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New Media We Recommend

February 23, 2011

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 books are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Exile & Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation, by Eli Clare – Eli Clare’s collection of essays was both a refreshing and challenging adventure. Eli forces the reader to come to terms with the limitations of identity around gender, sexual orientation and physical ability. Eli challenges our use of words, our perceptions and our static categorization of how we name people. In addition, the author tackles race, class and environmental degradation in ways that make most attempts at inter-sectionality seem quite sophomoric. Exile & Pride is one of the South End Press Classics that has been revised since its original release in 1999.

Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire, by Reese Erlich – Reese Erlich has been doing investigative journalism for several decades now and each of his books reflect that style of writing. This new book is based on interviews with various political leaders in the Middles East over the past few years. With each chapter Erlich attempts to construct vibrant commentary on what leaders of groups like Hamas, the Taliban and Iran’s democracy movement think about not only the struggles in their respective countries, but how they view the US and other regional powers. Erlich also tries to re-frame our understanding of terrorism and what constitutes terrorism. This collection of essays is an important contribution for those wanting to come to terms with US policy in the Middle East.

Guantanamo: Why the Illegal US Base Should Be Returned to Cuba, by Fidel Castro – While many people who voted for Obama are disappointed that he did not keep his promise to discontinue using the US military base in Guantanamo, Cuba as a place of detention and torture for combatants in the “War on Terror,” Fidel Castro argues us that the land that the base inhabits should be returned to the Cuban people. Guantanamo is a well-documented attempt to argue the historical and legal reasons why the US military base that has inhabited that land for over a century should be closed. Castro teaches us a history lesson on how the land known as Guantanamo was appropriated by the US after they undermined the Cuban independence struggle from Spain at the end of the 19th century. The book also includes numerous source documents and short commentary from other Cuban historians.

Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity (DVD) – This is a taped lecture by well-known anti-racist writer/activist Tim Wise from early 2010 and is based on his latest book Colorblind. In this lecture Wise confronts the White Liberal and Progressive community who think that the election of Barack Obama has catapulted us into a post-racial era. Wise, who uses biting humor and well sourced data, exposes the White Supremacist nature of US politics and what it really means for people of color, particularly Blacks and Latinos. This DVD is both challenging and inspiring and should be required viewing for anyone who claims to favor racial justice.


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