Posted at Buzzflash on Jul. 5, 2010

The "Backlash" of the New Right Wing

Will Bunch, the author of the brilliant Reagan biography "Tear Down This Myth," has done it again. His latest book, "Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama," is an extraordinarily readable, vividly real-to-life and broad-in-scope view of the Tea Party movement - this book could have been a movie. Bunch's writing style is so evocative that he brings every sense - sight, smell, sound etc. - to Tea Party movements and activities all across the United States, bringing to life in all its insane glory this bizarre, right-wing phenomenon sweeping our nation.
Posted at Buzzflash on Apr. 6, 2010

Avatar (DVD), 162 Minutes

If you want to be entertained, Avatar is brilliant.The two main hits on this movie are, one, that it's clichéd. Truth be told, it is a bit of a good old-fashioned action-adventure movie in which a bad corporation/country goes after your local poor natives who love the earth or, in this case, their own little sacred corner of their own planet.
Posted at Buzzflash on Apr. 5, 2010

The "Birth of a Nation"

I lived for almost two decades in Atlanta, raised three children mostly in schools in that southern city, and was always amazed by how differently both the people of the South (and the teachers in our kids’ schools) viewed the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction from the way I’d learned it growing up in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Detroit, Michigan, the heart of the industrial North/Midwest.
Posted at Buzzflash on Feb. 9, 2010

It Could Happen Here: America on the Brink By Bruce Judson

In some important ways, Judson’s book follows perfectly on a line of thought presented in three of my previous Buzzflash book reviews: In “Reinventing Collapse,” Dmitry Orlov talked about his experience as a teenager in Russia when the USSR collapsed and how now, as an American resident, he sees the same dynamics at play here – only we’re less well prepared than was the former Soviet state. In “The Great Crash of 1929,” John Kenneth Galbraith laid out how Republican/conservative economic policies played out through three successive Republican presidencies led directly to the Great Depression in 1929, and implicitly how thirty years of Reaganomics/Clintonomics is leading us in the same direction now. And in “The Impact of Inequality” Richard Wilkinson shows how the more unequal a society is, the more sick and unstable it becomes – and documents how the United States is now the most unequal industrial society in the world.
Posted at Buzzflash on Nov. 28, 2009

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb

The Book of Genesis is arguably the most important of our cultural foundations today. And R. Crumb’s illustration of it – and his postscripted commentary – is astonishing. Jewish and Christian “believers” as well as anthropologists and atheists will find a gold-mine in the stories which most inform our modern culture’s interpretation of who we are as humans relative to the world, its other life forms, and the “god” of the Bible.
Posted at Buzzflash on Sep. 25, 2009

Looking Backward, 2000 to 1887 Edward Bellamy

Ralph Nader first told me about this novel, first published in 1888 and how it was one of the major inspirations of the Progressive movement of the late 19th century. It positively inspired Eugene Debs, for example, Nader told me.