Posts Tagged 'Iraq'

Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance, by John Berger

Sixteen short essays, written between 2001 and 2006, linked by the thread of the hope (or in Berger’s coinage ‘undefeated despair’) that enables people to continue the struggle – ‘surviving the nights and imagining a new day’ – in an era of unrestrained capitalism and the ‘war on terror’. A thread that takes him through the plight of the Palestinians, the poetry of Nazim Hikmet, Hurricane Katrina, the films of Pasolini, the music of Dvorak, the invasion of Iraq, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the stories of Platonov,  9/11, the July 7 bombings, and much more besides. AS

Verso; 2007; 142 pages

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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein

Comparing economic theory to psychology and CIA torture, Klein argues that neoliberalism’s rise was intimately intertwined with the notion of ‘shock’, of exploiting populations reeling from man-made or human disasters to implement reforms beneficial to capital. Klein charts the global progress of such ‘shock treatments’ and argues a new form of economy has arisen in recent years: disaster capitalism. It’s a neat formulation but it’s ultimately unconvincing; many of Klein’s examples actually undermine her thesis. Nevertheless, with her customary tight prose the ‘No Logo’ author marshals an impressive array of facts which serve to make this a frequently fascinating history. SS

Picador USA; 2008; 720 pages


Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers. George Orwell

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