Latest News

A review of HATE INC. in Kirkus Reviews

July 18, 2019
An extract of HATE INC. in Kirkus Reviews
Rolling Stone contributing editor Taibbi (I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, 2017, etc.) spares neither right- nor left-leaning pundits as he inveighs against cable TV and other media that treat news as a form of entertainment. After nearly three decades as a journalist, the author reconsiders the message of one of his earliest professional touchstones, Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent, in which Chomsky argued that censorship in the United States wasn’t overt but covert—that news companies simply failed to promote people who opposed their aims. Taibbi saw the self-censorship in newscasts that courted the widest possible audiences with a bland approach he sums up as, “Good evening, I’m Dan Rather, and my frontal lobes have been removed. Today in Libya.…” The explosion of cable news channels helped to change that, but the author argues convincingly that many outlets have traded one sin for another. Media companies now shunt viewers into “demographic silos” and treat news like pro wrestling, fomenting conflict by encouraging people to take sides.

Read the review here.

An extract of HATE INC. in THE WASHINGTON SPECTATOR

July 9, 2019
An extract of HATE INC. in the Washington Spectator The Media’s 10 Rules of Hate
Pick up any major newspaper, or turn on any network television news broadcast. The political orientation won’t matter. It could be Fox or MSNBC, The Washington Post or The Washington Times. You’ll find virtually every story checks certain boxes. Call them the 10 rules of hate. After generations of doing the opposite, when unity and conformity were more profitable, the primary product the news media now sells is division. The problem we (in the media) all have is the commercial structure of the business. To make money, we’ve had to train audiences to consume news in a certain way. We need you anxious, pre-pissed, addicted to conflict. Moreover we need you to bring a series of assumptions every time you open a paper or turn on your phone, TV, or car radio. Without them, most of what we produce will seem illogical and offensive. In Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky highlighted how the press “manufactured” public unity by making sure the population was only exposed to a narrow median strip of political ideas, stretching from Republican to Democrat (with the Democrat usually more like an Eisenhower Republican). The difference now: we encourage full-fledged division on that strip. We’ve discovered we can sell hate, and the more vituperative the rhetoric, the better. This also serves larger political purposes.So long as the public is busy hating each other and not aiming its ire at the more complex financial and political processes going on off-camera, there’s very little danger of anything like a popular uprising. That’s not why we do what we do. But it is why we’re allowed to operate this way. It boggles the mind that people think they’re practicing real political advocacy by watching any major corporate TV channel, be it Fox or MSNBC or CNN. Does anyone seriously believe that powerful people would allow truly dangerous ideas to be broadcast on TV? The news today is a reality show where you’re part of the cast: America vs. America, on every channel. The trick here is getting audiences to think they’re punching up, when they’re actually punching sideways, at other media consumers just like themselves, who happen to be in a different silo. Hate is a great blinding mechanism. Once you’ve been in the business long enough, you become immersed in its nuances. If you can get people to accept a sequence of simple, powerful ideas, they’re yours forever.

See all ten rules here.

An unexpectedly positive notice in George Osborne's EVENING STANDARD for PEOPLE GET READY

July 9, 2019
A positive notice in the EVENING STANDARD for PEOPLE GET READY
Key figures on Labour’s front bench are using the radical book People Get Ready! as a “manual for power” and a “blueprint for what to do if they win power”, The Londoner understands. The book, written by Left-wing theorists Christine Berry and Joe Guinan, who are close to McDonnell, was published in May. Subtitled “Preparing for a Corbyn government”, it draws on the examples set by historic Labour victories and figures as a model for how to successfully lead a modern Left-wing movement. The book admits that the start of a Corbyn government will be turbulent, involving “capital flight, investment strikes, foreign exchange crises, trade retaliation — all are possible, whether as market reactions or deliberately administered punishment beatings”. It also characterises the City as a nemesis. “To begin with, we should know our enemy... From our vantage point, there is an obvious candidate — the City of London.” People Get Ready! calls for the “UK’s big banks [to be brought] into full democratic ownership” and “the development of a siege economy”. In recent months McDonnell has been on a slick PR offensive in the City, convincing CEOs that a Corbyn government would not be a disaster. But party sources tell The Londoner that he is promoting the book in Labour circles.

Read the full article here.

