Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam,
Gilles Kepel, Anthony Roberts (Translator)

A history of militant fundamentalism in Islam: We hear more about Muslim extremists than ever before, but Kepel argues that the terrorism seen today throughout the world results from the failure of Islamic fundamentalism and not its success. Beginning...

Full commentary on "Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam"

Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America,

Posted at 06:17 PM

An unflattering perspective: Here "a senior U.S. civil servant with two decades of experience in the U.S. intelligence community's work on Afghanistan and South Asia" argues that the U.S. was unprepared for September 11 because "our own naivet‚ and insularity...

Full commentary on "Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America"

The War on Freedom: How and Why America was Attacked, September 11, 2001,
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

The news behind the events; the news mainstream media isn't reporting: The most complete book I know of, summarizing the relevant background and foreground intersecting upon the events of September 11... -- Barry Zwicker, Vision TV Insight...

Full commentary on "The War on Freedom: How and Why America was Attacked, September 11, 2001"

Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story of the Christmas Truce,
Stephen Wunderli

Posted at 03:46 AM

The third of three books written about the Christmas Day Truce of WWI. For the full story see this entry....

Full commentary on "Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story of the Christmas Truce"

Christmas Truce: The Western Front December 1914,
Malcolm Brown, Shirley Seaton

Posted at 03:43 AM

The second of three books about World War I's Christmas Day Truce. For the full story see this entry....

Full commentary on "Christmas Truce: The Western Front December 1914"

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce,
Stanley Weintraub

Posted at 03:36 AM

One of three books about the impromptu WWI Christmas Day Truce. Here's the story: GLW: The soldiers' Xmas truce http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2002/480/480p21.htm BY PHIL SHANNON It was the war that was supposed ``to be over by Christmas''. It very nearly was. A...

Full commentary on "Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce"

The Fever,
Wallace Shawn

This little play, Wallace Shawn's monologue of 112 pages, rocked me when I first encountered it at the Vancouver Fringe Festival sometime in the mid '90s. Perhaps I'll add some commentary later, but for now, try these links: A reading...

Full commentary on "The Fever"

Terrorism and War (Open Media Pamphlet Series),
Howard Zinn, Anthony Arnove

Posted at 11:04 AM

Arguably America's most articulate dissident, Zinn here offers his post-9-11 take on how the world's shaping up in the aftermath through a series of interviews: The continued expenditure of more than $300 billion for the military every year has...

Full commentary on "Terrorism and War (Open Media Pamphlet Series)"

Censored 2005,
Peter Phillips

Posted at 10:53 AM

The stories you never saw on television, heard on radio, read in the newspapers and magazines...and why you didn't: In past years Censored has been instrumental in helping to push underreported stories into the mainstream. In the 1997 edition,...

Full commentary on "Censored 2005"

The Human Zoo,
Desmond Morris

Another in a series of books from Desmond Morris determined to upend the flattering view of ourselves as primarily rational beings, as anything other than The Naked Ape. Additional titles by other authors along parallel lines of inquiry include The...

Full commentary on "The Human Zoo"

Prisons We Choose to Live Inside,
Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing's 1986 Massey Lectures expose many aspects of being human that are agonisingly familiar to our social scientists and psychologists but which have not risen to public consciousness. These include traits used against us as individuals and groups to...

Full commentary on "Prisons We Choose to Live Inside"

Reading Capital Politically,

Posted at 11:54 PM

Recommended in my Critical Forums @ http://synaptic.bc.ca/Contact/viewtopic.php?p=1367#1367...

Full commentary on "Reading Capital Politically"

In Flanders Field: The Story of the Poem,
Linda Granfield, Janet Wilson

Posted at 04:03 PM

An acclaimed introduction for young readers to the poem, World War II, and war generally....

Full commentary on "In Flanders Field: The Story of the Poem"

Development as Freedom,
Amartya Sen

According to reviews I've read, be prepared to question your understanding of "freedom." Consider which freedom is the most valuable: to speak freely or to feed your family. For example, in dealing with enemies (say, Pol Pot, or Maoist China),...

Full commentary on "Development as Freedom"

Voices of a People's History of the United States,
howard zinn, anthony arnove

The long-awaited primary-source companion to A People's History of the United States. For this new book, Zinn and Arnove have selected testimonies -- speeches, letters, poems, songs, memoirs, protests -- from our rich history of resistance. Here, in their own...

Full commentary on "Voices of a People's History of the United States"

The Sorrows of Empire,
Chalmers Johnson

I saw Chalmers Johnson in the film Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire, in which he spoke compellingly concerning the processes by which American foreign policy has elevated American reach and power to global proportions. So,...

Full commentary on "The Sorrows of Empire"

The Humbled Anthropologist: Tales from the Pacific,
Philip R. Devita

I found the following in a ZNet newsgroup: This is an excellent book for anyone who would like to understand economics from the anthropological perspective, that is, that the market principle isn't operative in many cultures. In today's capitalist economy...

Full commentary on "The Humbled Anthropologist: Tales from the Pacific"

The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America,
John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Posted at 11:19 AM

Three simple reasons explain why conservatives keep defeating the left [in US politics] : The right wins the battle of ideas, has a more determined and focused army of activists, and is reaping the benefits of long-term changes in American...

Full commentary on "The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America"

Travelers' Tales China: True Stories,
Larry Habegger

Posted at 06:21 PM

This anthology of travelers' stories from China has a particularly personal connection; it contains one of the entries from my travelogue. More information here....

Full commentary on "Travelers' Tales China: True Stories"

Rudolf Rocker

Recall that Parecon (Participatory Economics) represents one option to Capitalism now that Communism is dead. Anarcho-Syndicalism is a second option. The full text of this book is available online, here....

Full commentary on "Anarcho-Syndicalism"

The Ecology of Commerce,
Paul Hawken

This book features prominently in the documentary film, The Corporation, being the text which begins the redemption of CEO Ray Anderson from corporate ecological rapist to good corporate citizen. Quite a transformation and, as it turns out, a sustainable and...

Full commentary on "The Ecology of Commerce"

Parecon: Life After Capitalism,
Michael Albert

Posted at 05:16 PM

On my reading list. For more info, see Participatory Economics....

Full commentary on "Parecon: Life After Capitalism"

Red Star Over China,
Edgar Snow

Posted at 08:24 PM

Snow's epic recounting of months spent with China's Red Army during the Civil War. Includes extensive biographical material on numerous players on all sides of the conflict as well as an inspiring telling of the Long March. Snow also describes...

Full commentary on "Red Star Over China"

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,
Samuel P. Huntington

Posted at 06:40 PM

Huntington's thesis, established first in a 1993 article appearing in Foreign Affairs is that the West has been in decline for much of the last century and that several other resurgent civilizations are poised to compete for economic, political and...

Full commentary on "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order"

The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram,
Thomas Blass

As of this writing, this book is not yet on the shelves....

Full commentary on "The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram"

Obedience to Authority: Current Perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm,
Thomas Blass

I've just put this on my reading list. Here's an excerpt from a review on Amazon.com The essays and studies making this book treasurable (beyond their research value) can get one very emotional at times, especially when reading about some...

Full commentary on "Obedience to Authority: Current Perspectives on the Milgram Paradigm"