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What We Are Reading

September 30, 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 Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, edited by Nick Turse – This is an important collection of essays by 22 different contributors on not only the possibility of a US/NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the necessity of such a move. There are essays that provide historical context and some that provide important analysis about the real reasons for the 9-year US occupation of Afghanistan. However, the most important and most critical essays are from Afghans themselves, particularly Malalai Joya whose essay is entitled, “No Nation Can Liberate Another.” This book is a timely contribution that could be a useful resource for a growing anti-war movement in the US.

Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States, edited by Team Colors CollectiveThis collection of essays and interviews is some of the best analysis we have come across in recent years. Not only does Uses of a Whirlwind provide excellent examples of radical organizing across the US, it provides inspiration and models for how to organizing better. The essays deal with work being done around urban rights, queer organizing, food justice, climate justice, worker movements and anti-authoritarian efforts. For anyone who does organizing work this book is a must. For anyone who needs evidence that there is important grassroots work being done across the country this book is for you.

Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How it Changed the Course of the Israeli/Palestine Conflict, edited by Moustafa Bayoumi – The world saw earlier this year the raw brutality of the Israeli government when it boarded a boat filled with humanitarian supplies for the victims in Gaza. This collection of essays provides first hand accounts of that vicious Israeli action, along with its relevance within the larger struggle for justice for Palestine. The contributors exposed the hypocrisy of the Israeli government and the complicity of the US who supported these serious human rights abuses. This book is an excellent contribution for those wanting to make sense of the so-called Israeli/Palestine conflict.

We Are An Image From the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008, edited by A.G. Schwarz, Tasos Sagris, and Void Network – For most of us in the US, what was presented by the US media at the end of 2008 in Greece seemed like nothing more than street riots. What we learn from We Are An Image From the Future is that there was and is a highly organized anti-capitalist block in Greece that shook the very foundations of power there. This collection of essays provides not only a close look at what took place on the ground in Greece, it provides some inspiration for what could happen anywhere. As one observer said; “What the Zapatista uprising of 1994 was to the anti-globalization movement, the Greek uprising of 2008 could be to the demise of capitalism itself.”

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