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What We Are Reading

July 21, 2010

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

Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, by Chris Williams – This book provides an excellent analysis of the current ecological crisis we are faced with throughout the world, with an emphasis on global warming and the factors that contribute to this issue. However, unlike many books on the topic, Ecology and Socialism put at the root of the problem the economic system of Capitalism. And although the book did not provide enough “solutions” it does provide a good road map of possibilities for a future that cannot survive as long as Capitalism is the dominant economic model.

Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky – This is Chomsky’s first full book of the Obama era and he does not disappoint. Chomsky provides us with sharp analysis of the US policy under “brand Obama” and demonstrates that there has been little difference in foreign policy besides rhetoric. Hopes and Prospects takes a close look at Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, the War on Terror, and Latin America. Chomsky’s keen sense of history always helps to frame the current policy with the trajectory of the American Empire.

Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked Our Sexuality, by Gail Dines – This new book provides a fresh analysis of the pornography industry that is beyond the tired debates about free speech and eroticism. Dines sees pornography as both a Capitalist enterprise with its constant need for new markets and as a source for tremendous harm. The harm that the author presents is both the harm caused to those used in the production of pornography and those who consume it. Dines makes a strong case that pornography has negatively impacted our ability to have healthy sexual relationships, because porn has moved from a marginal product to a mainstream commercial want.

The Floodgates of Anarchy, by Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer – Reprinted from the late 1960’s, this book provides a lively collection of essays that presents the importance of political anarchism as a real and lasting solution for a liberated humanity. Christie and Meltzer bring years of experience to bare on the importance of class struggle and movement building as co-founders of the revitalized Anarchist Black Cross.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers – A powerful new documentary that looks at the individual courage of one man and the risk he took to challenge the US government. Daniel Ellsberg not only exposed the genocidal policies of the US government in South East Asia, he helped galvanize the anti-war movement of his day.

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