“In that peacefulness, I saw for the first time the suffering in me, brought with me from the war zone.” —Cuong Lu, author of THE BUDDHA IN JAIL during an interview with Buddhistdoor Global

July 8, 2019
Buddhistdoor Global interviewed Cuong Lu, author of The Buddha In Jail.
BUDDHISTDOOR GLOBAL: In the introduction to The Buddha in Jail, you write: “I saw that I could help others overcome loneliness, as I had, and find meaning again in their lives.” Did your experiences growing up in a war zone have a bearing on your decision to serve others who are suffering? CUONG LU: I was born during the Vietnam war. My thinking and consciousness were programmed by the war, full of violence and fear. I didn’t notice that until I came to Holland, a peaceful country. In that peacefulness, I saw for the first time the suffering in me, brought with me from the war zone. Step by step, I have gone through that suffering and found peacefulness in me with Buddhist practice. I am a lucky person. This experience has helped me to recognize the violence and fear in others. I want to help because I know how painful it is to have a war inside of you. It makes you feel lonely and hopeless. And I have also discovered that I can help. I can share with others my practice in a non-Buddhist way. Sometimes, I don’t even have to say something to help. When you are there without a war inside, other people can see that. BDG: Can you tell our readers about your experiences as a monk in the Plum Village community and then as a prison chaplain? LU: I was trained as a monk by Thich Nhat Hanh. That was a wonderful time. You are taken care of by your spiritual father. The connection between him and me was totally necessary for my spiritual growth. A teacher is much more than we think. A real teacher doesn’t transmit only his knowledge to you; he transmits himself to you. When you look into me, you see Thich Nhat Hanh. As a prison chaplain, my role was taking care of the prisoners. These are people who have gone through a lot of suffering and they have caused suffering to many victims. I don’t agree with what they have done, causing suffering to others and to themselves. But I believe in their capacity to begin anew. As a prison chaplain, I give myself to each prisoner. I give them my deep trust as I have received it from my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

Read the full interview here.

“How we shape our narratives, who gets to tell our stories, from which point of view, all that has very real consequences because we live and relive our stories.” —Tenzin Dickie, editor of OLD DEMONS, NEW DEITIES in an interview for World Literature Today

July 1, 2019
Shelly Bhoil of World Literature Today interviews Tenzin Dickie on OLD DEMONS, NEW DEITIES.
SHELLY BHOIL: You explain in the introduction to Old Demons, New Deities that fiction begins with desire, and desire is a non-Buddhist ideal that was demonized in old Tibet, which led to the delay of the organic evolution of Tibetan fiction. Can we say that the coming out of this first-ever collection of Tibetan stories in English signifies Tibetans’ disenchantment with religion? TENZIN DICKIE: I do think that’s fair to say. Most Tibetan writers used to write about religion, about Buddhist philosophy and metaphysics and epistemology. They all pretty much came out of the monastic tradition and wrote about things that tradition cared about, which was emptiness and cessation of suffering and enlightenment and not love, honor, betrayal, redemption, and loss. The epic of Gesar and the Sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso’s love poetry were the great exceptions. Otherwise, these were books about getting to nirvana and not about making an accommodation in samsara. It was only later that the Buddhist religion lost its monopoly on Tibetan intellectual life. It would have been nice to get to make this change gradually and voluntarily, but we didn’t get to choose, and we were forced, which has left its scars on all of us. I think Tibetans are disenchanted with a great many things, not just religion. We are disenchanted with occupation, with assimilation, with exile, with diaspora, with politics, with religion. We are disenchanted with enchantment itself! You know, the Tibetan life-writing tradition has always been hagiographical rather than strictly biographical, which is one way of saying we have insisted on seeing the divine instead of the human, when actually it’s far more interesting and inspiring to see the human.

Read the full interview here.

“There is pain—an Act-Up demonstrator getting dragged away by cops in riot gear—but also triumph and joy.” —The Paris Review on Fred W. McDarrah's PRIDE

July 1, 2019
The Paris Review showcases various photos from PRIDE, along with a brief introduction.
Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a flash point in the struggle for queer and trans rights. To commemorate the occasion, OR Books has reissued Fred W. McDarrah’s long out-of-print Pride: Photographs after Stonewall, an essential collection of images by the Village Voice’s first staff photographer and picture editor. In McDarrah’s work, we see the nascent stages of a movement that’s still making strides to this day. There is pain—an Act-Up demonstrator getting dragged away by cops in riot gear—but also triumph and joy: men kissing in Central Park, silhouettes slinking toward waterfront bars, the Gay Men’s Chorus singing, smiling, looking dashing in their matching tuxedos.

