General book blog.

Churchill, Ward and Vander Wall, Jim. Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. Boston. 1990. South End Press. 0896082938. 508 pages. paperback. Cover by Todd Jailer and Cynthia Peters. 




From the Red Scare of 1919-1920 to the McCarthy period of the 1950s to the COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) era of the 1960s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has operated primarily as America’s political police. Set against this sordid background. the complex of FBI operations conducted against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement, including murder, kidnapping, and a range of other illegal activities, provides a shocking indictment of the lawlessness of the ‘law enforcers.’ Contrary to official announcements that COINTELPRO-type activities ended in 1971, Churchill and Vander Wall demonstrate that the FBI not only continued them, but in some cases actually increased their levels of intensity and violence. Agents of Repression concludes with consideration of recent FBI attempts to disrupt or destroy the Puerto Rican Independence movement and the Central America sanctuary and solidarity movements. Profusely illustrated and indexed, Agents of Repression will undoubtedly serve as the benchmark text for those concerned with under- standing not only what happened to the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement, but the functional reality of America’s political police. ‘This study gives a chilling account of the government attack against the American Indian Movement and the Black Panther Party, placed in the context of the traditional use of the FBI for domestic political repression. It is a powerful indictment, with far-reaching implications concerning the treatment of political activists, especially those that are black or native American, and the functioning of our political institutions generally.’ - Noam Chomsky.


Ward Churchill is a member of the Governing Council of the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement, Coordinator of American Indian Studies for the University of Colorado/Boulder, and author of From a Native Son. Jim Vander Wall is an active supporter of the struggles of Native People for sovereignty and has written several articles on FBI. He is co-author, with Ward Churchill, of Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars on the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (1988) and an editor of New Studies on the Left.





Makeba, Miriam (with James Hall). Makeba: My Story. New York. 1988. New American Library. 0453005616. 249 pages. hardcover. Cover: Aaron Rapoport. 




The renowned South African singer and political activist recounts her life--a life that encompasses the splendor of international acclaim, bitter personal tragedy, and political intrigue and violence.



Makeba MiriamZenzile Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist. In the 1960s, she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music around the world. She is best known for the song 'Pata Pata', first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela.







Khuem Le, Minh. The Stars, The Earth, The River: Short Fiction. Willimantic. 1997. Curbstone Press. 1880684470. Edited by Wayne Karlin. Translated from the Vietnamese by Bac Hoai Tran & Dana Sachs. 232 pages. paperback. 




This collection of 14 stories - each a harrowing sketch of the Vietnam War and its aftermath - offers American readers a glimpse offamiliar territory, but from an unfamiliar perspective. Often writing from a young woman's point of view, Le Minh Khue, a war veteran who served in the Youth Volunteers Brigade, uses simple, understated prose to describe numbing horrors: 'There were three of us. Three girls. We lived in a cavern at the foot of a strategic hill ... Our job was to sit there. Whenever a bomb exploded, we had to run up, figure out how much earth was needed to fill the hold, count the unexploded bombs, and, if necessary, detonate them. They called us the Ground Reconnaissance Team. That title inspired in us a passion to do heroic deeds and therefore our work was not that simple.' So begins the first story, 'Distant Stars.' Born in 1949, Le Minh Khue was no stranger to the vagaries of Land Reform politics and war. Colored by her stint as a war correspondent in Vietnam, Khue's level gaze lingers over the shambles of a war-torn country and its reconstruction to examine the soul of a people whose culture has all but been destroyed. The Stars, the Earth, the River contains an excellent introduction by the translators, grounding the stories in Le Minh Khue's personal history; the narrator of 'A Day on the Road' speaks from having witnessedthe carnage of war. You simultaneously feel the rage of the author and the narrator when Khue disparagingly notes that the conversations around her center on luxuries, motor scooters, and business deals. Of what use, these stories ask, is such suffering? How can a culture honor the losses of war?


Khue Le MinhLê Minh Khuê (born 6 December 1949, in Tinh Gia) is a Vietnamese writer. Her works have been translated into English and several other languages. She was interviewed in Ken Burns's series The Vietnam War.









Goldman, Emma. Anarchism and Other Essays. New York. 1910. Mother Earth Publishing. With a Biographical Sketch by Hippolyte Havel. 277 pages. hardcover. 


