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New Media We Recommend

April 20, 2012

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank – This collection of essays, that cover from the 2008 election to the present, is a perfect antidote for the pressure those of the left get from Democrats to vote for the “lesser of evils.” Hopeless offers clear analysis and well-documented evidence that the despite all the 2008 hype, real change has not come with the Obama administration. For those who still want to blame the GOP, they ought to sit down and read this collection of essays that deal with war, foreign policy, reproductive rights, labor issues, the economy, government surveillance, environmental devastation, media policy, immigration, corporate power, lobbying, energy policy, Wall Street, housing foreclosures and racism. The co-editors end the volume with a simple message of……..occupy everything.

Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange, by Fred Wilcox – What the US government did to the people of Vietnam and to its own soldiers by using Agent Orange is one of the most tragic chapters in the history of US foreign policy. Fred Wilcox presents this history through well-researched information and the testimony of US soldiers and their family members who continue to live with the consequences of this chemical weapon. Wilcox also chronicles the history of how the US government denied the harmed caused by Agent Orange to US soldiers. Waiting for an Army to Die is a powerful book that would cause any reasonable person to have nothing but contempt towards the company that manufactured this deadly chemical, Michigan’s own, Dow Chemical.

The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, by Gilbert Achcar – One of the justifications that Zionists will use for Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine and its treatment of Palestinians is the Nazi Holocaust. Middle East scholar Gilbert Achcar looks at this contentious history and the narratives used on both sides as it relates to the Nazi Holocaust. Achcar divides his analysis into two main section; the period from 1933 – 1947 and from 1947 to the present. In both periods, Achcar looks at how the Arab community viewed the Nazi Holocaust and the clear differences from what he calls the pre-Nakba. The Nakba is what the Palestinians refer to as the ethnic cleansing done by the Israelis against the Palestinians just prior to the creation of the state of Israel. The Arabs and the Holocaust is an important contribution to the historical understanding of ideological differences between Israelis and Arabs, an understanding that is essential for anyone concerned about the future of the Middle East.

Visions of Abolition: From Critical Resistance to a New Way of Life (DVD) - A new documentary that introduces the history, theory and practices of the contemporary prison abolition movement. Weaving together the voices of women entangled in the criminal justice system, along with leading scholars on prison abolition (Angela Davis and Ruth Wilson Gilmore), this film provides a critical analysis of the disfunctionality and violence of the prison system. The film focuses on the life story of Susan Burton demonstrating how her work at “A New Way of Life” is an inspiring example of abolition in practice. The film provides both a strong critique of the prison industrial complex and the importance of organizing for prison abolition. A great organizing tool!

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