Archive | Review

  • Campaigning for Union Office: An Excerpt from How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers

    It’s one of the universals of organizing — first you make a list.

    Elementary teacher Alix Gonzalez Guevara remembers staying up late transferring data about each school from a district-published book into an Excel spreadsheet: region, address, how many teachers, how many students.

    This became a Google document, an online spreadsheet available to everyone working on the campaign. The schools were grouped by regions. Within each, a couple of lead activists took responsibility to find people to do outreach at each school.

  • Tadeusz Kowalik, 1926-2012

      Professor Tadeusz Kowalik (1926-2012) was a noted Polish economist who played a major role in Polish economic debates for more than a half century.  A graduate of the University of Warsaw, Kowalik was a student of the distinguished Polish Marxist economist Oskar Lange and like his teacher, was a prominent advocate of market socialism […]

  • Amazon’s Assault on Intellectual Freedom

      There is an undeclared war going on in the United States that threatens the lynchpins of American intellectual freedom.  In a statement worthy of Cassandra, Noah Davis wrote in Business Insider last October,  “Amazon is coming for the book publishing industry.  And not just the e-book world, either.”  When titans battle, it is tempting […]

  • Interview with Salim Lamrani: “The Economic Sanctions against Cuba Constitute the Principal Obstacle to the Development of the Country”

      Salim Lamrani.  État de siège; les sanctions économiques des États-Unis contre Cuba(State of Siege: The United States’ economic sanctions against Cuba).  Prologue by Wayne S. Smith.  Preface by Paul Estrade.  Paris, Editions Estrella, 2011.  15 euros. CSF: You’ve just published a new book under the title État de siège.  What exactly do you cover […]

  • Remembering and Representing: Vietnam, East Germany, and Daphne Berdahl

      Daphne Berdahl.  On the Social Life of Postsocialism: Memory, Consumption, Germany.  Edited by Matti Bunzl.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.  xx + 166 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-35434-1; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-22170-4. On the Social Life of Postsocialism; Memory, Consumption, Germany is a posthumous collection of Daphne Berdahl’s essays, written over the course of […]

  • Cautionary Tales for Would-Be Weather Engineers

      James Rodger Fleming.  Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control.  Columbia Studies in International and Global History Series.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.  Illustrations. xiv + 325 pp.  $27.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-14412-4. In Fixing the Sky, James Rodger Fleming traces human efforts to control weather and climate from ancient […]

  • Workers in Neocapitalist Romania

      David A. Kideckel.  Getting By in Postsocialist Romania: Labor, the Body, and Working-Class Culture.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.  xii + 266 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-34957-6; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-21940-4. During the last twenty years, Romanian mass media and most Romanian intellectuals have typically portrayed the miners of the Jiu Valley in Romania […]

  • Politics and Natural Resources in Eastern Saudi Arabia

      Toby Craig Jones.  Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010.  312 pp.  $29.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-674-04985-7. Toby Craig Jones opens his book, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia, with a description of a scheme to transport Arctic icebergs to Saudi Arabia in […]

  • How Green Is the Jewish National Fund?

      Greenwashing Apartheid: The Jewish National Fund’s Environmental Cover Up.  JNF eBook (Volume 4).  May 15, 2011. The 63-year old State of Israel has had overwhelming success at hiding its true intentions and purposes, effectively whitewashing actions which, if properly understood, would be extremely disturbing to most people.  Thus the passage of laws discriminating on […]

  • Interview with Michael Munk, Author of The Portland Red Guide

      Michael Munk’s The Portland Red Guide is a historical guidebook of social dissent in Portland, Oregon, and links notable radicals, their organizations, and their activities to physical sites in the city. We had a brief conversation over e-mail with Michael Munk to talk about the book, now in its Second Edition, and his experience […]

  • Syria and the United States

      Robert Rabil.  Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East.  Westport: Praeger, 2006.  xxvi + 289 pp.  $49.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-275-99015-2. Robert Rabil’s book examines the ups and downs in Syrian-U.S. relations.  The final portion of its title, the War on Terror in the Middle East is, in reality, […]

  • After Yugoslavia: Alternative Balkanization from Below, against the Belgrade Consensus

      Andrej Grubacic.  Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Essays after Yugoslavia.  Introduction by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.  PM Press, 2010. This is not a typical book review and I am not a detached reader.  The book’s author, Andrej Grubacic, is a friend and collaborator, a comrade in the truest sense of the word.  And as he makes clear throughout […]

  • Arafat’s Ghost

      Asʻad Ghanem.  Palestinian Politics after Arafat: A Failed National Movement.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.  x + 208 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-35427-3; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-22160-5. November 2010 marked the sixth anniversary of the death of Palestinian National Authority (PNA) president Yasser Arafat.  For the last two years of his life, the once […]

  • Obama’s Cuba Policy

      The historic election of Barak Obama brought with it high expectations for a new direction in American foreign policy towards Cuba.  Unfortunately, hope has turned into disappointment halfway through his first term: the President continues to miss opportunities to alter the dynamics of the consistently contentious US-Cuba relationship. While the recent discharge of political […]

  • Fintan O’Toole’s Own Cultural Revolution

    Fintan O’Toole.  Enough Is Enough: How to Build a New Republic.  Faber.  £12.99. Suppose you were swept to power on the back of a massive popular vote — say something like 80%, the kind of number that usually has the USA and its client states jumping up and down and calling you a leftist narco-terrorist. […]

  • After One Dimensional Feminism(s)

      Nina Power’s One Dimensional Woman is a slim but muscular volume, whose pithy prose goes straight to the heart of the challenges currently facing contemporary feminism.  Constructed as a series of short, cut-to-the-chase essays on a diverse range of ‘raw-nerve’ topics, from Sarah Palin and the War on Iraq to the veil and pornography, […]

  • Reading a History of Failure in America

      Scott A. Sandage.  Born Losers: A History of Failure in America.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.  x + 362 pp.  $16.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-674-02107-5. In the epilogue of Born Losers: A History of Failure in America, Scott A. Sandage quotes a pivotal line from Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, that haunts his […]

  • Radical Black Women, Leadership, and the Struggle for Liberation

      Dayo F. Gore, Jeanne Theoharis, Komozi Woodard, eds.  Want to Start a Revolution?: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle.  New York: New York University Press, 2009.  ix + 353 pp.  $79.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8147-8313-9; $25.00 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8147-8314-6. In the last two decades, a growing field of movement scholarship has complicated conventional representations […]

  • Loyalism and Mau Mau

      Daniel Branch.  Defeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War, and Decolonization.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.  xx + 250 pp.  $80.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-521-11382-3; $24.99 (paper), ISBN 978-0-521-13090-5. The two related themes in Kenya’s history that have drawn the most debate and interpretations are land and the Mau Mau war.  Daniel Branch’s study […]

  • War by Other Means

      Phillip J. Cooper.  The War against Regulation: From Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush.  Studies in Government and Public Policy Series.  Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009.  288 pp. $34.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-7006-1681-7. Phillip J. Cooper is an accomplished scholar of the executive branch of the U.S. government and its interaction with the courts. […]