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    OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 days ago
    • A police officer kills a twelve-year-old boy. It’s caught on video. The officer gets off.• A police officer strangles a man selling cigarettes. It’s caught on video. The officer gets off.• A police officer shoots a man in his car. It’s live-streamed. The officer gets off.
    It happens over and over again. The culprit here, alongside the cops, is Qualified Immunity (QI), a legal principle which Reuters describes as “a nearly failsafe tool to let police brutality go unpunished and deny victims their constitutional rights.”
    Originally intended to protect cops from being sued over good faith mistakes, courts have interpreted QI so broadly that police are shielded from accountability in all but the rarest of circumstances. Only when the exact same abusive behavior was already deemed unconstitutional by a court in the exact same jurisdiction can victims succeed in a prosecution.
    Above the Law recounts 12 cases in which justice was denied because of QI. The stories are accompanied by infographics, timelines, and contextualizing background to create a concise and compelling indictment of an outrageously unjust legal principle that must be changed.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books10 days ago
    Maud Gonne, the legendary woman known as the Irish Joan of Arc, left her mark on everyone she met. She famously won the devotion of one of the greatest poets of the age, William Butler Yeats. Born into tremendous privilege, she allied herself with rebels and the downtrodden and openly defied what was at the time the world’s most powerful empire. She was an actress, a journalist and an activist for the cause of Irish independence. Ignoring the threat of social ostracism, she had several children out of wedlock. She was an independent woman who charted her own course.
    Yet Maud Gonne was also a lifelong anti-semite, someone who, even after the horrors of the Second World War, could not summon sympathy for the millions murdered by the Nazis. A believer in the occult and in reincarnation, she took mescaline with Yeats to enhance visions of mythic Irish heroes and heroines, and in mid-life converted to Catholicism in order to marry her husband, the Irish Catholic war hero John MacBride.
    What motivated this extraordinary person? Kim Bendheim has long been fascinated by Maud Gonne’s perplexing character, and here gives us an intensely personal assessment of her thrilling life. The product of much original research, including interviews with Gonne’s equally vivid, unconventional descendants, The Fascination of What’s Difficult is a portrait of a powerful woman who, despite her considerable flaws, continues to inspire.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books10 days ago
    Michael Ratner (1943–2016) was one of America’s leading human rights lawyers. He worked for more than four decades at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) becoming first the Director of Litigation and then the President of what Alexander Cockburn called “a small band of tigerish people.” He was also the President of the National Lawyers Guild.
    Ratner handled some of the most significant cases In American history. This book tells why and how he did it.
    His last case, which he worked on until he died, was representing truth-telling whistleblower and now political prisoner Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks.
    Ratner “moved the bar” by organizing some 600 lawyers to successfully defend habeas corpus, that is, the ancient right of someone accused of a crime to have a lawyer and to be brought before a judge.
    Michael had a piece of paper taped on the wall next to his desk at the CCR. It read:
    4 key principles of being a radical lawyer:
    1. Do not refuse to take a case just because it is long odds of winning in court.2. Use cases to publicize a radical critique of US policy and to promote revolutionary transformation.3. Combine legal work with political advocacy.4. Love people.
    Compelling and instructive, Moving the Bar is an indispensable manual for the next generation of activists and their lawyers.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books10 days ago
    “In the face of all of the trash that continues to pass for news and analysis of the Palestine-Israel conflict, Shupak deserves immense praise for working to set the record straight.”—Middle East Eye
    The Wrong Story lays bare the flaws in the way large media organizations present the Palestine–Israel issue. It points out major fallacies in the fundamental conceptions that underpin their coverage, namely that Palestinians and Israelis are both victims to comparable extents and are equally responsible for the failure to find a solution; that the problem is “extremists,” often religiously-motivated ones, who need to be sidelined in favour of “moderates”; and that Israel’s uses of force are typically justifiable acts of self-defense.
    Weaving together the existing literature with new insights, Shupak offers an up-to-date and tightly focused guide that exposes the distorted way these issues are presented and why each is misguided.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books24 days ago
    Everything Must Change! brings together prominent commentators from around the world to present a rich and nuanced weighing of progressive possibilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    In these pages you’ll encounter influential voices across the left, ranging from Roger Waters to Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek to Saskia Sassen. Gael García Bernal, Brian Eno, and Larry Charles examine the pandemic’s more cultural and artistic consequences, touching on topics of love, play, comedy, dreaming, and time. Their words sit alongside analyses of the paradoxes and possibilities of debt, internationalism, and solidarity by Astra Taylor, David Graeber, Vijay Prashad, and Stephanie Kelton.