View the featured photos here.

“When the Stonewall uprising began 50 years ago, no one knew it would become such a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement. But Fred W. McDarrah was there from the beginning.” —Kyle Almond, CNN, in a write up of PRIDE by Fred W. McDarrah

June 27, 2019
Kyle Almond writes about Fred W. McDarrah's PRIDE! for CNN
Soon after the riots broke out, McDarrah was there to document the LGBTQ community as it stood up to say enough was enough. “Fred saw it all and recorded it all: the young queer people who were tired of being told that their way of being was obscene, that the families they’d made were twisted, all those folks who had been told year after year and all their lives that they were wrong,” Hilton Als wrote in a new foreword for McDarrah’s book “Pride: Photographs After Stonewall.” McDarrah died in 2007 after working at The Village Voice for more than 50 years. He made his name by chronicling the Beat Generation and the counterculture movement in New York City. But his extensive work on the Pride movement lives on: through his book — recently updated for Stonewall’s 50th anniversary — and an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

Read the full interactive post here.

“In Pride: Photographs After Stonewall, McDarrah, who died in 2007, gives readers an immersive photographic tour of LGBTQ history—the birth of the gay civil rights movement” —Kirkus Reviews on Fred W. McDarrah's PRIDE

June 26, 2019
Karen Schechner reviews PRIDE and interviews John Oakes for Kirkus Reviews
Pride, published by OR Books to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, is a new edition of Gay Pride: Photographs From Stonewall to Today, published 25 years ago. “We completely reset the original edition,” says John Oakes, the editor of the 2019 edition and co-publisher of OR Books. “We added 26 photos and took out a bunch that weren’t related to the New York City scene. We also came up with a new cover and a foreword by Hilton Als, who got his first job thanks to Fred. (We of course kept the original essays by Allen Ginsberg and Jill Johnston.)” I recently asked Oakes about the new edition and McDarrah’s work. KAREN SCHECHNER: Where did Fred W. McDarrah’s photos first appear, and what was the public’s response? JOHN OAKES: Many of his photos appeared in the Village Voice, where he was senior staff photographer and the paper’s first photo editor. The Voice was a tabloid, and Fred’s pictures were often used to document the city’s thriving alternative nightlife as well as provide evidence of alternative lifestyles. The Voice catered to a bohemian, sophisticated readership that reveled in their own exploits and those of their friends and neighbors. SCHECHNER: How would you describe his photographic style, and what ideas did he capture in his work? OAKES: More than anyone else, Fred W. McDarrah’s work recalls that of Weegee (Arthur Fellig). Like Weegee, McDarrah was a master of street photography—the sudden insight, the lightning-quick glimpse of another world.

Read the full review here.

“If Labour takes power before it’s ready, and for whatever reason can’t implement its program, that’d be more of a setback to the hopes of the Left, possibly for the next generation, than us not winning the next general election.” —Christine Berry, author of PEOPLE GET READY!, in an interview for Jacobin

June 24, 2019
Alex Doherty interviews Christine Berry on her book PEOPLE GET READY! for Jacobin
ALEX DOHERTY: Looking at Labour’s platform, it seems the core of what you see as its radicalism is its plan to democratize the economy in various ways. Yet it seems that this hasn’t cut through very much — not only among the wider electorate, but even for instance in Labour Party forums on social media, where the program is almost solely seen in terms of anti-austerity and a kind of revivalism of the 1945 Labour government. So, if you’re right that this agenda is better thought-out than a lot of people expect, it doesn’t feel like it’s been particularly well articulated. CHRISTINE BERRY: That’s definitely true. Even within quite politically-informed circles there isn’t a deep conversation about Labour’s new economic thinking. There’s a kind of irony if the talk of democratizing the economy — which means participation — is being developed from the top down by quite a small circle of policy wonks and people around shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s office. We need much more political education and effort to cultivate movement debate and discussion around these issues, so it can be an agenda driven from the grassroots. Economic democracy is about going beyond a return to the spirit of ’45. The accusation often leveled at Labour when it talks about nationalization is that it just wants to go back to the past. But that isn’t the program — Corbyn and McDonnell have been clear that they’re not about replacing distant, unaccountable private elites with distant, unaccountable public elites. They have a solid critique of that model of nationalization — what they’re really interested in is exploring new models of public and common ownership that are more localized, decentralized, and participatory. So, you have Corbyn talking about passenger-run railways and an energy policy that involves an element of national, public ownership but also has a big role for municipal energy companies and community renewables cooperatives. There’s also a lot of thinking about how to scale cooperatives and employee ownership in the private sector. This means taking seriously the value of democratic participation and control by workers and citizens. The nationalizations of 1945 were much more about the idea that this would make industries more efficient — something easy to forget after thirty years of neoliberalism hammered home the message that public ownership means inefficiency.

