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It’s difficult to dream up a better vehicle for Evergreen’s continuation than OR Books. Over the last five years, Oakes and co-founder Colin Robinson have turned OR into one of the most original publishers in the US. Under its direct-to-consumer model, which combines e-books with print-on-demand releases, it has built a variegated catalogue of fiction and nonfiction, one that includes books by Julian Assange, Eileen Myles, Patrick Cockburn, and Yoko Ono.
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In the event of a fourth war over Gaza, Finkelstein’s book will be an invaluable resource. It is short, clearly written, thoroughly researched, and devastating in its critique of the Israeli state’s “self defense” narrative and the apologists who excuse the inexcusable. Above all, Finkelstein underlines the crucial point, to be remembered if and when violence resumes: “The refrain that Israel has the right to self-defense is a red herring. The real question is, ‘Does Israel have the right to use force to maintain an illegal occupation?’ The answer is no.”
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All I can say is, “read the book.”
To read the rest of the interview, visit John Hawkins's blog
JH: What influenced the structural choices you made in putting the book together? RG: When I was 18, I discovered Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And around that same time, I discovered a book called AIDS, Inc by Jon Rappoport, which is a very hard-hitting investigative journalism look into alternative theories regarding the origin of AIDS. Was AIDS from a government laboratory, etc. It examines all the theories. I remember thinking it would be fascinating if you could combine the serious investigative journalistic tone of AIDS, Inc with this kind of crazy Gonzo narrative thing, like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and I think Chameleo is a culmination of that interest on my part. JH: A lot of otherwise open-mined readers might be repelled by your background in conspiracy theories, and yet, in Chameleo that tenuous narrative trope seems to be supported by the raw events unfolding in a kind of hyper reality. How is Chameleo different from other conspiracy-centric narratives? RG: When conspiracy theorists publish–or, more often than not, self-publish–books, they are frantically attempting to disseminate what they feel is important, life-or-death information. This is not my main concern. I’m coming from a literature background. I’ve been publishing short stories since I was 25. Writers like John Fante, Henry Miller, and Charles Bukowski wrote about the reality around them. I’m engaged in the same process. It just so happens that the reality we live in today is overbrimming with conspiracies. If Mark Twain were alive today, I’m certain he would be writing about conspiracies. He wouldn’t be able to avoid it. I see Chameleo, primarily, as a work of literature. If the book does succeed in disseminating valuable information, it’s simply a byproduct of my desire to write about reality as I see it.
To read the full article, visit Publishers Weekly
Independent publisher O/R Books has partnered with the literary magazine Evergreen Review, in a deal which will see O/R distributing content from the magazine via the press's direct-to-consumer model. The partnership between O/R and Evergreen stems from existing ties between the indie publisher and counterculture quarterly. Evergreen was founded by the late Barney Rosset, who also started Grove Press. O/R's co-publisher, John Oakes, began his publishing career as an assistant editor, under Rosset, at Grove. O/R will also be publishing, after striking a deal with Rosset's estate, Rosset's autobiography, The Subject is Left Handed, in winter 2016.
To read the rest of the interview, visit Electric Literature
I want it to show that there are no villains and there are no angels here, just a heartbreakingly untenable situation, which we need more people to think about, pay attention to and talk about.
To read the rest of the review, visit Last Word
This book isn't a roadmap, its a window... one I am quite glad to have gotten to peer into.
To read the rest of the full review, visit City Paper
Berrigan is clearly a smart, well-intentioned new mom with some killer childhood stories.
To read the full AMA, visit Reddit
If both parties would act completely logically, what do you think would be the most reasonable resolution that would best serve both people's interests? Norman Finkelstein: If the world acted rationally, it would recognize that Earth is a tiny pebble spinning in the Universe, that most of the challenges currently confronting Humanity can only be solved on a global scale, and that, Life is short, so why squander it on petty egotistical idiocies? But, people are mostly not rational in the bigger sense (see Dostoyevky's NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND). So, we must deal with humanity as it is, not as we wish it to be. The only possible solution is the one endorsed by the international community and international law. Everything else is pie in the sky. As Woody Guthrie put it, "You'll get pie in the sky when you die,/That's a lie." (He was targeting the Salvation Army.)
