Latest News

“The US government deliberately made the desert deadly for migrants...” - NATASCHA UHLMANN, author of our forthcoming Blood in Our Name: The Case for Abolishing ICE, in The Guardian

January 14, 2019
This month, Jakelin Caal Maquin, a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl, died less than 48 hours after being detained at a remote New Mexico border crossing. Felipe Gómez Alonzo, an eight-year old Guatemalan boy, spent his final days in custody before tragically passing on Christmas Eve. Both were brought to the United States by families seeking a better life for their children. In the United States, all they found was death. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have been quick to deflect the blame. “[Jakelin’s] family chose to cross illegally,” Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asserted. In the case of Felipe, the DHS pointed to migrant shelters in Mexico as possible sources of disease. These desperate attempts do little to obscure the full weight of US culpability.

Read the full article here.

“Dispelling Myths About Iran, Trump’s Bogeyman.” - MEDEA BENJAMIN on the The Real News

December 18, 2018
One of the key elements of the Trump administration’s foreign policy has been increasing aggression against Iran. Trump has cozied up with the Saudi regime, but at the same time, has repeatedly called for the overthrow of Iran’s government. Well, joining us to discuss this is a leading figure in the U.S. peace movement who has been helping to lead the fight to save the Iran Nuclear Deal. I’m speaking with Medea Benjamin, who is a co-founder of the women-led peace movement, Code Pink, and also the author of a book on Iran that expels many of the myths about the country, called Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Read the full article here.

“He’s going to certainly cross swords with Washington, D.C. Now, whether he wants to hit the sword very hard, that’s another issue.” - VIJAY PRASHAD on Mexico's new president at the The Real News

December 13, 2018
A bold transformation of Mexico’s economy is one of the many promises the newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, is promising his people. Some have deemed this the fourth transformation of Mexico. But that won’t be easy for the newly elected president. Joining me now to discuss the challenge is Vijay Prashad. He is the executive director of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research. Vijay, good to have you back.

Read the full article here.

“George H.W. Bush Is Alive in His Many Victims Across the Globe, Including Me.” - ARIEL DORFMAN interviewed on Democracy Now

December 10, 2018
George H.W. Bush was the only president in U.S. history to serve as CIA director, a role that would come to define his career and politics. He once described the intelligence agency as “part of my heartbeat.” Bush Sr. was at the helm of the CIA from January 1976 to January 1977. We speak with Ariel Dorfman, best-selling author, playwright, poet and activist, who teaches at Duke University. In 1973, he served as a cultural adviser to Chilean President Salvador Allende’s chief of staff. He says George H.W. Bush was “presiding over the CIA when Pinochet, the dictator of Chile, had concentration camps open. They were torturing people. They were executing people. They were persecuting people. And they were killing people overseas.” We also speak with Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University, and José Luis Morín, professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Read the full article here.

GREG SHUPAK discusses THE WRONG STORY: PALESTINE, ISRAEL, AND THE MEDIA at Unauthorized Disclosure

December 6, 2018
Greg Shupak, author of "The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media," joins the show to discuss his book that sharply critiques how establishment and left-of-center media cover the Israeli military occupation.

Listen to the full interview here.

“George HW Bush thought the world belonged to his family. How wrong he was.” - ARIEL DORFMAN in The Guardian

December 3, 2018
As the world says goodbye to George HW Bush, I am tempted to add my own personal memories to the mix, and illuminate perhaps his legacy by recounting the two intense nights that my wife and I spent in close proximity to the former president at the end of October 2001. It was at the Park Hyatt hotel in Sydney, where I had been invited to deliver the Centennial Lecture celebrating the Federation of Australia. The day after our arrival, the hotel manager – a corpulent, affable man of Spanish extraction – asked us if we wouldn’t mind exchanging our suite, only for the next two days, he said, for another one, just as nice, he promised, elsewhere on the premises.

Read the full article here.

“Privatization is Theft” - Read an excerpt from A NEW HOPE FOR MEXICO in Jacobin

December 3, 2018
In terms of our collective wellbeing, the politics of pillage has been an unmitigated disaster. In economic and social affairs, we’ve been regressing instead of moving forward. But this is hardly surprising: the model itself is designed to favor a small minority of corrupt politicians and white-collar criminals. The model does not seek to meet the needs of the people, or to avoid violence and conflict; it seeks neither to govern openly nor honestly. It seeks to monopolize the bureaucratic apparatus and transfer public goods to private hands, making claims that this will somehow bring about prosperity.

Read the full article here.

“The wittiest response I’ve seen to Amazon’s plans to build one of its two new headquarters in Queens comes from OR Books.” - OR Books and A NEW HOPE FOR MEXICO in the Washington Post Book Club

November 29, 2018
The wittiest response I’ve seen to Amazon’s plans to build one of its two new headquarters in Queens comes from a small independent publisher named OR Books. A faux press release sent out earlier this week stated: “Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a $3 billion subsidy to persuade feisty independent OR Books to remain in New York.”

Read the full article here.

