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Book Review

Review: Black Subjugation in America

Review: Black Subjugation in America

Books Reviewed in this Essay: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race. London and New York: Verso, 2012. Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. New York: Basic Books, 2014. Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. On a recent visit to[Read More…]

Mahishasur: A people’s Hero

Mahishasur: A people’s Hero

Alternative Readings of the Durga-Mahishasur Myth. A Revolt Against Brahmanical Epistemology: The beginning of a new cultural renaissance in India The alternative readings of myths from Brahmanical mythological reservoir mark the beginning of a new cultural consciousness among the Dalits, Adivasis and other deprived sections of the Indian society. The deprived peoples have realized that the Brahmanism has been able to[Read More…]

Kandhamal: Introspection Of Initiative For Justice

Kandhamal: Introspection Of Initiative For Justice

Violence is the bane of Indian society and a manifest agenda of communal forces, which thrive on divisive politics and polarization. This is part of their political agenda. While Hindu-Muslim violence during British period had a particular beginning and characteristics, the same violence became anti-Muslim violence after Independence. The major brunt of communal violence has been borne by Muslim community[Read More…]

DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Plays Of The Jewish And Palestinian Diasporas

DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Plays Of The Jewish And Palestinian Diasporas

“To them that walk in power; to exceed is madness, and not wisdom” Antigone The creation and slow demise of the two state solution in the Palestinian tragedy of the 20th and 21st centuries has been brought about by the hubris of the main antagonist, Israel. “Hubris, Ate, and Nemesis are three minor Greek deities, mostly remembered today for their[Read More…]

“Nature, Knowledge and Development: Critical Essays on the Environmental History of India”

“Nature, Knowledge and Development: Critical Essays on the Environmental History of India”

How important is it to communicate the importance of human nature relationship on the earth planet? In other words: is it important to communicatehow man should communicate with nature? Or, howbetter with other living things of different species?  Edited by ArunBandopadhyay, the book: Nature, Knowledge and Development: Critical Essays on the Environmental History of India has dealt with all of[Read More…]

Moral Education in Sub-Saharan Africa:Culture,Economics, Conflict, and AIDS

Moral Education in Sub-Saharan Africa:Culture,Economics, Conflict, and AIDS

Moral education is an important aspect that is much discussed in agent of academic capitalism.It is analysed as a way to recover the genuine spirit behind the education. This book is important for its critical readings of moral education in the context of sub-Saharan Africa.It traces the roots of moral education in African philosophies such as Ubuntu/Botho and in so[Read More…]

Gujarat Violence And Struggle For Justice

Gujarat Violence And Struggle For Justice

Communal violence is not new in India. This has existed all along. Despite India adopting the word ‘Secular’ in its constitution, religious tolerance yet remains a dream. Individuals, communal organisations, political parties have in some form or the other played a role in perpetrating communal violence all along.  Adoption of ‘Secularism’ has not resulted in a communal free behaviour among[Read More…]

Gender and Diversifying Trade Union Leadership

Gender and Diversifying Trade Union Leadership

This book is a tour de force that seeks to answer the complexities that surround the questions linked to gendered understanding of leadership. It adds appreciably scholarly knowledge to the issues related to leadership, union democracy and gender. It shares certain aporetic quality via generating intellectually rigorous critique on patriarchal culture of the trade union leadership. Canonical connections that exist[Read More…]

‘Aurora’ Exposes Western Cultural Imperialism

‘Aurora’ Exposes Western Cultural Imperialism

Interview by Italian magazine Antidiplomatico with the author, Andre Vltchek Q: Please tell us about your recently published book, “Aurora”. A: Aurora is my latest novel. It is short, but emotionally charged and ‘outrageous’. It breaks many taboos, especially those regarding Western, particularly European culture. You know, so many people have this fetish about European culture being refined and superior[Read More…]

Book Review: Global Theory From Kant To Hardt And Negri By Gary Browning

Book Review: Global Theory From Kant To Hardt And Negri By Gary Browning

Gary Browning’s book unfolds the academic space that endorses the hegemonic reception  of global theory.Contemporary intelligentsia do view global theory as a radical theoretical tradition that problematizes the assertions  emerged in the context of globalization.In other words,the social movements that emerged against the ruthless penetration of globalisation are categorised into political categories called global theories.Browing in an incisive,theoretical critique does[Read More…]

