Posted at Buzzflash on Feb. 23, 2008

The 11th Hour (DVD)

How bad are things? Worse than you ever could have imagined.How good can they become? Better than you ever could have imagined.Al Gore's film is about global warming and the life of Al Gore. Leonardo DiCaprio's new movie, "The 11th Hour," is about Everything.
Posted at Buzzflash on Dec. 5, 2007

The Trial' By Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka is one of the most complex writers of the past two centuries. Chronically disabled by health problems that may have arisen from his partnership in an asbestos company (or simply may have been TB and a weak constitution), he died just a month before his 41st birthday, leaving behind a large collection of unpublished and often-fragmentary works. Most of his fame as an author came after his death, when, against his wishes, his friend Max Brod -- to whom he'd entrusted his manuscripts before his death -- cleaned up a few, reassembled others, and published several, including "The Trial."
Posted at Buzzflash on Dec. 4, 2007

Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side By Clive Stafford Smith

If you were to ask the average American where the people currently being held in the US-run Guantanamo Bay concentration camps came from, most would tell you that they were Al Qaeda "fighters" who had been "captured on the battlefield." This myth has been repeated over and over again during the past six years -- and it's just that, a myth.
Posted at Buzzflash on Oct. 20, 2007

Edward J. Larson's 'A Magnificent Catastrophe': Thom Hartmann's Independent Thinker Book of the Month Review

One of the most startling things we learn from history is how little we've learned -- and how often that failure to learn causes history to repeat itself. The election of 2008 may well -- depending on who is the Democratic nominee -- end up being a startling replay of the election of 1800. In that election, Thomas Jefferson, who along with James Madison founded what is today's modern Democratic Party (known then as the Republican Party), challenged sitting president and ardent conservative Federalist (what today would be called "Republican") John Adams.
Posted at Buzzflash on Sep. 30, 2007

A Brief History of Neoliberalism By David Harvey.

Here's the bad news - most Americans don't know what "neoliberalism" is.But the good news is that David Harvey has written the most brilliant, concise, and clear history of neoliberalism I've ever found. It should be required reading in every civics class in high-school and college in America, and everybody who votes or considers themselves informed about politics and economics (and the intersection of the two) should have a dog-eared copy next to their bed or favorite chair for regular re-reading.
Posted at Buzzflash on Aug. 24, 2007

The Tin Roof Blowdown By James Lee Burke.

James Lee Burke is, in my humble opinion, the best living writer in America. He's the Hemingway of our generation. One of my most valued possessions is a first edition of Purple Cane Road, one of his Dave Robicheaux novels. My son-in-law's father walked down the street to his friend Burke's house and asked him to autograph it to me as a Christmas gift.
Posted at Buzzflash on Jul. 21, 2007

The Trap By Daniel Brook.

The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America by Daniel Brook is one of the most brilliant and important books to come along in many years. Synthesizing stories from people in real life with a strong and healthy dose of history (particularly the history of the 60s through today, both politically and economically), Brook's book paints a stark picture of the death of the American middle class as a direct result of the Reagan Revolution, and implicitly suggests that the clear and simple solution is to revert to the economic policies of the New Deal. This book is probably the most powerful and compelling attack on Reaganomics and the "conservative revolution" that I've read in a decade.
Posted at Buzzflash on Jun. 16, 2007

You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression By Matthew Rothschild.

I'm a pretty jaded guy. Back in October of 2001, I wrote -- first anonymously under the pseudonym "Rusticus" and then over my own name -- the first widely-circulated article comparing the Republican response to 9/11 with the Nazi response to the burning of the Reichstag (Parliament) building in Germany in 1933 (it was titled "When Democracy Failed"). It was widely distributed and I was attacked for being an alarmist, although few say so these days.