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Geography Archives: Vietnam

“Do as I Say, Not as I Do!”

“Do as I say, not as I do!” Perhaps in your innocent youth you heard a parent or older sibling mumble those words in your direction after you pointed out a mistake they made, an error on their part that fell below the standard you were told to observe? “Actions speak louder than words” and […]

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The Sargasso Manuscript: Some Observations on Susan Sontag’s As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980

Susan Sontag.  As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980.  Edited by David Rieff.  New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. I. David Rieff has played the last of Susan Sontag’s jokes upon the reader: to remain austerely cool, distant, and unsympathetic toward us even in “journals and notebooks.”  The barbed wire of […]

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Some Memories of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy

In 1949, Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman created Monthly Review.  In the same year, Paul Baran and I began to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area: Baran at Stanford, myself at UC Berkeley.  As the years unfolded, we worked together politically in the area with the same social aims and values.  Meanwhile, the two […]

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Howard Zinn’s Zen Politics

Howard Zinn.  The Historic Unfulfilled Promise.  Foreword by Matthew Rothschild.  San Francisco: City Lights, 2012.  256 pages. Howard Zinn was called a lot of different names: anarchist, socialist, and communist.  He called himself a lot of different names, too: anarchist, socialist, and communist.  No one ever seems to have called him Zen, but maybe it’s […]

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Tracing the Roots of Intersectionality

Intersectionality as a key concept in women’s studies has up until the present proven rather durable.  Feminist journals are peppered with it and feminists use it pretty much without having to explain what they mean, the term’s affinity with feminism taken for granted and its import unquestioned.  Attend any women’s studies meeting, and sooner or […]

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The Agonizers

Eric Mann.  Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer.  Beacon Press, 2011. “Agonizer” was the term an old girlfriend of mine from my vanguard organization days used to describe the branch organizer for the party.  An apt description for someone tasked to do the thankless job of running meetings, setting schedules, and seeing […]

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The People’s Democratic Struggle and the Struggle for the Environment: An Interview with Fred Magdoff

“The people’ democratic struggle and the struggle for the environment should be intimately tied together.” — Fred Magdoff Fred Magdoff is professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and adjunct professor of crop and soil science at Cornell University.  He is a co-author of What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know […]

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Occupied Japan and Occupying Wall Street

1) Not long ago I heard a writer claim that her publisher had demanded that the word “manifesto” be replaced in the title of her novel.  This is an Asian American woman who is feisty and strong-willed and political, who during readings calls out “blond boys” for flaunting the privileges of their maleness and their […]

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Before October: The Unbearable Romanticism of Western Marxism

Most Western Marxists suffer from a deep resentment: they have never experienced a successful communist revolution.  For some unaccountable reason, all of those successful revolutions have happened in the ‘East’: Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, China, Vietnam and so on.  And none of the few revolutions in the ‘West’, from Finland to Germany, […]

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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 […]

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What’s Wrong with Single Payer?

With all the advocacy efforts expended over the last 20 years, it might be reasonable to expect some results by now for the Single Payer (SP) movement.  Of course, SP would be a great way to provide health insurance in America.  Instead of thousands of private insurance companies (payers for healthcare services) competing with each […]

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