Dalit Middle Class: Mobility, Identity and Politics of Caste

Dalit Middle Class: Mobility, Identity and Politics of Caste

This book by G. Srinivas is an attempt to analyse the formation of the Dalit middle class which offers wide range of facts that are important in understanding the formation of Dalit middle class in India today. The book is definitely going to have a scholarly impact on the students and researchers who are interested studying the Dalit middle class

Conflict Zones And Encounters: Book Review Of Blood On My Hands

Conflict Zones And Encounters: Book Review Of Blood On My Hands

News related to encounters is quite common, particularly from conflict prone areas in the country. These often get reported from areas such as Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Assam and Manipur. Sometimes the news related to encounters become controversial. There is an official version which describes these as ‘genuine encounters’. On the other side, human rights organizations based on certain factual errors[Read More…]

Teesta Setalvad: Foot Soldier Of The Indian Constitution

Teesta Setalvad: Foot Soldier Of The Indian Constitution

I’m not a hot off the shelf book reader. Most of the books I read are suggestions from my friends or found during my reading or research. When Teesta Setalvad’s memoir “Foot Soldier of the Constitution” appeared I simply could not resist. Her indomitable spirit in spite all the wild allegations, smearing of reputation, false cases, public humiliation, personal attacks[Read More…]

Reaching Trump Supporters With The Promise Of Vision

Reaching Trump Supporters With The Promise Of Vision

If these were ordinary times, progressives might get away with casual images of our political opponents. Those who disagree “lack information,” or “remain prejudiced,” or are “gripped by an emotion like hate.” Reassured, we can return to informational outreach or protests or confrontations and hope that makes a difference. These, however, are not ordinary times. I further expect more instability[Read More…]

India Diminished

India Diminished

Earlier in Countercurrents, I reviewed Shashi Tharoor’s An Era of Darkness– very favorably.  In that review, I mentioned other books, including Madhusree Mukherjee’s Churchill’s Secret War and Mike Davis’s magisterial Late Victorian Holocausts.  All three books break with the mythology of Pax Britannica and describe its body-count.  A wasteland indeed called peace.  A Pox not a Pax. I wrote the[Read More…]

Don’t Miss “The Speech” by Gary Younge

Don’t Miss “The Speech” by Gary Younge

Gary Younge’s The Speech– released in 2013 by Haymarket Books (updated edition)- is increasingly important in these early days of Trumplandia.  A real account of the lead up to, acceptance, and political trajectory of King’s famous 1963 “I Have a  Dream” speech, the book is a clear reminder of the power of rhetoric but also of the forces of “nullification”[Read More…]

Communes In Venezuela: Experiments In Direct Democracy

Communes In Venezuela: Experiments In Direct Democracy

Latin America is a witness to experiments by leftward leaning heads of states particularly in Venezuela, Bolivia and Equador. These are often seen as anti-US, anti-market, autocratic and have been demonized in the western media. These shifts happened after growing discontent with devastating effects of neoliberal policies in these countries. New leaders such as Hugo Chavez, Evo Molares and Rafael[Read More…]

Busting The Busts Of Churchill:  Why Reading “An Era Of Darkness” By Shashi Tharoor Is Necessary

Busting The Busts Of Churchill:  Why Reading “An Era Of Darkness” By Shashi Tharoor Is Necessary

 Writers are every now and again given a gift from the “news,” a nugget that serves to be an easy opening gambit.  The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, delivered a perfect one recently by installing a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office. One would indeed get this impression from the typical romantic (and racist) hagiographies that[Read More…]

Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law

Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law

Since the Reagan administration’s ascent to power in 1981, thousands of American citizens have engaged in various forms of non-violent civil resistance activities in order to protest against distinct elements of U.S. foreign policy that violate basic principles of international law. These citizen protests have led to numerous arrests and prosecutions by federal, state, and local governments around the country.[Read More…]

Thank You Haymarket Books!

Thank You Haymarket Books!