    Burgeoning surveillance and control measures in the name of public health are a concern for many of the contributors here, including Shoshana Zuboff and Evgeny Morozov, as are the opportunities presented by the crisis for exploitation by financiers, technocrats, and the far right.
    Against a return to the normal and, indeed, the notion that there ever was such a thing, these conversations insist that urgent, systemic change is needed to tackle not only the pandemics arising from the human destruction of nature, but also the ceaseless debilitations of contemporary global capitalism.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books2 months ago
    n real life, there is a person like “Anonymous”, who, for the sake of this story, I’ll call Huey Carmichael. I was friends with this person for a while before I learned about his other life. The real Huey knows more than a thing or two about the weed business. He keeps rules.
    The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing tells the story of a hyper-observant, politically-minded, but humorously pragmatic weed dealer who has spent a working life compiling rules for how to a) make money and b) avoid prison.
    Each rule shapes a chapter of this fast-paced outlaw tale, all delivered in Huey’s deliciously trenchant argot. Here are a few of them:• No guns but keep shooters.• Stay behind the white guy.• Don’t snitch.• Always have a job.• Be multi-sourced.• Get your money and get out.
    Part edge-of-the-seat suspense story, part how-to manual in the tradition of The Anarchist Cookbook, The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing is as scintillating as it is subversive. Just reading it feels illegal.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    There is a current revival of Black Consciousness, as political and student movements around the world — as well as academics and campaigners working in decolonization — reconfigure the continued struggle for socio-economic revolution. Yet the roots of Black Consciousness and its relation to other movements such as Black Lives Matter have only begun to be explored.
    Black Consciousness has deep connections to the struggle against apartheid. The Black Consciousness Reader is an essential collection of history, culture, philosophy and meaning of Black Consciousness by some of the thinkers, artists and activists who developed it in order to finally bring revolution to South Africa. A contribution to the world’s Black cultural archive, it examines how the proper acknowledgement of Blackness brings a greater love, a broader sweep of heroes and a wider understanding of intellectual and political influences.
    Although the legendary murdered activist Steve Biko is a strong figure within this history, the book documents many other significant international Black Consciousness personalities and focuses a predominantly African eye on Black Consciousness in politics, land, women, power, art, music and religion. Onkgopotse Tiro, Vuyelwa Mashalaba, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Assata Shakur, Marcus Garvey, Neville Alexander, Thomas Sankara, Malcolm X, Don Mattera, Keorapetse Kgositsile, W.E.B. DuBois, Walter Rodney, Mongane Wally Serote, Ready D and Zola are among the many bold minds included in this amalgam of facts, ideas and images.
    OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    300 years after it was first published, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe remains hugely influential and hotly debated. Since its initial release in 1719, discussions have surrounded the novel’s depiction of individual solitude and work, colonial and racial relations, and mankind’s relationship with the rest of the animal world.
    To this day, Crusoe’s depiction of self-reliance and “rugged individualism” is often idealized in economics textbooks, mainstream politics, and popular culture. But many have also criticized this approach, most notably Karl Marx, who was one of the first in decrying the efforts of classical economists to extract the “rational actor” and “marginalist calculator” from the island castaway without reference to social history.
    Alongside a precis with surprising revelations for those not familiar with the detail of the story, and a rich biographical sketch of its creator, Crusoe and His Consequences draws on a range of writers, including Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jacques Derrida and Jurgen Habermas, to bring the debates surrounding Defoe’s first novel vividly to life.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    This is the true story of Ted, Viscount Deerhurst, the son of the Earl of Coventry and an American ballerina who dedicated his life to becoming a professional surfer. Surfing was a means of escape, from England, from the fraught charges of nobility, from family, and, often, from his own demons. Ted was good on the board, but never made it to the very highest ranks of a sport that, like most, treats second-best as nowhere at all. He kept on surfing, ending up where all surfers go to live or die, the paradise of Hawaii. There, in search of the “perfect woman,” he fell in love with a dancer called Lola, who worked in a Honolulu nightclub. The problem with paradise, as he was soon to discover, is that gangsters always get there first. Lola already had a serious boyfriend, a man who went by the name of Pit Bull. Ted was given fair warning to stay away. But he had a besetting sin, for which he paid the heaviest price: He never knew when to give up.