Read the full transcript here.

“His photographs showed a maze of streets and ideas snaking their way down to the Hudson River, or the East River, streets filled with so many stories that I still see in black-and-white because of his pictures, which also show stretches of unaccounted-for space, like some movie version of the West.” —Hilton Als on Fred W. McDarrah's PRIDE for The New Yorker

June 22, 2019
Hilton Als reviews PRIDE by Fred W. McDarrah for The New Yorker
Part of Fred’s drive—isn’t it everyone’s?—was to provide for his children; work meant family and safety. Another thing that I found interesting in many of Fred’s pictures, before and after he started a family with his wife, Gloria, is how interested he was in New York’s improvised families, how we Manhattanites take up with one another and forge living and uncomfortable bonds that last for a night or forever. I think those alliances are at the heart of Fred’s pictures of gay life in the city’s pre- and post-Stonewall days, when things were on the verge of change. And they did change, and of course Fred was there, at the very start of a movement that became a movement when queer people were pushed to the wall that historic night on Christopher Street. Fred saw it all and recorded it all: the young queer people who were tired of being told that their way of being was obscene, that the families they’d made were twisted, all those folks who had been told year after year all their lives that they were wrong. The Stonewall—the safety of a gay bar—was a small thing to ask, having come up with no safety at all, and I wonder if Fred—because of his upbringing—understood that. He must have, because he was always drawn to people who didn’t have a lot but made a lot with what they had. His portrait of Candy Darling, the trans performer, is one of the greatest comments we have not only on transformation but on stillness—a moment of reflection during an era when change, not stillness, was the point. I think I first saw Fred’s pictures of Manhattan’s gay denizens—the protesters fighting for change, fighting to be themselves—at the Oscar Wilde Bookshop, on Christopher Street. That store is gone now, but it stood for so much during its time: another place of safety, filled with information about who we were, and who we would be.

Read the full review here.

“The political and economic assault on Iran, as well as any military attack against it, should one materialize, is not only a war for Iran’s future. It is a war for the entire region.” —Greg Shupak, author of THE WRONG STORY

June 14, 2019
Greg Shupak, author of The Wrong Story, in an article for The Electronic Intifada
Reports suggest that the proposal involves the “enshrining of Israeli control of disputed territory” as well as denying Palestinian claims to sovereignty, the right of Palestinian refugees to return and offering Palestinians only non-contiguous territory. The plan involves trying to bribe sectors of Palestinian society into accepting it with funds that the US is hoping will largely come from the US-allied governments in the region. And the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have been pressuring the Palestinian Authority into accepting the ludicrously unfair deal so that the Palestinian issue will disappear and the anti-Iran axis – bringing together the US, Israel and the Gulf states – can be fully consummated. Another manifestation of this anti-Iran alliance is Israel’s support for the attack on Yemen by a coalition involving the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the UAE and Canada – a war that is ostensibly aimed at Iran’s purported Houthi allies and that has left the country suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Read the full article here.