A visit to the bookstore provokes in me two opposite emotions- euphoria and anxiety. I get euphoric by the thought that the production and ingestion of knowledge is still an important thing for some segment of society. Snippets, lies, and fake news are not the only “data” that exists. I get euphoric also by the tantalizing thought that if given[Read More…]

The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men | Mickey Z. interviews Robert Jensen

The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men | Mickey Z. interviews Robert Jensen

“It seemed that there was a need for a book that laid out the problem of patriarchy in plain language.” (Robert Jensen) While we’ve never met in person, Robert Jensen and I have known each other (in that internet kind of way) for decades. We have friends in common, often wrote on similar topics for the same websites, and even[Read More…]

Book Review-Inside The Secret World Of BJP’s Digital Army

Book Review-Inside The Secret World Of BJP’s Digital Army

Name of the Book: I am a Troll: Inside the secret world of the BJPs digital army Author: Swati Chaturvedi Publisher: Juggernaut Books An earlier article titled ‘Saffron heads with Neutral masks: Spreading disharmony through Social Media’ argued that the Social media spaces are being increasingly used by right wing groups to promote messages of hatred, bigotry and fanaticism. It[Read More…]

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his victory following the announcement

Jeremy Corbyn And The Hope For A Kinder Government

Richard Seymour’s book “Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics” is a realist assessment of the hopes represented by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he repurposes the party to oppose the neoliberal state. Writing the book in sympathy with him, Seymour nevertheless warns against Corbyn being “encircled” and “chewed up” by entrenched governing elites even if he achieves state power.[Read More…]

Review Of Ralph Nader’s “Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think”

Review Of Ralph Nader’s “Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think”

Many people in the United States- almost all in fact- have benefitted from the work Ralph Nader has done in promoting the rights of consumers while blunting the power, avarice, and mono-maniacal stress on profits that define the corporate world. Just as most of us have benefitted, so few of us realize the kind of planning, work, determination, and desire[Read More…]

Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups And The Struggle For Global Justice – (Less a Review:More A Reflection)

Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups And The Struggle For Global Justice – (Less a Review:More A Reflection)

William Carroll (with Elaine Coburn and J.P. Sapinski).2016. Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups and the Struggle for Global Justice. London: Zed Books. 2016. Introduction This is a book on such an important subject, carried out with such serious theoretical underpinnings and such an original methodology, that it might seem churlish to take issue with what it fails to deal[Read More…]

Book Review: Nationalism And Imagination

Book Review: Nationalism And Imagination

Best known as a post colonial theorist, Gayatri Spivak was born in 1942 Calcutta, West Bengal to a middle class family. Described as a  “para-disciplinary, ethical philosopher”– though her early career also included “applied deconstruction”, Spivak rose to fame after she wrote the preface and translated Derrida’s ‘Of Grammatology’ in 1976. Since then she has applied deconstructive strategies to various[Read More…]

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Dusty Memoir: “Eat Dust: Mining And Greed In Goa”

Dusty Memoir: “Eat Dust: Mining And Greed In Goa”

“Eat Dust! Eat Dust!”, chanted the villagers who had gathered in the Public Hearing by the Environment ministry on the environmental impact of a mining lease which was due to be extended. As they chanted, they tossed fistfuls of the crushed red earth in the air. They were enraged by the attitude of the governmental officials who were there to[Read More…]

Interlinkages Between Communalism And The Political Underworld

Interlinkages Between Communalism And The Political Underworld

  In the aftermath of Allahabad High Court judgement that nullified her election as a MP from Raebareli and in the midst of on growing students’ unrest, also known as Bihar or JP movement, Mrs Indira Gandhi imposed emergency on 25th June 1975 under . Fundamental rights were suspended; political opponents and dissenting intellectuals were jailed, press censored. The pervasive[Read More…]

“Who Killed Swamy Laxmananda?” 

“Who Killed Swamy Laxmananda?” 

The events in Kandhamal in 2008 shook the entire country.  The large number of tribal and Dalit Christians in this remote district of the then Orissa (now Odisha) state were subjected to months, even years of displacement, dispossession , death for a few and ‘forced conversion’ for those who remained, by the saffron forces which termed it ‘ghar wapsi’ or[Read More…]

Review: “The Local Food Revolution: How Humanity Will Feed Itself In Uncertain Times”

Review: “The Local Food Revolution: How Humanity Will Feed Itself In Uncertain Times”

“We are being ranched,” says Michael Brownlee, and what is more, most of us are living in one kind of food desert or another. In this book, author Michael Brownlee is inciting a local food revolution, and this revolution is far more expansive, far more radical, and far more life-altering than creating a few farmers markets and promoting one’s local[Read More…]

Adivasi And Forest Rights: Grassroots Reality Of FRA Implementation In Jharkhand

Adivasi And Forest Rights: Grassroots Reality Of FRA Implementation In Jharkhand

  Indian Democracy has ample examples of progressive policies not being able to meet people’s aspirations due to systemic inadequacies, implementation shortages and loopholes being misused by economic elite to dilute the process. Scheduled Tribes and other Forest dwellers act (2006) is one such legislation. The act was passed after prolonged people’s struggles for recognition of Adivasi and Forest dwellers[Read More…]

How Do We ‘Package’ Peace?  Can We Make It Palatable?

