October, BC lost a historian and community leader. After her retirement from her career as a scientist and teacher, Ayukawa returned to university to study Japanese history and language; this book is the result of her PhD work. I had the good fortune to attend her thesis defence at UVIC and to meet her external examiner, Thomas Shoyama, the architect of Saskatchewan’s and Canada’s health care acts, another prominent person of the Japanese Read more [...]

Filed under Michiko Midge Ayukawa

Sprague, Jeff. PARAMILITARISM AND THE ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY IN HAITI. 2012. Monthly Review Press, NY, USA. ISBN 978-1-58367-301-0

Review by Theresa Wolfwood Sprague, a USA scholar, has written a detailed and readable history of Haiti, now the poorest country in this hemisphere; once the source of great wealth for its colonizer, France. His emphasis after reviewing early history is on the last 40 years of paramilitarism. (Paramilitarism is militarism that is outside the structure of regular government military – in Haiti’s case, militarism controlled by wealthy elites.) He writes, “The central focus of this book, the phenomenon of paramilitarism in Haiti and its Read more [...]

Filed under Jeff Sprague

Wong, David H. T. Escape to Gold Mountain. 2012. Arsenal Pulp Press. Vancouver. BC ISBN 978-1-55152-476-4

  Review and author photo by Theresa Wolfwood Classified as Juvenile Non-Fiction, this graphic novel is a recommended read for Canadians of all ages. Wong chose the graphic technique not only because he has always loved drawing cartoons, but also because this comic strip technique appeals to teenagers, his preferred readers. At a reading and talk during the Cumberland Miners’ Memorial in June, 2013, Wong said he wanted young people to understand the history of Chinese people in Canada and the USA; I found the book enlightening and Read more [...]

Filed under David H. T. Wong

A Woman Among Warlords: the Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.

Review by Theresa Wolfwood This is the very personal and very political story of the woman who is called the “bravest woman in Afghanistan.” When her family returned to Pakistan from a refugee camp, she was a clandestine teacher, teaching in homes and basements, hiding her books under a burka. She was committed from a young age to working for her people. She set up clinics, social services and orphanage which finally closed for the lack of funds, but  she still helps and stays in touch with these war orphans. Her description of courtship Read more [...]

Filed under Malalai Joya

Chambers, Carole. She Draws the Rain. 2013. Thistledown Press. Saskatoon, SK, Canada ISBN 978-1-927068-42-7

Review by Theresa Wolfwood   Chamber’s latest of five volumes of poems expresses her enduring passion for the people and land she loves so deeply. “She Draws the Rain” is her finest collection yet with poems that speak powerfully to our connection to nature and our human environment.   Many of her poems are rooted in her island life surrounded by the Salish Sea, but her feelings for people and particularly for her mother as she leaves this world are heart rending and universal in their understanding of loss – even before Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Carole Chambers

Abu-Zahra, Nadia & Adah Kay. UNFREE IN PALESTINE: Registration, Documentation and Movement Restriction. 2013, Pluto Press. UK. ISBN 978 0 7453 2527 9

Review by Theresa Wolfwood “In this book we focus on denationalization rather than displacement or dispossession…we draw attention to the 1.4 million denationalized Palestinians… The focus on denationalization, rather than solely dispossession, implicitly recognizes the nationality and citizenship of Palestinians prior to 1948.” If there are still any people of good will who believe that the conflict in Palestine with the Israeli occupiers is an evenly balanced situation – this is the book for them. It is also a well-researched book Read more [...]

Filed under Nadia Abu-Zahra & Kay Adah

Shaxson, Nicholas. Treasure islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens. 2011. Palgrave Macmillan. UK. ISBN 978-0-230-10501-0

Review by Theresa Wolfwood “Societies grant corporations immense privileges, such  as limited liability…they have also been granted the right to be treated as artificial legal entities that can relocate to different  jurisdictions almost at will, irrespective of where they really do business. In exchange for these remarkable privileges, corporations were originally held to a set of obligations to the societies in which they are embedded: notably to be transparent about their affairs and to pay taxes.” “The offshore system has undermined Read more [...]

Filed under Nicholas Shaxson

Butler, C.T. & Keith McHenry. FOOD, NOT BOMBS. See Sharp Press,Arizona. USA

By Theresa Wolfwood   “This slogan requires no complicated analysis. The three words “say it all.” They point unerringly to the double challenge: to feed immediately people who are without adequate food, and to replace a system whose priorities are power and profit with one meeting the needs of all human beings.”               Howard Zinn in the introduction     Food Not Bombs (fnb) a much misunderstood and persecuted movement, started and continues with the philosophy that there is enough food in Read more [...]

Filed under C. T. Butler & Keith McHenry

Janice Williamson, editor. Omar Khadr, Oh Canada. 2012.McGill-Queen’s University Press Montreal, Canada ISBN 978-0-7735-4022-4

Review by Theresa Wolfwood   “The oppressors are playing with me, As they move freely about the world...   They have monuments to liberty And freedom of opinion, which is well and good.  But I explained to them that Architecture is not justice.               -Sami al Haj. Quoted at beginning of the book   The “Khadar case is a black mark on my own country’s international reputation and standing.”     -Gen. Romeo Dallaire, one the book’s contributors This collection by 34 Canadian Read more [...]

Filed under Janice Williamson

Martinez, Carlos & Michael Fox, & Jojo Farrell. VENEZUELA SPEAKS! Voices from the Grassroots. 2010. PM Press, Oakland, CA, USA. ISBN 978-1-60486-108-2

Review by Theresa Wolfwood “...the failure of neoliberalism combined with the political failure of representative democracy...contributed significantly to the rise of the New Left.” “...in Venezuela, as a consequence...new urban community associations and political parties emerges that provided an important impetus for the emergence of Hugo Chávez in 1998.” At a time when Venezuela and its friends are still mourning the loss of President Hugo Chavez, this collection of interviews and insights into the social movements of Venezuela Read more [...]

Filed under Carlos Martinez & Michael Fox & Jojo Farrell