“ What Israel subjects Palestinians to is permanent violence” —Greg Shupak, author of THE WRONG STORY in an interview for The Ossington Circle

June 6, 2019
Justin Podur interviews Greg Shupak about his book The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media
JUSTIN PODUR: Greg is the author of The Wrong Story: Israel, Palestine, and the Media. It's a book about the propaganda surrounding the Israel/Palestine conflict, and I'm really excited to have Greg here, so thank you, Greg, for coming. GREG SHUPAK: I really appreciate your having me. PODUR:Okay, so let's just, I wanna know- I know I've written about this a lot, you've written about this a lot; what motivated you to get- what's the story of this book, The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel and the Media. SHUPAK: Yeah, well, I started writing some of the, I guess, contours of what would become the chapters during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, and then, you know I just was able to identify that some of the frames that the media was using to cover the Palestinian issue persisted beyond what happened in the summer of 2014. And so, I thought that it was worth investigating how widespread these misleading media tropes about Palestine are, and then I thought it might be useful to attempt to explain why I think they're misleading, and debunk them, if you will. I hope that it would be of interest to people who don't know the subject particularly well, and at the some time I would hope that it offers some insights that people who do know the subject well find revealing and useful analytically, and perhaps even politically.

Listen to the full review here.

“ The book has a rambunctious humor that complements its polemical spirit.” —The New Yorker in review of HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart

June 4, 2019
Dan Piepenbring reviews How to Read Donald Duck by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart for The New Yorker
“How to Read Donald Duck,” published in 1971, was an instant best-seller in Chile. But, in 1973, Augusto Pinochet seized power from Allende, in a violent military coup; under Pinochet’s rule, the book was banned, as an emblem of a fallen way of thought. Donald and Mickey Mouse became champions of the counter-revolution. One official pasted their faces on the walls of his office, where, under his predecessor, socialist slogans had once hung. Dorfman watched on TV as soldiers cast his book into a bonfire; the Navy confiscated some ten thousand copies and dumped them into the bay of Valparaíso. A motorist tried to plow him down in the street, shouting “Viva el Pato Donald!” Families of protesters swarmed his home, deploring his attack on their innocence while, less than innocently, they hurled rocks through the windows. In the fifties, Dorfman’s family had fled to Chile to escape an America gripped by McCarthyism; now he would return to the U.S. an exile from Chile. He wouldn’t go back for nearly two decades. Meanwhile, the world grew curious about “How to Read Donald Duck.” The book was translated into nearly a dozen languages, including English, and sold half a million copies. (John Berger lauded it as a “handbook of decolonization.”) But American publishing houses blanched at the prospect of a lawsuit from Disney, which was known to litigate early and often. In 1975, a small imprint agreed to a modest run of about four thousand copies. The books were printed in the U.K. and shipped to the U.S. But, when they arrived in New York, Customs impounded them, on suspicion of “piratical copying.” The books reproduced panels from Disney comics without permission. Customs invited lawyers from both sides to plead their cases. Disney argued that parents might pick up the book thinking it was a bona-fide Disney publication, unwittingly delivering radical propaganda to their children. Customs ultimately sided with the authors—but, citing an obscure nineteenth-century importation clause that was intended to curb the arrival of counterfeit books from abroad, the agency admitted only a miserly fifteen hundred copies into the U.S. No publisher tried again until this past fall. A new edition, from OR Books, offers Americans a new chance to discover, as the book’s translator, David Kunzle, puts it, “the iron fist beneath the Mouse’s glove.”

Read the full review here.

“At the centre of government lies the orthodox neoliberal dogma of the Treasury, whose power will have to be radically dismantled.” — Mike Phipps in his review of PEOPLE GET READY! for Labour Hub

May 29, 2019
Mike Phipps reviews People Get Ready! by Christine Berry and Joe Guinan
How far could Momentum play a role in generating the political debate that can take place in the wider movement? Critics will say that the movement has become too top-down and focused on winning positions within the Party structures. But since this book was written, Momentum have launched some radical policy ideas that go beyond Labour’s existing commitments, such as the abolition of all detention centres, a four day week and aiming to achieve the target of zero net carbon emissions by an earlier date than the Paris Agreement envisages. These are interesting ideas. Others like them could help promote a two-way debate with activists in broader movements, such as Extinction Rebellion. Some of these ideas have been raised by Shadow Cabinet members themselves, John McDonnell in particular, as legitimate areas of policy debate. It’s perhaps too early to say whether Momentum can play the key role of bringing these discussions to a wider audience and how it might have to modify its own structures for that to happen. One thing is certain: this book, even if it doesn’t solve all the problems it raises, is certainly asking all the right questions, Activists should buy it and apply themselves to finding the answers.