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Includes the essays - Anarchism: What It Really Stands For; Minorities Versus Majorities; The Psychology of Political Violence; Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure; Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty; Francisco Ferrer and The Modern School; The Hypocrisy of Puritanism; The Traffic in Women; Woman Suffrage; The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation; Marriage and Love; The Drama: A Powerful Dissimenator of Radical Thought. Anarchism was central to Emma Goldman's view of the world and she is today considered one of the most important figures in the history of anarchism. First drawn to it during the persecution of anarchists after the 1886 Haymarket affair, she wrote and spoke regularly on behalf of anarchism. In the title essay of her book ANARCHISM AND OTHER ESSAYS, she wrote: ‘Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.’ Goldman's anarchism was intensely personal. She believed it was necessary for anarchist thinkers to live their beliefs, demonstrating their convictions with every action and word. ‘I don't care if a man's theory for tomorrow is correct,’ she once wrote. ‘I care if his spirit of today is correct.’Anarchism and free association were to her logical responses to the confines of government control and capitalism. ‘It seems to me that these are the new forms of life,’ she wrote, ‘and that they will take the place of the old, not by preaching or voting, but by living them.’


Goldman EmmaAnarchist and feminist EMMA GOLDMAN (1869-1940) is one of the towering figures in global radicalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Lithuania, she emigrated to the United States as a teenager, was deported in 1919 for her criticism of the U.S. military draft in World War I, and died in Toronto after a globetrotting life. An early advocate of birth control, women's rights, and workers unions, she was an important and influential figure in such far-flung geopolitical events as the Russian Revolution and the Spanish Civil War. Among her many books are My Disillusionment in Russia (1925) and Living My Life (1931).







Durkheim, Emile. Socialism. New York. 1967. Collier/Macmillan. Edited  and with an introduction by Alvin W. Gouldner. Translated by Charlotte Sattler. From the edition originally edited, and with a Preface by Marcel Mauss . 287 pages. paperback. 07306. 


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‘This volume is indispensable for a full understanding of Durkheim's thought.’ - AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW. This famous study of the development of socialism, by the greatest of French sociologists, continues to be a rich source of insight into both socialist thought and Durkheim's theories. This important and influential work treats socialism in its most dynamic sense: as a social and moral philosophy, a way of life and thought. It provides a useful perspective on the nature of socialist thought before Lenin, carefully defining the differences between communism and socialism. This first English translation of Le Socialisme reveals Saint-Simon's profound influence upon the author's thinking. Durkheim devotes a major part of the book to an examination of the doctrines of this early nineteenth-century socialist, the common ancestor of such notable theorists as Comte, Marx, and the author himself.


Durkheim EmileDavid Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology. Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. His first major sociological work was The Division of Labor in Society (1893). In 1895, he published his Rules of the Sociological Method and set up the first European department of sociology, becoming France's first professor of sociology. In 1898, he established the journal L'Année Sociologique. Durkheim's seminal monograph, Suicide (1897), a study of suicide rates in Catholic and Protestant populations, pioneered modern social research and served to distinguish social science from psychology and political philosophy. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), presented a theory of religion, comparing the social and cultural lives of aboriginal and modern societies. Durkheim was also deeply preoccupied with the acceptance of sociology as a legitimate science. He refined the positivism originally set forth by Auguste Comte, promoting what could be considered as a form of epistemological realism, as well as the use of the hypothetico-deductive model in social science. For him, sociology was the science of institutions if this term is understood in its broader meaning as ‘beliefs and modes of behaviour instituted by the collectivity’ and its aim being to discover structural social facts. Durkheim was a major proponent of structural functionalism, a foundational perspective in both sociology and anthropology. In his view, social science should be purely holistic;] that is, sociology should study phenomena attributed to society at large, rather than being limited to the specific actions of individuals. He remained a dominant force in French intellectual life until his death in 1917, presenting numerous lectures and published works on a variety of topics, including the sociology of knowledge, morality, social stratification, religion, law, education, and deviance. Durkheimian terms such as ‘collective consciousness‘ have since entered the popular lexicon. YASH NANDAN received his Ph.D. from the Sorbonne for work done under the direction of Raymond Aron and Francois Bourricaud, and has taught at Rider College since 1974. Nandan will soon co-edit a new journal, Cahiers Durkheimiens, devoted to the work of Emile Durkheim.