    Surf, Sweat and Tears takes us into the world of global surfing, revealing a dark side beneath the dazzling sun and cream-crested waves. Here is surf noir at its most compelling, a dystopian tale of one man’s obsessions, wiped out in a grisly true crime.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    Governments and corporations now have the tools to track and control us as never before. In this whistleblowing how-to, we are provided with tools and techniques to fight back and hold organizations, agencies, and corporations accountable for unethical behavior.
    Can one person successfully defy a globe-spanning corporation or superpower without being discovered? Can a regular citizen, without computer expertise, release information to the media and be sure her identity will be concealed?
    At a time we’re told we are powerless and without agency in the face of institutions such as Google, Facebook, the NSA, or the FBI, digital security educator Tim Schwartz steps forward with an emphatic “yes.” And in fewer than 250 pages of easy-to-understand, tautly written prose, he shows us how. A PUBLIC SERVICE can teach any one of us the tricks to securely and anonymously communicate and share information with the media, lawyers, or even the U.S. Congress. This book is an essential weapon in the pervasive battle to confront corruption, sexual harassment, and other ethical and legal violations.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    Over a period of many years, the celebrated English novelist Tim Parks and the Italian philosopher Riccardo Manzotti have been discussing the nature of consciousness. Not long ago, Parks suggested to his friend that they condense their exchanges “into a series of focused dialogues to set out the standard positions on consciousness, and suggest some alternatives.” Fifteen of the resultant conversations were edited by Parks and published in The New York Review of Books online—one of its most popular features ever.
    Now collected into one slim but thought-provoking volume, the dialogues reveal the profound scholarship of the two men. Their talks touch upon Aristotle and William James, the Higgs boson and Descartes, and include topics such as “Where Are Words?”, “The Body and Us”, “The Reality of Dreams”, “The Object of Consciousness”, and finally “Consciousness: What Is It?”. For those of us searching for insight into some of life’s most basic puzzles—how do we think? how do we perceive one another, and ourselves?—Dialogues on Consciousness will take its place alongside other classics of philosophy.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    Lucid Dreaming is an unprecedented global collection of discussions with documentary and experimental filmmakers, giving film and video its rightful place alongside the written word as an essential medium for conveying the most urgent concerns in contemporary arts and politics.
    In these long-form conversations, film curator and arts journalist Cohn draws out the thinking of some of the most intriguing creators behind the rapidly developing movement of moving-image nonfiction. The collection features individuals from a variety of backgrounds who encounter the world, as Cohn says, “through a creative lens based in documentary practice.” Their inspirations encompass queer politics, racism, identity politics, and activism.
    The featured artists come from a multiplicity of countries and cultures including the U.S., Finland, Serbia, Syria, Kosovo, China, Iran, and Australia. Among those Cohn profiles and converses with are Karim Aïnouz, Khalik Allah, Maja Borg, Ramona Diaz, Samira Elagoz, Sara Fattahi, Dónal Foreman, Ja’Tovia Gary, Ognjen Glavonic, Barbara Hammer, Sky Hopinka, Gürcan Keltek, Adam and Zack Khalil, Khavn, Kaltrina Krasniqi, Roberto Minervini, Terence Nance, Orwa Nyrabia, Chico Pereira, Michael Robinson, J. P. Sniadecki, Brett Story, Deborah Stratman, Maryam Tafakory, Mila Turajlic, Lynette Wallworth, Travis Wilkerson, and Shengze Zhu.
    Can nonfiction film be defined? How close to reality can or should documentary storytelling be, and is film and video in its less restrictive iterations “truer” than traditional narratives? How can a story be effectively conveyed? As they consider these and many other questions, these passionate, highly articulate filmmakers will inspire not only cinema enthusiasts, but activists and artists of all stripes.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books3 months ago
    It’s tough being an author these days, and it’s getting harder. A recent Authors Guild survey showed that the median income for all published authors in 2017, based solely on book-related activities, was just over $3,000, down more than 20% from eight years previously. Roughly 25% of authors earned nothing at all. Price cutting by retailers, notably Amazon, has forced publishers to pay their writers less. A stagnant economy, with only the rich seeing significant income increases, has hit writers along with everyone else.