Read the full review here.

“My point is that the problems with the media are institutional and this goes far beyond their misrepresentation of Palestine-Israel.” — Greg Shupak, author of THE WRONG STORY during an interview for Black Agenda Report

May 25, 2019
Greg Shupak discusses THE WRONG STORY in an interview for Black Agenda Report.
ROBERTO SIRVENT: We know readers will learn a lot from your book, but what do you hope readers will un-learn? In other words, is there a particular ideology you’re hoping to dismantle? GREG SHUPAK: I hope that my book will help readers un-learn the ideologies of imperialism, colonialism, settler-colonialism, and capitalism. I seek to facilitate that by chronicling three commonplace stories about Palestine-Israel that are told in the media and demonstrating that each of these narratives is profoundly flawed: that “both sides” have suffered and are responsible for the absence of peace to comparable extents; that “extremists,” mostly from the Palestinian camp, need to be marginalized so that “moderates” can be empowered; that Israel has a “right to defend itself.” Instead of these approaches, I contend, Palestine-Israel should be presented as a story about one people colonizing another with the assistance of the world’s sole superpower and, prior to that, of its British precursor; given those dynamics, a more accurate accounting of Palestine-Israel would recognize the qualitative differences and causal relationship between mass Israeli violence in pursuit of subjugating Palestinians and stealing their land and Palestinian resistance that sometimes includes armed struggle, the right to which Palestinians are guaranteed under international law. Ideally, the book will encourage readers to think in similar terms about comparable issues that are beyond its immediate scope such as the colonization of the indigenous populations of the Americas.

Read the full interview here.

“The stakes have never been higher for America’s largest city to transition to renewable energy.” — Ashley Dawson, author of EXTINCTION on Blasio's energy plan for The Guardian

May 20, 2019
Ashley Dawson, author of EXTINCTION, discusses his thoughts on Bill de Blasio's energy plan in an article for The Guardian.
Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced an energy plan that would potentially move New York City a big step in the wrong direction. In a little-discussed provision of the city’s latest OneNYC sustainability plan, Mayor de Blasio commits to powering 100% of City government operations with “clean” hydroelectric power from Canadian state company Hydro-Québec. According to the mayor, this would help the city move away from coal and gas, in the process cutting emissions by 40% over the next decade. What’s not to like? The mayor’s proposal calls for construction of a 330-mile-long underground high-voltage transmission cable, called the Champlain-Hudson Power Express (CHPE), to bring power from Canada down to NYC. The project, which is slated to cost nearly $20bn, would lock NYC into dependence on Canadian hydropower long-term, while diminishing the ability for local offshore wind, solar and other renewable industries to thrive. Furthermore, there is nothing “clean” about hydropower. Building the CHPE would require excavating a trench down the spine of the Hudson Valley, a costly and environmentally disruptive enterprise. Construction could potentially stir up long-buried carcinogenic PCBs in the Hudson River, the nation’s largest superfund site, threatening a recovery process championed by advocates for decades. And the dams that would generate power for NYC have flooded hundreds of miles of boreal forest, annihilating watershed ecosystems and agricultural potential across the north-eastern US.

Read the full article here.

“The real sort of fear, and the real danger, isn't that we can't win, it's that we're not ready to win.” — Christine Berry and Joe Guinan in PEOPLE GET READY!, featured in Tribune

May 16, 2019
An excerpt from People Get Ready! featured in Tribune.
We are living through an “Age of Anger”. It is a time of “machine-breaking” politically, of boiling resentment amongst citizens and voters at an out-of-touch political class and an economic system they know is rotten to the core. Those who fixate on how to protect a rhetorical “centre ground” from the bogey of populism are asking the wrong question. The old centre ground is already gone, having disappeared with the cratering of the economic model on which it rested. The real question is how to redirect the new mass popular anger into a force for change, for better or worse: who will break the machines of neoliberal extraction, and with what will they seek to replace them? Already, across the world, terrifying answers to this question are being offered. A resurgent far right is everywhere on the march, from Poland to India, Italy to Brazil. In Germany, neo-Nazis once again rally openly in the streets. In the United States, the President orders immigrant children taken from their parents to be locked in cages. In the UK, racist attacks are on the rise. The emerging neo-fascist politics is even playing out on breakfast television: one day, millions of viewers can witness Piers Morgan shouting down a Muslim woman for being anti-Trump, the next they can watch a soft-pedal interview with Steve Bannon. Meanwhile, with the Conservative Party tearing itself apart, a new hard right shock doctrine is emerging that seeks to shape a Brexit that would clamp down ruthlessly on workers’ rights and put immigrants and people of colour in real physical danger—a renewal of what Naomi Klein calls “disaster capitalism”. In the face of such popular anger, leafing through the centrist playbook to cycle in some new empty suit with a soundbite simply will not work. Clinging to the status quo for fear of something worse is a guaranteed losing strategy. After Brexit, after Trump, this much at least should be obvious.