Garro, Elena. Recollections of Things To Come. Austin. 1969. University of Texas Press. 0292784090. Illustrated by Alberto Beltran. Translated from the Spanish by Ruth L. C. Simms. Texas Pan American Series. 289 pages. hardcover. Cover art by Alberto Beltran. 




RECOLLECTIONS OF THINGS TO COME is a first novel - but the reader forgets this after a very few pages, because it is also, as John Brushwood says in Mexico in Its Novel, ‘mature, profound, sensitive, and written with professional assurance that is apparent from beginning to end.’ Octavio Paz, the internationally recognized poet and critic, has called it ‘truly an extraordinary work, one of the most perfect creations in contemporary Latin American literature.’ The setting of Recollections is the small Mexican town of Ixtepec; the time is during the cristero revolts that broke out in the latter part of the 1920’s. The town has been occupied by General Francisco Rosas and his troops, and when Rosas orders the closing of the church, the ensuing struggle-often clandestine-of the townspeople against the government forces leads to a climactic series of tragic events. Closely interwoven with the main narrative are the stories of Rosas and his mistress Julia, the Moncada and Meléndez families, the amiable lunatic Juan Cariño, and other vividly realized characters. Miss Garro creates scene after scene with a realism that can range from starkness to almost lyrical evocation. Now and then she introduces an element of outright fantasy, but with such skill that it never seems out of keeping with the overall tone of the novel. These realities and unrealities are expressively suggested by the thirty illustrations which Alberto Beltrán, the well-known Mexican artist, has prepared for this translation.


Garro ElenaElena Garro (December 11, 1920 – August 22, 1998) was a Mexican writer. She was once married to writer Octavio Paz. Elena Garro was born to a Spanish father and a Mexican mother on December 11, 1920 in Puebla, Mexico. (Birth Certificate says ‘11 Diciembre de PROX. Pasado,’ which means Dec. 11, 1916: She spent her childhood in Mexico City but moved to Iguala, Guerrero, during the Cristero War. She studied literature, choreography and theater in the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. While she lived in Mexico City she met Octavio Paz, whom she married in 1937. They had one daughter, Helena, but divorced in 1959. However, according to her final will, Elena died without knowing she was divorced. After the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre, she accused certain Mexican intellectuals of being responsible of instigating the students and later abandoning them. These accusations caused resentment in the intellectual community who repudiated her. In 1972, Garro left the country and lived in exile in France for twenty years. She suffered from lung cancer due to smoking and Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (CONACULTA) covered her medical expenses. She later died from this illness. Her work touches on the themes of the marginalization of women and racism. Most important was her criticism of the Mexican government. She also portrayed a critical vision of the Mexican Revolution (1910) in her master novel ‘Los recuerdos del porvenir’ (1963), which was awarded the Xavier Villarutia Prize, and which has been translated into several languages. Her novel ‘Y Matarazo no llamó . . . ‘ criticizes how the government used excessive force to stop the labor strike. In her short story, ‘La culpa es de los tlaxcaltecas,’ she vindicates la Malinche. Her play ‘Felipe Angeles’ is a documentary drama where she resurrects the General Felipe Angeles, a revolutionary leader who was executed in 1919 by the government of Venustiano Carranza] against the will of the people. This was a result of his success in saving the lives of many people in Chihuahua, when Pancho Villa ordered the execution of one hundred soldiers. He is also known for his triumph in Zacatecas. Angeles fought against the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz with Francisco Madero, president of Mexico who was also assassinated.





Berend, Ivan T.. A Century of Populist Demagogues: Eighteen European Portraits, 1918–2018. Budapest. 2020. Central European University Press. 9789633863336. 320 pages. paperback.

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The renowned historian Ivan Berend discusses populist demagoguery through the presentation of 18 politicians from 12 European countries from World War I to the present. In this book, Berend defines demagoguery, reflects on its connections with populism, and examines the common features and differences in the demagogues' programs and language. Mussolini and Hitler, the "model demagogues," are only briefly discussed, as is the election of Donald Trump in the United States and its impact on Europe. The 18 detailed portraits include two communists, two fascists, and several rightwing and anti-EU politicians. The series runs from Bela Kun, the leader of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, through Codreanu and Gombos from the 1930s, Stahremberg and Haider in Austria, Ceausescu, Milosevic, Tudjman, Izetbegovic, Berlusconi, Wilders, the two Le Pens, Farage and Boris Johnson, Orban and the two Kaczynskis. Each case includes an analysis of the time and place and is illustrated with quotations from the demagogues' speeches. This book is a warning about the continuing threat of populist demagogues both for their subjects and for history itself. Berend insists on the crucial importance for Europe to understand the reality behind their promises and persuasive language in order to impede their success.