How Do We ‘Package’ Peace?  Can We Make It Palatable?

Peace Plays is a splendid book: a lens with which to contemplate our modern world of foibles, follies, self-and-mass destruction. It’s a book to read, and re-read, and savor. It is whimsical and sobering; grating in a positive way; uplifting and transformative

Political Underworld And Adventure Journalism

Political Underworld And Adventure Journalism

  The people of my generation, particularly those who were associated with students’ movement in 1970s, still have memories of fascist terrorism unleashed during the Emergency. The book under review book that people having view a different to Modi, that is Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, have memories worse than those of seventies. In every area Modi’s undeclared emergency is more frightening[Read More…]

Inside the Middle East – Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth

Inside the Middle East – Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth

Reading Inside the Middle East is quite an adventure. I learned that I probably am a fairly quixotic fanatic tilting at windmills; that I need to learn how to be a critical thinker “demanding that concepts and narratives be replaced with facts and reality;” that I “need to fine tune [my] critical thinking and analytical capacities; all that so I[Read More…]

The Way To The Spring: Life And Death In Palestine

The Way To The Spring: Life And Death In Palestine

A small town in Palestinian West Bank, north of Jerusalem, Nabi Saleh, essentially the home-town of the Tamimi clan, has like all other Palestinian towns suffered under the occupation of Israeli military forces and settler villages. Ben Ehrenreich’s book “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine” documents his many months in the town and in surrounding areas.[Read More…]

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The Discrete Charm Of Economic Growth

The Discrete Charm Of Economic Growth

At the outset Balthazar briefly summarizes his own intellectual journey as an economist, looking back on his earlier assumption that the economy as a whole was the spontaneous result of innumerable interacting trends interacting in a complex manner, and could be ultimately traced to individual preferences. This is the common perspective of most mainstream economists, who view the economic system[Read More…]

The Bourgeoisie And The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution

The Bourgeoisie And The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution

The following is an extract from chapter one of 1NDIA MORTGAGED by Tarimela Nagi Reddy ,pages 2-8, 1971. It narrates how transfer of power took place and it was not real independence

Obstacle To Peace: The US Role In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Obstacle To Peace: The US Role In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

It is obvious to most in the world that the U.S. and Israel are symbiotically linked to each other – each using the other for their own purposes, some of which are common, others that are not. In Obstacle to Peace Jeremy Hammond dissects current events and the relationships between the two countries demonstrating that the biggest obstacle to peace[Read More…]

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Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics And The Partition Of India

Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics And The Partition Of India

Joya Chatterjee’s path breaking work, Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932-1947, shows how decisive was the minority Bengali Hindu community’s role in the secondary partition of Bengal in 1947, so is Neeti Nair’s Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 2011) another seminal study of the minority Punjabi Hindu community’s important role in the partition of the Punjab between India and Pakistan

History And Nation Making

History And Nation Making

In a seminal lecture delivered sometimes in 1970 at the Syracuse University, Amilcar Cabral stressed the importance of History in the making of a nation. Cabral’s concern was the need to reclaim the past and the traditions of the African people, ravaged by Western European colonialism as an integral part of decolonization. Cabral’s project was in the same lines as[Read More…]

A response To “Gate Of The Sun” By Elias Khoury

A response To “Gate Of The Sun” By Elias Khoury

On this hot Italian late afternoon, after over a week inside the literary work entitled Gate of the Sun, I am still wandering in the gossamer framework of the novel constructed by a great writer and storyteller, Elias Khoury, a 531-page “story” consisting of the stories, incidents, histories, lives and deaths narrated by the author’s canvas of countless characters. I[Read More…]

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Is Israel A Modern State?

Is Israel A Modern State?

