White, Ben. Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner´s Guide. 2009. Pluto Press, UK.

“[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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Weldon, Fay. The Shrapnel Academy 1987. Cornet Books, UK.

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 [...]

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Warnock, John W. SASKATCHEWAN: the roots of dissent and protest. 2004. Black Rose Books, Montreal.

Warnock was the first person who came to me in the mid-eighties and said: you have to learn about Free Trade; It´s very important. So when an elderly friend told me to do something about the planned FTA, I responded to her by organizing a meeting for Jack to speak about Free Trade. Since then he has published several books on this topic, all excellent resources about the planned takeover of our commons. Jack moved back to Saskatchewan and has been very active in political life there in recent years. His return to the crucible of much of Read more [...]

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Waring, Marilyn. 1 WAY 2 C THE WORLD: writings 1984-2006. 2009. University of Toronto Press. Canada.

Waring is a brilliant woman, what some might call a renaissance woman. She earned a PhD at the age of 22; then she became a Member of Parliament in her native New Zealand at 24 years. She could be described as a politician, a scholar, a peace, environmental, feminist, human rights activist and a goat farmer. She spoke recently in Victoria and I was delighted to hear her witty and wise speech which I dubbed to myself as, ´Commonsense about the Commons.´ Much of her wisdom comes from her intense commitment to her principles and her dedicated Read more [...]

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Vaillant, John. The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed. 2006. Vintage Canada, Toronto, Ontario.

“A culture is no better than its woods.” W. H Auden, p. 215 “How would you convince people that material temptations, social status, and educational institutions, are used to preserve and perpetuate the status quo, with very little real consideration for life on earth?” Grant Hadwin. p.171 The main threads of this engrossing work are the lives of one obsessed man and a mutant Sitka spruce in Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands, BC). The fabric is an impressive swath of the history of coastal BC, of globalization, privatization, and Read more [...]

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Urbain, Olivier. DAISAKU IKEDA´S PHILOSOPHY OF PEACE: Dialogue, Transformation and Global Citizenship. 2010. I.B Tauris, UK, and the Toda Institute for Peace and Policy Research.

“When we have a genuine sense that, no matter how difficult our present circumstances, we are not alone––that we are vitally connected with others and with the world––we will, without fail, rise up to the challenge of living again.” This comprehensive work is a biography, a scholarly analysis and a historic context for peace activity in Japan. Urbain has managed to compress the prolific work of one person´s lifetime into this complex and well–documented volume. Daisaku Ikeda founded a secular Buddhist movement in 1975, Soka Read more [...]

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Urbain, Olivier, editor. Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics. 2008. I.B. Tauris, UK, in collaboration with the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, Tokyo, Japan.

“Music has an inexplicable way of elevating humankind to its noblest action.” Youssou N´Dour, Senegalese singer “…creative ability is a quintessential part of being human: to assert one´s Creativity is also to assert one´s Humanity.” Dennis Brutus, South African poet “…music can enable people, somehow, to ´get inside´ each other´s minds, feel each other´s suffering and recognize each other´s shared humanity –that is, in common understanding, to have empathy for each other”. Felicity Laurence. P. 14 This collection Read more [...]

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Tormey, Simon. Anti–Capitalism: A Beginner’s Guide. One World Publications, Oxford UK.

This useful summary and overview is part of a series of beginner’s guides published by Oneworld. I’d like to see the others also – on Genetics, Palestine–Israel and particularly Postmodernism, a subject on which I shall always be a beginner. Tormey presents a well organized schematic look at the modern anti–capitalist movement in recent years. He believes that the last five years since WTO Seattle in 1999 calls for a redefinition of anti–capitalist movements – essentially the hopeful and forward looking strategy that has developed Read more [...]

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Toledo, Rebecca, Teresa Guiterrez, Sara Flounders and Andy McInerney, editors. War in Colombia: Made in U.S.A. 2003. International Action Center, New York, USA.

“Cultural intervention can alter a whole society, destroying traditions, customs, values and mores developed over centuries…Far beyond its economic exploitation, cultural intervention destroys the aspects of life that best identify a whole people from all their history, imagination and character… Psychological intervention invades the mind, telling its subjects what they are to believe and be.” Ramsey Clark in his opening essay Some years ago I was struggling to understand the situation in the former Yugoslavia, the conflicts, wars and Read more [...]

Filed under Andy McInerney, Book Reviews, Rebecca Toledo, Sara Flounders, Teresa Guiterrez

Tokar, Brian ed. Redesigning Life? The Worldwide Challenge to Genetic Engineering. McGill-Queen´s University Press. Montreal & Kingston, CANADA. 2001.

A great collection of essays from a global range of authors about all different aspects of biotechnology, from food to body parts, from cancer to cloning. Very hopeful that this is one struggle the people for life may win.

Filed under Book Reviews, Brian Tokar