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...

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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 naiveté and insularity...

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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...

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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....

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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....

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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...

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The Manipulated Mind: Brainwashing, Conditioning and Indoctrination,
Denise Winn

Posted at 09:20 AM

One of my site visitors bought this book today. Looks interesting. It's a bit of a perk for being an Amazon.com affiliate: monitoring my site's Amazon sales and clicks stats is constantly expanding my reading list....

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The U.S. Constitution for Everyone,
Jerome B. Agel, Mort Gerberg

Posted at 06:36 AM

RTFM is an acronym used often in the computing industry' Read the Fucking Manual. Typically, it's an epithet thrown at colleagues asking simple questions regarding easily available information they should already know. There's a certain amount of exasperation implicit in...

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The War Prayer,
Mark Twain

Posted at 09:43 AM

The disconnect between vocal support for the Iraq War and actual support (eg: willing to enlist in the army) seems to be a reflection the illogical dichotomy that is of the result of political ideology vs plain self-interest. That's too...

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Fugitive Writings,
Peter Kropotkin

Posted at 04:30 PM

These essays, which either have not been previously published or have been out of print, embrace Kropotkin's philosophy at a time when he first gave it expression. This collection contains selected essays by Peter Kropotkin who was, unquestionably, the most...

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Squandered Victory : The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq (Hardcover),
Larry Diamond

Posted at 03:51 PM

I must say, the title and subject of this book caught my attention. Then a reviewer on amazon.com reminded me of the pitfalls of expert pundits. The review: This shallow book is the evidence why America lost a chance, June...

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Posted at 05:15 AM

Gilead By Marilynne Robinson Published: November 28, 2004 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Fiction, 2005 It seems an odd choice for a Pulitzer, at least on the surface a mundane-seeming clergyman's story. Last year's winner, Edward P. Jones' The Known World...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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Reading Capital Politically,

Posted at 11:54 PM

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

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In Flanders Fields and Other Poems,
John McCrae

Posted at 04:11 PM

In Flanders Fields In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead....

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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....

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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),...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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Al Qaeda,
Jason Burke

Posted at 10:22 AM

"The notion "al-Qaeda" is almost meaningless. If you're interested in something serious about it, read Jason Burke's book Al Qaeda."
~ Noam Chomsky

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Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East,
Rashid Khalidi

Posted at 09:15 AM

A recommendation gleaned from the chomskychat forum on ZNet....

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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....

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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...

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The Crimson Petal and the White,
Michel Faber

Posted at 07:34 PM

Epic (944 pages!) novel set in Victorian England. Reads well, and more quickly than one might expect with such a chunky volume. Unlike other somewhat revisionist time-pieces, everyone here regardless of gender or class comes off somewhat doltish, though victimhood...

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A Wizard of Earthsea,
Ursula K. LeGuin

Posted at 05:26 PM

Book one in a popular and critically acclaimed trilogy (The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore). Only The Lord of the Rings is a more strongly written fantasy. However, Ursula K. LeGuin's story is a more personal tale with political...

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Parecon: Life After Capitalism,
Michael Albert

Posted at 05:16 PM

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

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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The Fever,
Wallace Shawn

Posted at 06:04 AM

This play can be devestating to a complacent psyche. Delivered as a monologue, the un-named, un-gendered protagonist, wealthy and well-placed, describes the events and conditions leading to an emotional breakdown in "some third-world country where my language isn't spoken." The...

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The Trade Mission,
Andrew Pyper

Posted at 02:22 AM

A friend of mine is a publishing industry publicist here in Vancouver. Publishers send her boxes of books she distributes to local media types who might be interested in reviewing the book or, even better, interviewing the author. Generally, she...

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The Polished Hoe,
Austin Clarke

Posted at 01:15 PM

I'm just a few dozen pages into this book, so I'll comment more later. For now, I'll just say it's an interesting take on post-abolition plantation life in the US South. The Hoe in question, sharpened to a fine point...

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A Widow for One Year,
John Irving

Posted at 01:13 PM

A reviewer in Amazon thoroughly panned this book. It's not that bad. On the other hand, there's not much to recommend it over most of John Irving's catalogue, especially A Prayer for Owen Meany or The World According to Garp....

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