Pogue, Carolyn. A New Day: Peacemaking Stories and Activities Program Ideas for Leaders of Children. 2005. Danka Gocova, illustrator. United Church Publishing House, Toronto.

Carolyn Pogue has combined her original stories, based on children’s experiences in many parts of the world, with practical and clear guidelines for hand-on creativity for peace; making paper, peace flags, solar cookers and water games. Adults will find the activity instruction clear and useful; children I know will enjoy the projects. Pogue provides study and question guides for the stories and ideas. Based in Christianity, the book has much universal wisdom and knowledge of other faiths. And I liked the biographies of real people who have Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Carolyn Pogue

Pitarch, Pedro, Shannon Speed & Xochitl Leyva Solano, Editors. HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MAYAN REGION: Global Politics, Cultural Contentions, and Moral Engagements. 2008. Duke University Press, USA.

“The essays in this book direct our attention to the different empirical instances in which Maya culture encounters rights politics.” I expected a collection of essays by mainly academics in Europe, USA and Latin America to be stuffy and esoteric and not very relevant to an activist who once lived in a Maya village as a human rights observer. I thought I knew what rights or abuses of rights that I should be observing. But this interesting book with articles by activists and Mayas as well as academics challenges our assumptions about what Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Pedro Pitarch, Shannon Speed, Xochitl Leyva Solano

Pilger, John. Freedom Next Time. 2007. A Black Swan Book. Transworld Publishers, UK.

“Rise like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew. Which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many — they are few.” Percy Bysshe Shelly in The Mask of Anarchy. With that quote Pilger begins another of his impassioned and important books about “empire, its facades and the enduring struggle of people for their freedom.” Pilger reinforces and documents all our doubts the mainstream, official government or corporate media and how they have historically served and continue to serve their imperial Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, John Pilger

Pilger, John. The Conscience of Contemporary Journalism.

Chances are, if we stray from the fantasy world of smoke and mirrors called the mainstream media and try to find out what is really happening in the world, we will find the work of John Pilger, the Australian born, now London–based writer and filmmaker. For thirty–five years he has written many books, hundreds of articles and made dozens of films. He has made a living, found a wide readership and audience, gained international respect and won many awards, including an Emmy, the UK Richard Dimbleby Award and has been named the International Reporter Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, John Pilger

Pierce, Rhoda Kaplan & Carolyn Pogue. FADE TO BLACK. Kehillah Press, 25 Maguire Rd. Wayland, MA, 01778, USA.

This play script is the result of 2 writers in two countries collaborating to produce a drama about the international movement to which they both belong. A group of Women in Black (set in the USA) are arrested for holding a silent vigil to witness for peace and non-violence. They are sent to a mental hospital where they are considered crazy for being publicly unpatriotic. The play explains the context and effect of laws that try to repress peaceful dissent and to instil fear in those who work for peace. It also shows the diversity of reasons Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Carolyn Pogue, Rhoda Kaplan Pierce

Perkins, John. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Berrett-Kohler Publishers. San Francisco, USA.

An Economic Hit Man, an EHM, is apparently a precise job description, a profession practised around the world by people (primarily white, male and USA citizens) who are usually known as advisors, consultants or experts. It took John Perkins a long time to get around to publishing his confessions, complete with a fair amount of hair pulling and wearing of hair shirts. But somewhere around retirement age, Perkins decided to tell all and keep the respect of his adult daughter. His hand wringing lasted for 40 years and it gets a bit tiresome, but Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, John Perkins

Paul, Helena & Ricarda Steinbrecher with Devlin Kuyek & Lucy Michaels. HUNGRY CORPORATIONS: Transnational Biotech Companies Colonise the Food Chain. Z Books. 2003. London, UK.

"What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies; it is really a consolidation of the entire food chain. Robert Fraley, Monsanto, 1996." quoted on p.24 This excellent reference book on the corporate control of our food is a great example of good globalization; it is a cooperative work of scientists, activists and organizations from Canada, UK and Malaysia. It names corporate names, processes, and government agencies and institutions that empower “hungry corporations". The authors have compiled a clear and concise analysis Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Devlin Kuyek, Helena Paul, Lucy Michaels, Ricarda Steinbrecher

Patel, Raj. Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World´s Food System. 2007. HarperCollins Publishers. Toronto, CA.

“The best way to ensure that food is produced in harmony with one´s local environment is to learn about the local environment, and then grow the food oneself.” Is it possible that the overeating of the rich in many countries, including nations we consider ´poor´, is related to the starvation and malnutrition of many who live side by side of the overfed? Patel, a scholar from South Africa with a wide experience in academia, international institutions and social movements makes a convincing case that it is globalization and all its corporate—controlled Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Raj Patel

Pappe, Ilan. THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE. 2007. Oneworld, Oxford UK.

“Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity, and people who perpetrate it today are considered criminals to be brought before special tribunals.” Pappe is a distinguished and respected Israeli historian. His research and publications have made him the object of death threats; he left Israel to teach in the UK. In this book he carefully records the often refuted, little—known and suppressed history of one of the major crimes against humanity. Palestinians call it the Nakba, the disaster in which Zionists drove nearly a million people Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Ilan Pappe

O´Neill, Dan. The Firecracker Boys: H-bombs, Inupiat Eskimos and the Roots of the Environmental Movement. 2007. Basic Books, USA.

“I think there was a concern that the American people, given the facts, would not make the right risk—benefit judgements.” Peter Libassi, Chair, Interagency Task Force on the Health Effects of Ionizing Radiation. “If your mountain is not in the right place, drop us a card.” Edward Teller “I´m pretty sure you don´t like to see your home blasted by some other people who don´t live in your place like we live in Point Hope.” Kitty Kinneeveauk Tikigaq, home of the Inupiat people is a finger of land in the Chukchi Sea, north Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Dan O'Neill

Oldfield, Sybil. Women Against the Iron Fist: Alternatives to Militarism 1900- 1989. Basil Blackwell Ltd. Oxford, UK.

"How dare the government presume the right to kill others in our name?" Women in Newbury Court, UK, 1982. "...The Pentagon sits on like sone grotesque chicken caged in its nest and fed/ cancerous hormone, exceed and exceed and exceed/ Hiroshima, over and over and over, in weight/ in power/ in horror/ of genocide" Denise Levertov, 1980 (2 quotes from this book) Sybil Oldfield is half- German and half English, so by her birth and her well articulated convictions is the ideal person to write movingly about many woman of the last century. Some Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Sybil Oldfield

Oldfield, Sybil. Afterwords: Letters on the Death of Virginia Woolf. 2005. Rutgers University Press. USA.

"...your wife has been for me, ever since I was a boy, one of the great interpreters of the world." Hubert Butler, Ireland. page 149 I know the editor of this book and have read her works; some are reviewed on this site. A whole book of condolence letters seemed such a narrow and peculiar subject that I would not have chosen to read it if it weren’t for my knowing Oldfield. I am so glad I did seek it out and pour over these letters. They gave me the realization that the greater world of friendship and creativity can enclose us all. Oldfield Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Sybil Oldfield