Tag: book review

Imagining postcapitalism: Book review: Chris Hedges, “Death of the Liberal Class”

This is an improved rewrite of a previously-posted (elsewhere) review of Chris Hedges’ newest book, Death of the Liberal Class, which I am republishing as part of a discussion, occurring at DK4 and elsewhere, on “imagining postcapitalism.”  Hedges offers readers an important narrative to explain the disappearance of left politics rather than as suggestions for any sort of reality which we can bring about after the collapse of capitalism.  Hedges clearly suggests a solution; yet its perceived improbability leads Hedges to predict disaster.  In light of the continuing conformity of thought that characterizes this era (as I’ve discussed it in this diary), Hedges’ pessimism seems appropriate to the times.

Book review: James J. O’Donnell’s The Ruin of the Roman Empire

This is a book review about James J. O’Donnell’s recent volume on the 6th-century Roman Empire — it deals of course with the issue of “why did Rome fall?”  O’Donnell’s writing is amusing and makes interesting comparisons between the Emperor Justinian and George W. Bush, in that they both set the stage for the future ruin of their respective empires.  This was published previously at DailyKos.com — but I’ve decided to bring it back to Docudharma, especially since youse guys have decided to stick around!  

Hunger Games Trilogy … a review of sorts

Soooooooo… imagine if Buhdydharma had the desire and wherewithal to write (and publish!) a really good dystopia styled book, and orient it for a teen audience. (I’m totally convinced he has the talent!) He might just come up with something like this trilogy from Suzanne Collins:

hunger games trilogy banner Pictures, Images and Photos

Hunger Games (1)   Catching Fire (2)   Mockingjay (3)

Note: You really need to read these books before they come out with the movie and ruin it. heh. Well, you probably have a year or so.

Here’s an official video promo for the book:

21st-Century Socialism: two books by Marta Harnecker

Book Reviews:

Marta Harnecker: “Latin America and Twenty-First Century Socialism: Inventing to Avoid Mistakes.”  Monthly Review 62:3 (July-August 2010), 3-78.

—.  Rebuilding the Left.  London and New York: Zed Books, 2007.

In this oh-so-brief review I shall try to convey a sense of what counts as “21st century socialism” in the ferment of leftist governance that can currently be found in certain parts of Latin America (e.g. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador).

(Crossposted to Orange)

Book Review: Tom Engelhardt, The American Way of War

Folks this book by Tom Engelhardt just came out — it’s got good antiwar writing in it, and a good perspective can bring out its especially good points.  But, hey, that’s what reviewers are for!

(crossposted at Orange)

Norman Spinrad: “He Walked Among Us” (A Review)


I was surprised when I was at the bookstore and saw Norman Spinrad had come out with a new book.

It had been a while and I figured Norman was old and senile and probably wouldn’t write any more.

I was wrong.

He’s old.  He’s not senile.  He is more evil than ever, Praise the Lord.

He is even more handsome, it seems, than when he was younger:


Meet me below the flip and I’ll give you a review.

Book Review: Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion (2009)

This is a critical review of Chris Hedges’ book Empire of Illusion, with further discussion of its relevance in a society with no future.

(Crossposted at Orange and at Firedoglake)

Book Review: Tom Engelhardt, The End of Victory Culture (2007)

OK, this is a war diary, based on the question “when will it ever end?”  It will review Tom Engelhardt’s 2007 book The End of Victory Culture.  This, then, is a review of that book, and an attempt to apply its thought to the war situation of the current era.

(crossposted at Orange and at Firedoglake)

Tests: Garrison’s “A Measure Of Failure”

Book review: Garrison, Mark J.  A Measure of Failure: The Political Origins of Standardized Testing.  Albany NY: SUNY Press, 2009. 140 pages.

Essentially Garrison’s book critiques standardized testing in the public schools as a power trip — what type of power trip a particular test is for, Garrison argues, depends upon the standards which are erected and the purposes to which the final scores on the tests are used.  It is argued, then, that standardized tests have had different purposes in different historical periods.  The high-stakes testing regime of the No Child Left Behind Act (of the Bush administration) is argued to be destructive (in this regard) of public schooling in general.

(Crossposted at Orange)

Health care: Book Review, Do Not Resuscitate (reprised)

This is a book review of John Geyman’s book Do Not Resuscitate: Why the Health Insurance Industry Is Dying, and How We Must Replace It.  Here I argue that the rereading of this book is especially timely as Congress nears the last stages of preparation for a vote upon “health insurance reform” nears.  We need to remember, now of all times, that the fight for health care for all is nowhere near over.

(Crossposted at Orange)

Helen Caldicott’s “If You Love This Planet,” 2nd ed.: a review

This is a book review of the new edition of Helen Caldicott‘s “If You Love This Planet,” released this year.  It will examine the extent to which Caldicott can synthesize the great quantity of factual information presented in her book to help readers attain a wholistic view of “the metabolism between man and nature.”

(Crossposted at Big Orange)

A look at “Rational Ecology” in the context of climate change

This will be a short review of John Dryzek’s forgotten classic Rational Ecology in the context of the challenge of abrupt climate change.  Dryzek asks us to place ecological concerns first, and to look at these concerns in terms of the systems we use to make decisions.  If we were all to follow Dryzek’s logic, we might develop the will to take decisive action to address the problem, which we currently don’t have.  I will start by asking about climate change, summarize the book, and conclude by suggesting applications to the problem.

(Crossposted at Big Orange)

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