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What We Are Reading

October 18, 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 Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad, by Tariq Ali – In this short volume prolific writer and activist Tariq Ali makes a strong case that the Obama administration has done just what the title of his book suggests – surrendering to the economic and social power structures in the US (Wall Street, health insurance companies) and continuing the same basic foreign policy objectives as previous administrations with imperialist policies abroad. Ali doesn’t believe that Obama and the people around him every had any intention of pursuing any of the changes that were put forth in the 2008 campaign rhetoric, instead the author believes that Obama was the right choice for those who benefit from both US domestic and foreign policies. An important contribution for those who want to honestly assess US policy under the current administration.

Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magon Reader, edited by Chaz Bufe and Mitchell Cowen Verter – For those who are not familiar with the life and work of the great Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magon, this book is essential reading. This collection of Magon’s writings covers his writings on a variety of topics: racism, war, feminism, class war, the Mexican Revolution and of course anarchism. Magon was a prolific writer, an organizer, a dissident and a newspaper editor. Magon was arrested and died in a US prison in 1922, but this collect of his writings has the capacity to keep his memory alive and inspire new generations to work for revolutionary change.

The Anti-American Manifesto, by Ted Rall – Writer and political cartoonist Ted Rall has written a very interesting book that will unfortunately no get much attention outside of the left/independent media. The Anti-American Manifesto provides readers with plenty to think about in terms of what is not work in this country. Rall makes his case that democracy here is a joke and that engaging in reformist politics is a waste of time. Using good analysis and biting humor the author forces us to think about how change should come about in the US and why it is vital for those who want social justice to change their tactics.

Skin Trade – A documentary film by ARME Production – This is one of the documentaries that is both inspiring and disturbing. Skin Trade takes a look at the fur industry, their deceptive marketing campaigns and the harsh reality of how animals are brutalized for profit.


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