JOE LAURIA speaks to CHRIS HEDGES about the plight of Julian Assange on RT’s On Contact

November 28, 2018

LIZA FEATHERSTONE on the birth of the focus group at Citations Needed

November 26, 2018
Focus groups have long-been derided by the left, right, and center for watering down culture and reducing creative and political endeavors to dull, show-of-hand reductionism. But what if focus groups – which first arose from socialist experiments in 1920s Vienna – are not inherently bad? What if they've simply been exploited by the capitalist class and could, potentially, have much to offer a left-wing, democratic vision of the world?.

Listen to the full interview here.

“Airbnb likes to say, ‘Come and live like a local.’ But if they’re driving out locals while they’re doing that, that is a problem.” - TOM SLEE interviewed in The Coast

November 26, 2018
Airbnb likes to position its hosts as everyday people offering up their homes for a little cash when they take a vacation or leave on a work trip. But new data assembled for The Coast shows the exact opposite. Over half of the Airbnb listings in the urban core seemingly belong to property owners with multiple listings. The exact figures, however, are difficult to pin down.

Read the full article here.

VIJAY PRASHAD on the return of the IMF to Latin America at the Real News

November 26, 2018
Argentina’s legislature approved a drastic austerity budget for fiscal year 2019 on Thursday which will cut social spending by as much as 35 percent and increase debt service payments by 50 percent. The budget is expected to cause a further contraction of Argentina’s economy. The austerity budget is being implemented to a large extent. At the urging of the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, which has given Argentina alone a $56 billion dollars, one of its largest loans ever.

Read the full interview here.

“The clarity of this book nearly five decades on might stun you.” - HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK recommended by the editor of Reader

November 26, 2018
Earlier this summer, OR Books rereleased one of the most influential books I have ever read: How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Matellart, which was originally published in Chile in 1971.

Read the full review here.

“Delivered with rigor and irreverence... A lot has changed since 1973. How to Read Donald Duck reminds us of what hasn’t.” - HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK reviewed in the Baffler

November 14, 2018
IN THE EARLY 1970s, the United States engineered an economic crisis in Chile to destabilize Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government. Allende had nationalized the copper industry and was steering the country toward socialism. Washington’s plan, in the words of President Nixon, was to “make the economy scream.” Loans from the Inter-American Development Bank stalled, spare parts for industrial machinery from U.S. companies did not arrive, and the CIA financed a huge strike of truck drivers. During this “invisible blockade,” some foreign commodities did continue to enter Chile: materiel for the golpistas in the army, of course, but also mass culture—TV shows, advertisements, and magazines, including the comic book adventures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Read the full review here.

“This compact volume offers an unusual perspective juxtaposing present-day Russian activities with the US operations in the Cold War era.” - CREATING CHAOS reviewed in the Journal of Peace Research

November 12, 2018
The intensity of application of various clandestine and unsavory means – from propaganda to corruption to cyber-attacks – in the escalating confrontation between Russia and the West has reached such alarming levels that demand for systematic analysis of this phenomenon stimulates policy research. This compact volume offers an unusual perspective juxtaposing present-day Russian activities with the US operations in the Cold War era.

Read the full review here.

LIZA FEATHERSTONE on how focus groups are ruining politics on the Katie Halper Show

November 12, 2018
Liza Featherstone talks to me and Gabe about focus groups and how they're ruining politics. We discuss her latest book "Divining Desire: the Culture of Consultation," her latest piece in The Baffler "Sorry to Bother You," and the midterms.

Listen to the full interview here.

LIZA FEATHERSTONE on the culture of consultancy in the Baffler

November 12, 2018
THE APARTMENT WAS in one of those large luxury apartment buildings, like dorms for young New Yorkers lucky enough to have the money to buy a real home but still lacking the inclination to do so. The property had several sprawling lounges, a weight room, and a doorman. A pets-inclusive happy hour was advertised in the elevator.

Read the full article here.

“More books like Strongmen are needed... Strongmen part two, please.” - STRONGMEN reviewed at Asian Affairs

November 9, 2018
Until recently, progressives believed the retreat of liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War would be like water running uphill. ‘There is no coherent alternative to liberal democracy,’ wrote Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History (1992). But the Marxist historian Vijay Prashad, who edited Strongmen, a timely book about a handful of the world’s top-dog, so-called ‘strongmen’, counters with a verbal punch from Antonio Gramsci who said in his Prison Notebooks, ‘The crisis consists in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum, a great deal of morbid symptoms appear.’.

Read the full review here.

“To be contributing to writing, contributing to language — I consider those to be political acts.” - KAREN FINLEY interviewed in The Villager

November 9, 2018
At 62 years old, artistic provocateur Karen Finley has worn many outfits over her storied lifetime. Most recently she’s donned a red Make America Great Again baseball cap, as well as a frumpy, untailored blue suit, a billowy blue cotton dress with a headscarf, and a white power suit topped with a blond wig, variously impersonating Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

Read the full interview here.

MEDEA BENJAMIN on Donald Trump's imposition of new sanctions on Iran at Loud & Clear

November 8, 2018
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by economist and political analyst Shabbir Razvi; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, and the author of “Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran;” and University of Tehran Professor Mohammad Marandi.

Listen to the full interview here.