To read the rest of the excerpt, visit Truthdig
Ayotzinapa is a small village, located near the town of Tixtla, in a remote and mountainous region of Guerrero, a state in the south of Mexico. Though best known in the U.S. for its Pacific coast port city of Acapulco, a famed tourist resort since the 1950s and 1960s when stars like John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Lana Turner flocked there, Guerrero is a poor state, and Ayotzinapa lies in one of its poorest regions. The village is built around a teacher training school. Its construction dates to 1933, when a colonial-era hacienda was transformed into an institution that aimed to educate the isolated, low-income population of rural Mexico. It was one of a network of “normal schools” imbued with a vision of social justice rooted in the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920). These schools were tasked with educating their students in both literacy and politics: ultimately in creating students who could transform their society. Ayotzinapa’s alumni include two 1950s graduates—Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vázquez—who became famous leaders of agrarian guerilla insurgencies during the 1960s and 1970s. The school today celebrates this tradition. Its buildings feature murals of Marx and Che and its entryway bears the inscription: “To our fallen comrades, who were not buried, but seeded, to make freedom flourish.”
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...A boldly imaginative, diverse collection of 32 surveillance-themed stories from an international coterie of writers. ...The varied cross-section of material is stylishly captured by each writer’s distinct voice and perspective.
To read the rest of the excerpt, visit Jacobin
Ronald Reagan cast himself as a law and order man, ready to reverse the drug policies of Jimmy Carter, who indeed had pulled back from Nixonian fanaticism. Once in office, Reagan set up the South Florida Task Force to go nose-to-nose with the cocaine barons, whose airplanes had been dropping drug-bundles at sea, where they were picked up by fast boats and whisked ashore. Headed by Vice President George H.W. Bush, the task force brought in the army and navy, and put Miami vice in its crosshairs. It worked. Surveillance planes and helicopter gunships throttled the hitherto wide-open Colombia–Florida connection. But the Colombians simply abandoned their direct shuttle service and increased the flow through their Mexican pipeline.
To read the rest of the interview, visit Lambda Literary
Lambda Literary: The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once joked, “One time, this guy handed me a picture of him, he said, ‘Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.’ Every picture is of you when you were younger.” After writing about your earlier years, what appears the same/different about yourself? Felice Picano: When I began writing memoirs in the early ‘80s, I was already aware that I was not the person I had been at eleven or fourteen or nineteen years old. As I get older, I’m coming to realize that I’ve had eight or nine lives already—like the cat whose name I share. The Felice Picano of the Jane Street years, or the one of the Violet Quill Club era, or of the Gay Presses of New York period, or even the first decade living in L.A., is only partly who I am now. I cannot truly know who that person was again since I’m no longer living his life. A friend recently sent me a video interview Vito Russo did with me in the mid-‘80s for his TV program then and I waited a long time before watching it out of fear that I would come off as a total jerk. But I was surprised when I watched how professional and together this younger version of me actually was. I am sufficiently distanced to appreciate that.
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"[Patrick Cockburn] brought the existence of the Islamic State to the world’s attention. A formidable piece of reporting drawing on his front line experience, it was written with style and expert analysis."
To read the rest of the article, visit NUVO
Finkelstein is not one to mince words. He has repeatedly called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who gave a speech before a joint session of U.S. Congress on March 3 — a maniac. “I think it’s an accurate description,” he told NUVO. “He’s a lunatic, he’s a maniac... In the midst of everything that’s happening, that happened in the Middle East: let’s just start with the 2003 attack on Iraq and the rise of ISIS, the destruction of Syria, the millions of refugees that have been generated…Do we really need another war with Iran? Is that what the world needs? Can it be anyone other than a certifiable maniac that would after all of this death and destruction since 2003 would now be encouraging military confrontation with Iran?"
To read the rest of the review, visit Jon Rappoport's blog
Robert Guffey’s long awaited book, Chameleo, is in print. I received my copy a few days ago and sat down and started reading it. I couldn’t stop. At times I wanted to stop, but I had to press on. The twists and turns and grotesque happenings and, yes, the laughs wouldn’t let me get away.
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In another photo, taken in April 1985, I walk down the River Entrance steps. I am 11 and soaking wet and grimacing. I still remember the moment. I’m hoarse from chanting “You can’t wash the blood away!” as a maintenance crew works to scrub down one of the Pentagon’s imposing pillars. They could and did wash the blood away. Their hoses are visible in the background and the pillars are clean. Drawn from the veins of my parents and their friends, the dark red liquid was a potent symbol meant to mark that building with the end result of war. My parents hoped that it would remind those entering of the reality of their work, of what lay behind or beyond the clean offices they labored in and the spiffy suits or uniforms they wore. At the time, the Pentagon was locked in a fierce fight with the CIA and the White House over the wisdom of trading weapons for hostages with Iran and giving the money to U.S.-backed mercenaries in Nicaragua who were fighting a bloody war against peasants, catechists, and communists who wanted land reform, education, and democracy.