Posted at Buzzflash on Jun. 23, 2009

Lawrence of Arabia (DVD) By David Lean

Back on Iyyar 2, 5769 (that's April 26th of this year to most Americans) the most left of Israel's major newspapers, Haaretz, published an article by Amer Oren titled, "Why Lawrence of Arabia is still relevant, from Gaza to Kabul." I resolved to watch the movie, and ordered it from a popular online seller. Last week I caught enough time (it runs over 3 hours) to watch it. Oren was right.
Posted at Buzzflash on Mar. 19, 2009

In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony By Eamonn Fingleton

What if the Japanese never really did “surrender” to us, inasmuch as we think they “adopted” our culture and values after World War II, but instead have been playing us for suckers, angry about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ever since? What if they’re collaborating with the Chinese in creating an Asian sphere of influence – decidedly un-democratic – to rule the world over the next century?
Posted at Buzzflash on Feb. 22, 2009

The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be By Michael Lux

There’s no shortage of excellent histories of the progressive movement, from the beginning of this nation to today. One of the very best of the early Progressive/Revolutionary Era is Harvey Kaye’s “Thomas Paine and the Promise of America,” an earlier one of my BuzzFlash Book of the Month reviews. Others are large and fairly substantial tomes, rich with information, such as several of the writings of Chomsky and Zinn, or Charles and Mary Beard's brilliant (and encyclopedic) 1928 "History of America."
Posted at Buzzflash on Jan. 7, 2009

The Great Crash of 1929 By John Kenneth Galbraith

The Republican Great Depression of 1929-1939 has been an unending source of mystery, fascination, and disinformation for the past four generations. As you’re reading these words, there’s a huge push on by conservative think-tanks and wealthy political activists to reinvent the history, suggesting that Roosevelt prolonged the Depression or that New Deal programs were ineffective. At the same time, folks like David Sirota are valiantly pushing back with actual facts and statistics, showing that Roosevelt’s New Deal was startlingly effective, particularly when compared with the Republican policies of 1920-1929 that formed the bubble that crashed in 1929, and the Republican failures to deal with its consequences during the last three years of the Herbert Hoover administration (1929-1933).
Posted at Buzzflash on Nov. 25, 2008

Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects By Dmitry Orlov

I read two books yesterday. The first was Joseph Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” a dense, profound, and insightful academic/archeological discussion of why civilizations have a stubborn habit of crashing. Following that, I read Dmitry Orlov’s “Reinventing Collapse,” about how the USSR collapsed and how the US is on the verge of doing the same – for many of the same reasons – any day now. What Tainter did for academics and archeology wonks (I confess I’m one), Orlov did for you, me, and Joe The Plumber.
Posted at Buzzflash on Oct. 11, 2008

Blood and Oil (DVD) By Michael Klare

If you want to understand what’s really behind the current goings-on in the former Soviet state of Georgia, immediately buy Michael Klare’s DVD, produced by the Media Education Foundation, “Blood and Oil.”