Shiva, Vandana. Soil Not Oil: Climate Change, Peak Oil, and Food Insecurity. 2008. Zed Books UK.

“We can either keep sleepwalking to extinction or wake up to the potential of the planet and ourselves,” Soil, Not Oil is another of this well known environmentalist´s pithy treatises on topical and important issues. Shiva has a knack of bringing together issues we often see as separate and linking our awareness to these connections. And indeed these three issues are more than connected; they are closely intertwined. She starts out by writing that this triple crisis is a triple opportunity. This awareness gives us a chance to change our Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Vandana Shiva

Shehadeh, Raja. PALESTINE WALKS: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape. 2008. Profile Books. London, UK.

“…for every story there is an ending.” “…the biography of these hills is… my own.” This memoir is a guided journey; the reader goes with the author as he remembers and reflects on his sorhat (spiritual walks to nourish the soul) around his home city of Ramallah, for the last twenty—seven years. He has walked many routes, many times over in this period and is able to vividly express “the language of the hills.” These are the changes Shehadeh meets, but as Shehadeh, a lawyer and founder of the Human Rights group, Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Raja Shehadeh

Shah, Sonia. CRUDE: The Story of Oil. 2004. Seven Stories Press. USA. Publishers Group, CANADA.

“This book tells the story of oil from its birth hundreds of millions of year ago, when ancient creatures floated with sun-dappled seas sucked carbon out of the air, through to its maturation entombed deep underground.” In vivid prose and documented detail, Shah does exactly what she sets out to do. Along the way, we learn about the slow process of oil formation and the appalling rapid depletion of this resource, so miraculous it appears to do our work for us, while changing forever our human institutions and physical environment. “Once Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Sonia Shah

Shah, Sonia. The Body Hunters : Testing New Drugs On The World´s Poorest Patients. 2006. New Press. New York, USA.

The author of CRUDE has written another excellent, well–researched book – this time about the unscrupulous behaviour of the mega–sized drug corporations of the world. John le Carre says in his introduction: “….Imagine the uproar if dozens of drug-trial patients in America were to perish from deadly side effects known to the FDA. Consider the commotion if AIDS babies in Europe were to die while being administered placebos rather than potentially life–saving drugs. These scandals did happen–just elsewhere. In The Body Hunters, investigative Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Sonia Shah

Septer, Dirk. Lost Nuke: The Last Flight of Bomber 075. 2012. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. Canada.

This is an investigative narrative of the events that followed the crash in 1950 of a USA Air Force B-36 intercontinental bomber whose wreckage was found in the rugged mountains of northern British Columbia accidently, four years later. What is amazing is that this plane was carrying a nuclear weapon, a fact concealed from Canadians and from general public knowledge for years. It appears from Geiger counter readings there was no radioactive bomb material at the crash site; the Mark1V bomb contained both plutonium and uranium. So where did the bomb Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Dirk Septer

Sen, Jai, Anita Anand, Arturo Escobar & Peter Waterman eds. Challenging Empires: World Social Forum. 2004. Viveka Foundation, New Delhi, India.

The Viveka Foundation, a centre for alternative perspectives launched this exhaustive study of the World Social Forum process at the WSF in Mumbai, 2004. There are essays and statements from individuals and groups around the world who have been involved in the process and various years of the WSF. In the foreword, Hilary Wainwright, editor of UK’s RED PEPPER journal, says that features of the new social movements include their diversity and breadth and their belief that change is created by people working together, not just by politicians Read more [...]

Filed under Anita Anand, Arturo Escobar, Book Reviews, Jai Sen, Peter Waterman

Seabrook, Jeremy. Consuming Cultures: Globalization and Local Lives. Jeremy Seabrook. 2004. New International Publications. UK.

“Globalization threatens to extinguish much that is essential to human survival”. There is a thriving industry in books about globalization; I have read many and have learned much from good authors and activists. But if I was looking for just one book to recommend to a newly interested friend, a student or seasoned activist – this would be it. Seabrook gives us the history, the background, the results of globalization which he defines as: the emergence of a single worldwide economy that has declared war on all other cultures. By Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Jeremy Seabrook

Scanlan, Lawrence. A YEAR of LIVING GENEROUSLY: Dispatches from Front Lines of Philanthropy. 2010. Douglas & McIntyre. Vancouver, BC.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Quoted from Mahatma Gandhi in introduction to this book. Every book I read something informs or interests me. This book by Scanlan has done far more; it has had a profound effect on my thinking & ultimately my life as a member of society. “…the status quo stinks. Volunteers alone, magnanimous philanthropists alone, are not the answer.” In 12 months the author volunteered at 12 different organizations in Canada and abroad – including St. Vincent Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Lawrence Scanlan

Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. Pantheon & Random House, Toronto..

This book is part of a new trend to create books that are in comic book form to express cultural and political ideas. See other reviews on www.bbcf.ca including Addicted to war: why the U.S. can´t kick militarism and There You Go! This is a engaging and rare story of a girl and then a young woman growing up in a loving, liberal family in Iran during the time of massive political and social upheaval. With her willingness to question whatever status quo exists at the time, she has a stormy and difficult coming of age. She cannot express Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Marjane Satrapi

San Martin, Pablo. WESTERN SAHARA: the Refugee Nation. 2010. University of Wales Press, Cardiff, Wales.

“…If you ever arrive at a wide white land coupled with immense black statues and the passive pace of camels and Bedouins, remember that there exists a land without master and owner, mirror and soul of all innocent beings.” by Ali Salem Iselmu San Martin was a child when he saw scenes from the Western Sahara on TV in Spain.“…what really captured my attention were the images of guerrilla fighters with yellowish turbans, waving their Kalashnikovs and departing for battlefield, crowded into the back of old open Land Rovers.” His Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Pablo San Martin

Sakar, Saral. Eco-Socialism or Eco-Capitalism. ZED BOOKS. London, UK and New York, USA. 1999.

Indian writer, now living in Germany, presents cogent reasons why growth-based capitalism will ultimately destroy the environment and how ecology-based socialism is the solution.

Filed under Book Reviews, Saral Sakar

Sacco, Joe. Palestine 7th printing, 2005. Fantagraphics Books, Seattle, WA. USA.

This is another one of these rare formats; a political comic book and like “Addicted to War” it is comic only in form. It is a serious, original, accessible rendering of the complexity of the reality that is Palestine. Introduced by the late Edward Said in a thoughtful and laudatory statement, Sacco’s collection of graphic style memoirs and personal stories makes the Palestinian people human, personal and understandable. Said considered the content important, of course, but he praised the form and expression of the story of Palestine by this Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Joe Sacco