Berend Ivan TIvan T. Berend is Distinguished Professor at the University of California Los Angeles, Director of the Center for European and Eurasian Studies, and one of the masterminds of regime change in Hungary.








Walrond, Eric. Winds Can Wake Up the Dead: An Eric Walrond Reader. Detroit. 1998. Wayne State University Press. 9780814327098. African American Life Series. Edited by Louis J. Parascandola. 350 pages. paperback. Cover photo - Port Maria Market, St. Mary, Jamaica. Cover design by S.R. Tenenbaum. 


9780814327098FROM THE PUBLISHER -


Eric Walrond (1898-1966), a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro Movement, is a seminal writer of Black diasporic life, but much of his work is not readily available. This new anthology brings together a broad sampling of Walrond's writings, including not only selections from his celebrated Tropic Death (1926) but also other stories, essays, and reviews. Born in British Guiana in 1898 and raised in Barbados and Panama, Walrond arrived in the U.S. in 1918 when the wave of West Indian immigrants was reaching its peak. He worked as an editor for Marcus Garvey's Negro Worm and Charles S. Johnson's Opportunity but moved on to Europe after ten years. This anthology retraces Walrond's migratory life by focusing on key periods of his work. Examples of his apprentice writing document his early encounters with racial prejudice and his ambivalence toward the Garveyites, while a second section focuses on his involvement with the New Negro Movement and reflects both his emphasis on racial pride and interest in literary aesthetics. A third section contains impressionistic stories from Tropic Death, which vividly depicts the lives and culture of Caribbean Blacks and still holds a unique place in Black literature. A final section samples Walrond's work from England, much of it unknown today, where he continued to write on the themes of migration, discrimination, and racial pride until his death in London in 1966. Louis J. Parascandola's introduction to the collection provides the most complete description to date of Walrond's life and work. It brings together previously undocumented biographical information that situates him in the context of his times, and it offers both an overview and a renewed appreciation of his writings. This book restores Walrond to his proper place in the history of African American and Caribbean literature and is an essential reader for students of Black culture.


Walrond EricEric Walrond (December 18, 1898 - August 8, 1966) born in Georgetown, British Guiana, in 1898, was the son of a Barbadian mother and a Guyanese father. His first eight years were spent in Guiana. But his parents’ marital difficulties led Walrond into an almost wayfaring existence. In 1906, his father abandoned Walrond and his mother. His mother moved the two of them to a small village in Barbados to live with their relatives. Walrond began his education in Barbados at St. Stephen’s Boys’ School, located in Black Rock. Around 1910, Walrond and his mother traveled in search of his father to the Panama Canal Zone, where thousands of west Indians and Guyanese were employed to dig the canal. Walrond and his mother never found his father and they made a home in Colon. It is in Colon where Walrond completed his public and secondary school education between 1913 and 1916. During his education in Colon, Walrond was exposed to the Spanish culture and became bilingual. Around this time he was trained as a secretary and stenographer, and acquired a job as a clerk in the Health Department of the Canal commission at Cristobal. Through the years 1916 and 1918 he began a journalistic career which he pursued while in the United States. Walrond worked as a general reporter, court reporter, and sportswriter for the Panama Star-Herald, ‘the most important contemporaneous newspaper in the American tropics.’ Walrond was also associated with the Harlem Renaissance. In the early 1920s he published short stories in periodicals such as the Opportunity, Smart Set, and Vanity Fair. In 1923, he wrote ‘On Being a Domestic,’ ‘Miss Kenny’s Marriage,’ ‘The Stone Rebounds,’ and ‘The Stone Rebounds.’ Walrond’s stories focused on a realistic presentation of racial situations in New York City. In 1924 he focused on a more impressionistic presentation of life in the American tropics. He did not return to the realistic form of writing until 1927, when he wrote ‘City Love,’ which is the last story he published before he left the United States. His works include - ‘On Being Black’ (1922); ‘On being a Domestic,’ ‘Miss Kenny’s Marriage,’ ‘The Stone Rebounds,’ ‘Cynthia Goes to the Prom,’ ‘The New Negro Faces America,’ ‘The Negro Exodus from the South’ (1923); ‘Vignettes of the Dusk,’ ‘The Black City’ (1924); ‘A Cholo Romance,’ ‘Imperator Africanus, Marcus Garvey: Menace or Promise?’ (1925); Tropic Death (1926); ‘City Love’ (1927).