    But, as Jason Boog shows in a rich mix of history and politics, this is not the first period when writers have struggled to scratch a living. Between accounts of contemporary layoffs and shrinking paychecks for authors and publishing professionals are stories from the 1930s when writers, hard hit by the Great Depression, fought to create unions and New Deal projects like the Federal Writers Project that helped to put wordsmiths back to work.
    By revisiting these stories, Boog points the way to how writers today can stand with other progressive forces fighting for economic justice and, in doing so, help save a vital cultural profession under existential threat.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books4 months ago
    Set in the last years of the 16th century, Cautivos is a meditation on writing, writers, and creativity. More than that, this short novel is about confinement, both of the mind and of the body, and therefore also about liberation. Then as now, Islam and Christianity were at loggerheads and women found themselves playing new roles, and imprisonment or worse was society’s answer to everything from murder to dissent. Writer/activist Ariel Dorfman imagines for us scenes from the picaresque life of Miguel de Cervantes, a man who wrestled as intensely with the contradictions implicit in writing fiction—how can one write something “real” if it is labelled fiction, but in fact how can one write anything “real” unless it is fiction?—as any scribbler who followed him in the centuries since. Cervantes, of course, was the soldier, spy and adventurer who in 1605 gave the world Don Quixote, often described as the first modern novel, a book that has influenced Western culture perhaps more than any other book save the Bible. In Cautivos, we are witness to the birth of the spirit of Don Quixote de la Mancha: an honorable if doomed figure whose travails mirror those of Miguel de Cervantes himself. Few writers have written more lovingly about their subjects than Cervantes wrote about his Quixote, and few are better positioned to appreciate the spiritual journey of Cervantes himself than Ariel Dorfman, who—not unlike Cervantes—has been alternately hounded and fêted by those in authority.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books5 months ago
    The ultimate visual chronicle of life in New York’s gay community circa 1970, by the incomparable Fred McDarrah, released in time for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion and World Pride Day in June 2019.Fifty years ago this spring, the Stonewall uprising occurred in Greenwich Village—an event that marked the coming-out of New York’s gay community and a refusal by gays to accept underground status that was as important in its way as the Montgomery bus boycott was to the civil rights movement. As a direct outcome of Stonewall, gay pride marches were held in 1970 in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.The ultimate chronicler of New York’s downtown scene in that period, and therefore of pre-AIDS life in the gay community, was the late Fred W. McDarrah, senior staff photographer of the legendary Village Voice. In 1994, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Stonewall, A Cappella Books issued his lauded collection Gay Pride: Photographs from Stonewall to Today.Working closely with the McDarrah family, and scanning from original negatives, OR Books has completely re-set the original edition of the book, now entitled Pride. The book includes a new foreword by New Yorker critic Hilton Als (who got his first job from McDarrah) and a period essay by Allen Ginsberg and Jill Johnston.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books2 years ago
    Part tirade, part confessional from the celebrated Rolling Stone journalist, Hate Inc. reveals that what most people think of as “the news” is, in fact, a twisted wing of the entertainment businessIn this characteristically turbocharged new book, celebrated Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi provides an insider's guide to the variety of ways today's mainstream media tells us lies. Part tirade, part confessional, it reveals that what most people think of as “the news” is, in fact, a twisted wing of the entertainment business. In the Internet age, the press have mastered the art of monetizing anger, paranoia, and distrust. Taibbi, who has spent much of his career covering elections in which this kind of manipulative activity is most egregious, provides a rich taxonomic survey of American political journalism's dirty tricks.Heading into a 2020 election season that promises to be a Great Giza Pyramid Complex of invective and digital ugliness, Hate Inc. will be an invaluable antidote to the hidden poisons dished up by those we rely on to tell us what is happening in the world.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books2 years ago