Read the full excerpt, and find a code for 20% off People Get Ready! here.

“The black-and-white images somehow feel more resonant today than ever before” —The New York Times on Fred W. McDarrah's PRIDE

May 16, 2019
The New York Times featured an article on a collection of modern LGBTQ, including PRIDE, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.
The black-and-white images somehow feel more resonant today than ever before . . . McDarrah was one of the only photographers to capture the immediate aftermath of that now legendary weekend, from the smashed jukeboxes and graffiti-scrawled windows to the slightly stunned and celebratory crowd . . . McDarrah continued to document New York’s often-overlooked L.G.B.T.Q. community until the 1990s, and his full body of work is interspersed throughout the book with poignant quotes from the subjects pictured.

Read the full article here.

“The real sort of fear, and the real danger, isn't that we can't win, it's that we're not ready to win.” — Christine Berry, author of PEOPLE GET READY! during an interview for Politics Theory Other

May 16, 2019
Alex Doherty of Politics Theory Other interviews Christine Berry, discussing her upcoming book People Get Ready!
ALEX DOHERTY: So, before we sort of go into more detail, could you say a bit about what you see as the sort of key issues that we should be thinking about, in terms of making a success of a labor government- and perhaps even what that means? CHRISTINE BERRY: I think the genesis of the book really came from exactly the same kind of sentiment you've just outlined, right? That, a lot of the debate was focused on the question of whether labor could win an election, whether labor could form a government, and how to mobilize to make that happen. And our anxiety was much more the same as yours: that we had quite a lot of hope that it was possible that we could have a radical labor government before too much longer, but, the real sort of fear, and the real danger, isn't that we can't win, it's that we're not ready to win. If labor takes power before it's ready to take power, and for whatever reason it isn't able to [uphold] its program, that would be far more damaging. A setback for the hopes of the left, you know, possibly for another generation, then us not being able to win the next general election. Which isn't to underestimate the importance of the urgency of mobilizing to win the next election, you know, particularly with the severity of some of the challenges we face, from climate change to the rise of the far right- you know obviously. We need to make sure that we have radical labor government [?] in the election. The real question for us is what happens after that, and that's kind of the beginning, rather than the end of the job that needs to be done.

Listen to the full interview here.

“Valley's 2017 anthology - aptly named Disapora Boy: Comics On Crisis In America and Israel - is...a deep dive into the Jewish-American subconscious. The book is a collection of some of his best (and most brutal) work since around 2008.” — Azad Essa for Middle East Eye on ELI VALLEY, author of DIASPORA BOY

May 14, 2019
Postcards from Dystopia: The Jewish-American Cartoonist Hitting Back at Zionism. Eli Valley on Israel, Trump, and white supremacy from Middle East Eye
I recognise Eli Valley as he walks into a cafe in the East Village. He is tall, sports rectangular specs and seems a little dishevelled, like all good artists should. He apologises for being tardy. “I am sorry. I haven’t slept much. I was up all night working on a new comic about Trump.” “Hope you don’t mind if I grab a bite while we chat?” he says as he removes his jacket. I don’t mind. I’ve just arrived myself. I am also giddy at the prospect of checking out a new comic featuring Trump. Since I began following this notorious Jewish-American cartoonist’s work, every new iteration of Trump seems only more vicious than the last. His latest doesn’t disappoint. Trump, resembling something between a fattened gargoyle and a fermented lamprey, hovers over a group of sycophants, serenading him with anti-Semitic hate while donning Trump-branded kippahs. The analogy is brutal.

Read the full interview here.