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New Media We Recommend

May 25, 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 items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult, by Sasha Lilley – This collection of interviews with people like Ellen Meiksins Wood, David Harvey, Gillian Hart, Ursula Huws, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky and Andrej Grubacic provides tremendous insight into the nature of contemporary capitalism, the divergent responses to this economic system and models of liberation. Sasha Lilley has done us all a service by asking important and timely questions to such prominent thinkers particularly at a time when the world is confronted by even more economic inequality than ever before. This book is an important contribution to this needed dialogue.

The Return of the Public, by Dan Hind – With so much of our culture and society now under the control of the private sector it is difficult to even think about what “the public” means. Dan Hind has done valuable work in this book by not only providing a lively overview of the history of the concept of what the public is, but also some interesting recommendations for what we could do in the US to reclaim the public. Hind discussed the role of the public in terms of media, physical space and the citizenry and why we need to expand the role that the public should play at the institutional and structural level. The only flaw of this book is that it does not look at the incredible examples from around the world on how people are reclaiming the concept of the public as well as actual physical public space.

Soccer vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics, by Gabriel Kuhn – Remember all the attention that the 2010 World Cup received? Soccer vs. the State is an amazing resource in terms of framing the discussion around the global influence of soccer, particularly for working class people. Gabriel Kuhn takes readers on a journey through the modern evolution of the game and how it has been used by the State as a means of oppression and national identity to how communities have used the sport to push the envelope of social justice and radial transformation. What writer Dave Zirin has done to reclaim US sports as a radical issue, Gabriel Kuhn has done it for the most popular sport in the world. Even if you are not a fan of soccer this book provides important social analysis.

Crossing the American Crisis: From Collapse to Action (DVD) – This film is different than other documentaries that investigate the 2008 economic crash in that it seeks to get the perspective of working people all across the country. The filmmakers traveled all over the US interviewing the real impact of the economic crash and how it has impacted working class people. The stories and images are powerful. Crossing the American Crisis is an excellent companion to Inside Job.

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