    A parable about a hapless dad whose life changes when he discovers the wonders of CBD, written in the style of the classic children's book CDB! (1968). Both a parodic children's book and a “puzzle book,” it will delight CBD users, irreverent parents, and anyone curious about or appalled by wellness.CBD: you can't escape the cannabis derivative. Cannabidiol is an omnipresent cureall that has gone from being “voguish” to “a mainstream panacea,” as the New York Times observed («Why Is CBD Everywhere?” Oct. 27, 2018). And it's a particular favorite of the stroller-pushing crowd endemic to chic-er areas of New York, the Bay Area and other similar urban environs.Comedic and light-hearted, Amy Sohn's CBD! pokes fun at the national obsession with CBD as well as the legalization of marijuana in many states in America. Though not appropriate for kids (except for really smart and transgressive ones ones), this parody will appeal particularly to parents who have read William Steig's beloved classic CDB! to their kids, or to those Gen X-ers and Boomers who remember it from their own childhood or parenthood.Praise for Amy Sohn:«A little-known event that took place around the time that Richard M. Nixon was resigning as President was the birth of Amy Sohn. … Ms. Sohn has emerged as a representative of her generation…" —The New York Times
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  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books2 years ago
    An impassioned argument by a young Mexican American woman for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)Abuses in detention centers. Detention of handicapped children. The silencing of activists. Each week, another attack on immigrant rights comes to light. It’s going to be hard to say we didn’t know. ICE has escalated a campaign that tears apart families and ruins lives. But this didn’t begin, and won’t end, with Donald Trump in the White House. The Obama administration deported record numbers of immigrants, wildly expanded the scope and capacities of ICE, and supported detention center quotas. Voting Democrat alone won’t save these children. Immigration does not take place in a vacuum; each time the United States pushes through another exploitative trade deal or wreaks havoc on sovereign countries, we perpetuate migration flows fueled not by opportunity but by desperation. How long will we continue funding an agency premised upon the abuse and dehumanization of undocumented immigrants? We need to abolish ICE. This concise, accessible book sets out the reasons why and the way it can be brought about.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books2 years ago
    At 21, Belén left the U.S. and didn't look back. Alone, far off the beaten path in places like Syria and Tajikistan, she confronts violence, lechery, and places where it’s hard to find a good glass of wine, and reflects on what it means to be an American in a largely American-made mess of a world. After growing up in Washington, D.C. and Texas, and then attending Columbia University in New York, Belén Fernández ended up in a state of self-imposed exile from the United States. From trekking—through Europe, the Middle East, Morocco, and Latin America—to packing avocados in southern Spain, to marrying a Palestinian-Lebanese man, to witnessing the violent aftermath of the 2009 coup in Honduras, the international travel allowed her by an American passport has, ironically, given her a direct view of the devastating consequences of U.S. machinations worldwide. For some years Fernández survived thanks to the generosity of strangers who picked her up hitchhiking, fed her, and offered accommodations; then she discovered people would pay her for her powerful, unfiltered journalism, enabling—as of the present moment—continued survival.In just a few short years of publishing her observations on world politics and writing from places as varied as Lebanon, Italy, Uzbekistan, Syria, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, and Iran, Belén Fernández has earned a place alongside Martha Gellhorn and Susan Sontag as one of the most trenchant observers of American actions abroad.
  • OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfOR Books2 years ago
    A description from the belly of the beast that is MS-13: the first book to reveal the inner workings of the most violent gang in the world, written by an anthropologist who was there.This short, intense book exposes life inside the largest, most violent gang in the world, Mara Salvatrucha 13, more commonly known as MS-13. Right in the heart of El Salvador’s violent capital San Salvador, anthropologist Juan José Martínez d´Aubuisson observes firsthand an escalating cycle of violence between MS-13 and its sworn enemies from Barrio 18 as it becomes a war fought on a professional scale with grenades and machine guns. (Both gangs have their origins in Los Angeles, interestingly enough, not Central America.)For the better part of a year, d´Aubuisson was embedded in one of the cells of MS-13, where he learned its moral codes, rules, legends, and contradictions. His journey into the heart of the gang is guided by an enigmatic character, El Destino, a veteran founder of the gang. After many conversations with El Destino, the anthropologist begins to forge a strange kind of friendship with him, and understands not only the origin of the gang and its war with Barrio 18, but the deep-seated reasons for the regional violence. The book culminates in one of the most violent acts ever in an area that has seen more than its share: a full-scale attack on a public bus with thirty-two passengers on board. Fourteen people were killed and twenty-eight wounded.Almost all the principal characters in this book end up dying: some are killed in the war, while others fall to the state security forces. Those that do escape the war are imprisoned, exiled or murdered by their own gang. This is a true testimony of life inside a wild gang, in a neighborhood governed by abandoned boys.
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