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What We Are Reading

August 24, 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.

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit From Identity Politics, by George Lipsitz – The book by University of California Professor George Lipsitz is an excellent investigation into how White Privilege and White Supremacy is manifested in the contemporary United States. Lipsitz looks at how White Privilege and White Supremacy has evolved since the Civil Rights era into a much more subtle and sophisticated form of institutional racism. An important book for anyone committed to racial justice.

Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World, edited by Koyla Abramsky – For anyone who is concerned about the future of the planet and who is tired of the limited critique of Peak Oil, this collection of essays will both inform and inspire. The 50 essays contained within this book are presented from an anti-capitalist perspective. The contributors look at energy workers, oil production, natural gas, nuclear and bio-fuels. In addition, there are numerous examples of communal approaches to energy production and use, as well as indigenous and grassroots efforts to fight the global energy cartels.

For All The People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America, by John Curl – In many ways this book is like a people’s history of economic cooperatives. The author excavates a rich history and shows that one thing that many unions embraced in the later part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century were cooperatives that both competed with companies and demonstrated a model that could counter capitalism. Seeking to reclaim history that has remained largely ignored by most historians, this dramatic and stirring account examines each of the definitive American cooperative movements for social change – farmer, union, consumer, and communalist – that have all but been erased from collective memory.

Between Barack and A Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, by Tim Wise – Written within weeks of the 2008 Electoral victory of Barack Obama, this short book by one of the best anti-racist thinkers in America cautions us to not believe that just because a Black man occupies the White House that racism no longer exits. Wise looks at both the attitudes that White people who voted for Obama have, as well as the a more sophisticated for of White Supremacy that the author refers to as Racism 2.0.

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