Kavan, Anna. The House of Sleep. Garden City. 1947. Doubleday. 223 pages. hardcover. 


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This is writing which probes far into the mysterious world of dreams and night shadows. It is the story of a girl who has rejected normal relationships for what seemed to her the greater realities - a borderline world she inhabits at night. Exploring this new world of symbols she relives parts of her past life: Her childhood and the mother who died when she was young: Herr relations with her father who was always too busy to answer the questions she was afraid to ask; Her days at school when she found herself unable to accept authority; The stupidity of the family doctor who was not equipped to understand or prescribe a cure for her problems; Her days at the university where people were kinder to her, but where she was unable to accept friends because she had grown to mistrust all kindness. Anna Kavan is acknowledged in England as one of the most significant writers of her generation. As a lay worker in the field of mental illness, she speaks from something very akin to personal experience.


Kavan AnnaAnna Kavan (10 April 1901-5 December 1968; born Helen Emily Woods) was a British novelist, short story writer and painter. Kavan was addicted to heroin for most of her adult life, a dependency which was generally undetected by her associates, and for which she made no apologies. She is popularly supposed to have died of a heroin overdose. In fact she died of heart failure, though she had attempted suicide several times during her life. An inveterate traveler, Kavan spent twenty-two months of World War II in New Zealand, and it was that country's proximity to the inhospitable frozen landscape of Antarctica that inspired the writing of ICE. This post-apocalyptic novel brought critical acclaim, earning Kavan the Brian Aldiss Science Fiction Book of the Year award in 1967, the year before Kavan's death. She died at her home in Kensington on 5 December 1968.





Holloway, Ariel Williams. Shape Them Into Dreams: Poems. New York. 1955. Exposition Press.  48 pages. hardcover.


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Ariel Williams Holloway published poems in both journals and anthologies, but this is her only volume of published verse.


Holloway Ariel WilliamsAriel Williams Holloway (March 3, 1905 –January 3, 1973) was an African-American poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Holloway was born Lucy Ariel Williams in Mobile, Alabama. Her mother was Fannie Brandon, a teacher and choir singer, and her father was Dr. H. Roger Williams, a physician and pharmacist. She studied at Emerson Institute, Mobile and graduated from Talladega College in 1922. She earned a B.A. in Music at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee (1926), after which she went on to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, from which she received another B.A. in Music with a major in piano and a minor in voice (1928). During the summers, Williams continued her musical studies with bandleader Fred Waring and at Columbia University. In 1936 she married Joaquin M. Holloway, a postal worker, with whom she had a son, Joaquin Jr., the following year. She preferred not to use her first name and was known professionally first as Ariel Williams and later as Ariel Williams Holloway. Williams's ambition was to be a concert pianist but lack of opportunities drove her into teaching music. She began her teaching career as director of music at North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham (1926–32) and subsequently taught at Dunbar High School in Mobile (1932–36), at Fessenden Academy in Florida (1936–37), and at Lincoln Academy in Kings Mountain, North Carolina (1938–39). In 1939, Williams became the first supervisor of music in the Mobile public school system, a job she held until her death in 1973. Ariel Williams Holloway Elementary School in Mobile was named in her honor. Between 1926 and 1935, Williams published five poems in Opportunity, one of the leading journals of the Harlem Renaissance, and other poems in Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races. She also published a single volume of verse, Shape Them into Dreams (Exposition Press, 1955). "Northboun'," a short poem in dialect about the Great Migration, has been called her "signature poem" and "one of the best poems of the period." "Northboun'" won an important prize in Opportunity (where it was first published in 1926) and has been collected in several anthologies, including Golden Slippers (1941), edited by Harlem Renaissance poets Countee Cullen and Arna Bontemps, and Lorraine E. Roses and Ruth E. Randolph's Harlem's Glory: Black Women Writing, 1900-1950 (Harvard University Press, 1996).






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