Zionism is primarily a Christian Protestant enterprise that has little to do with Judaism. This explains why US Christians are the most ardent Zionists and the most powerful supporters of Israel. The largest opposition to Zionism came initially from the rabbinical elite, which viewed it as heretical and an aberration of the Jewish faith. Zionism represents a break with Jewish[Read More…]

Tough Russian Anti-Capitalist Literature

Tough Russian Anti-Capitalist Literature

Imagine Moscow being taken over by someinternational corporate cartel.By a monster which has its own factories and office buildings, security services, private prisons, re-education (‘training’) centers, and its obedient mass media outlets. Imagine that it also has detailed databases on almost everyone who really matters in the capital. Imagine that human lives suddenly don’t matter. People are only expected to[Read More…]

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Acres of Skin—Human experiments At Holmesburg Prison

Acres of Skin—Human experiments At Holmesburg Prison

Acres of Skin—Human experiments at Holmesburg Prison, A widely reviewed Book and a true story of abuse and exploitation in the name of medical science, is written by Allen M. Hornblum. It was published in 1998 by Rutledge New York and London. The title signifies the thousands of prison inmates (vulnerable trial subjects) whose skin was the playground for Dr.[Read More…]

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Andy Piascik’s ‘In Motion’: Good Summer Reading On The Left

Andy Piascik’s ‘In Motion’: Good Summer Reading On The Left

The small press items that slip by but should not, offer a lot of wonderful materials this summer and perhaps for me in particular, perhaps, plucking the chords of memory. More important, they offer a glimpse of leftwing writers hard at work. Andy Piascik’s deft In Motion (New York: Sunshine Publishers, 298pp, $29.95) had me when a lead character’s sister[Read More…]

Queen Of Chaos: The Misadventures Of Hillary Clinton

Queen Of Chaos: The Misadventures Of Hillary Clinton

Veteran journalist Diana Johnstone has given the American people and the world a weak-up call about Hillary Clinton. The author, who has been living in Paris for over 40 years, has characterized Ms. Clinton aptly. She is not interested in the existential problems of the man in the street, instead, she is the voice of the criminal big shot elite,[Read More…]

Gujarat Files: Anatomy Of A Cover Up

Gujarat Files: Anatomy Of A Cover Up

Rana Ayub requires a high appreciation for bringing the book to the public domain. With an idealism to bring out the truth of Gujarat, the courage shown is highly appreciable. This is particularly more in an environment where publishing houses backed out from publishing the book and she had to do self-publishing.

JP Miller Reviews “The Three Russians” By Gaither Stewart

JP Miller Reviews “The Three Russians” By Gaither Stewart

It may seem strange to begin a review of a “spy story” by noting the stalwart morality of an apparently irredeemable and ruthless spy. But, Stewart’s creation of Misha Nikiforov, ex KGB and Russian successor to his influential and unforgettable Anatoly Nikitin of the novel, The Trojan Spy, and a spiritual brother of Oleg in the accompanying story in this[Read More…]

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Fracking America: Explosions, Leaks, And Health Contamination

Fracking America: Explosions, Leaks, And Health Contamination

Train engines pulling 100 oil tank cars that derail causing fires and explosions, trucks and 50-year-old pipelines that leak and explode into fireballs releasing toxic methane into the air, contributing to leaks in the protective ozone layer, are just three problems related to fracking, according to an expert on fracking. “You can live 100 miles away from the nearest gas[Read More…]

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‘Gujarat Files‘ By Rana Ayyub

‘Gujarat Files‘ By Rana Ayyub

Many of us, especially hailing from urban middle class, have this strange hope on governance of Indian society and its state. We have formulated our own Constitution in 1950 and , actually, turned it as a technical document scripting some rules of our living. We agreed on it, whatever it is ; we approved it, however it is, and we[Read More…]

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The New Middle East :The World After The Arab Spring

The New Middle East :The World After The Arab Spring

The advent of the Arab Spring marked a cataclysmic shift in the way Middle East was perceived across the globe. The Arabs living in the complex countries of this region suddenly saw their hitherto dormant lives brimming with new hopes and aspirations. Chaos, mayhem and bloodshed on an unimaginable scale had seen four dictators being ruthlessly toppled from their seat[Read More…]

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Spartacus

Spartacus

“SPARTACUS“ is a powerful novel of ancient slave society with rich meaning for the liberation struggle of our day. It is brilliantly written, and in certain sections probably represents the high point in the development of Howard Fast’s superb craftsmanship. The story of Spartacus and his army of slave warriors is one of the great epics of history. Early in[Read More…]

Amulet: A Political- Fantasy Novel by RobertoBolaño

Amulet: A Political- Fantasy Novel by RobertoBolaño

As read and admired by political novelist Gaither Stewart

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America’s War For The Greater Middle East – A Military History

America’s War For The Greater Middle East – A Military History

America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A military history. Andrew J. Bacevich. Random House, New York, 2016. Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power. His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is the latest in this series and as with the[Read More…]

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