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Back You are here: Home Reviews Books Recommended Reading September 2010

Recommended Reading September 2010

BookgenericBe inspired, motivated, challenged and intrigued by this month's selection of books.

 







Tea Time with Terrorists
Mark Stephen Meadows
Soft Skull. Distributed in Australia through Scribo

TeatimeArmed with a map, a motorcycle, an infectious sense of humor, and a dim understanding of Sri Lanka’s war, author, artist, and adventurer Mark Stephen Meadows arrives in the country intending to have, as it were, afternoon tea with terrorists.

Figuring that the first step to solving a problem is understanding it, he journeys north into the warzone, interviewing terrorists, generals, and heroin dealers along the way.

He discovers an island of beauty and abundance ground down by three decades of war. As he travels north through Colombo, Kandy, and the damaged city of Jaffna, Meadows gives his riveting take on the war.

Known for child conscription and drawn out torture methods, he explains, the Tamil Tigers also invented suicide bombing and were the first to lace together terrorists and financiers into international networks of militant uprising.

In Sri Lanka, Meadows discovers a deep view into an ancient culture. Along the way, he learns to weave rope from coconut husks, cast out devils, and he actually has tea with a few terrorists.

This is the inspiring story of his journey and an enlightening meditation on the interconnectedness of globalization, the media, and modern terrorism.




The Moneyless Man
Mark Boyle
One World Publications. Distributed in Australia by Palgrave Macmillan

MoneylessImagine a year without spending or even touching money. Former businessman Mark Boyle did just that and here is his extraordinary story.

Going back to basics and following his own strict rules, Mark learned ingenious ways to eliminate his bills and flourish for free.

Encountering seasonal foods, solar panels, skill-swapping schemes, compost toilets and – the unthinkable – a cash-free Christmas, Boyle puts the fun into frugality and offers some great tips for economical (and environmentally friendly) living.

A testament to Mark’s astounding determination, this witty and heart-warming book will make you re-evaluate your relationship to your wallet.








Gaza: Morality, Law and Politics
Raimond Gaita (editor)
UWA Press

GazaIn Gaza: Morality, Law and Politics, Raimond Gaita brings together a thought-provoking collection of essays by public intellectuals on the subject of conflict.

The book is a companion to a series of lectures of the same name held in 2009 at the Australian Catholic University.

Following the Israeli Army invasion of the Gaza strip, Australians are left with questions of law, morality and politics; a minefield of ethical dilemmas to challenge the moral code we live by.

Among the contributors are Mark Baker, Gerri Simpson, Ghassan Hage and Geoffrey Levey and Raimond Gaita - historians, international law experts, an anthropologist and a political scientist.

This is a book that explores nationalism, intractability, the point of no return and jurisdiction over war crimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War
Conor Foley
Verso. Distributed in Australia by Palgrave Macmillan

ThinblueThe idea that we should "do something" to help those suffering in far-off places is the main impulse driving those who care about human rights. Yet from Kosovo to Iraq, military interventions have gone disastrously wrong.

In this acclaimed book, Conor Foley explores how the doctrine of humanitarian intervention has been used to allow states to invade other nations in the name of human rights.

Drawing on his own experience of working in over a dozen conflict and post-conflict zones, Foley shows how the growing influence of international law has been used to override the sovereignty of the poorest countries in the world.

The Thin Blue Line describes how in the last twenty years humanitarianism has emerged as a multibillion dollar industry that has played a leading role in defining humanitarian crises, and shaping the foreign policy of Western governments and the United Nations.

Yet, too often, this has been informed by myths and assumptions that rest on an ill-informed post-imperial arrogance.

Movements set up to show solidarity with the powerless and dispossessed have ended up betraying them instead.




The Coming of the Body
Hervé Juvin
Verso. Distributed in Australia by Palgrave Macmillan

ComingbodyA compelling analysis of how capitalism has given birth to the new sculpted, engineered and pleasure-seeking body.

In this startling new work, Hervé Juvin argues that the demographic transformation of the West, with the spectacular extension of life expectancy over the 20th century, has given birth to a new body—a machine for pleasure that is an end to itself, conquering need, suffering and time.

But Juvin’s central message turns on a sinister paradox: what communism set out to do, and disastrously failed to achieve, capitalism is in the process of realizing—and democracy will offer no protection.

The wildest of all the utopian dreams of past revolutions is now taking shape before our eyes: the discredited messianic notion that humanity can be recreated in a new form is finally being realized.






Why We Hate the Oil Companies
John Hofmeister
Palgrave Macmillan

OilAs president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister was known for being a straight shooter, willing to challenge his peers throughout the industry.

Now, he's a man on a mission, the founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, crisscrossing the US in a grassroots campaign to change the way the country looks at energy.

While others scaremonger, offer false new promises of green energy independence, or flatly deny the existence of a problem, Hofmeister offers an insider's view of what's behind the energy companies' posturing, and how politicians use energy misinformation, disinformation, and lack of information to get and stay elected.

He tackles the energy controversy head-on, without regard for political correctness.

He also provides a new framework for solving issues that have seemed insoluble, identifying solutions that will lead to a future of comfortable lifestyles, affordable and clean energy, environmental protection and sustained economic competitiveness.

 

Books selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.

For details of where to send review copies, click on the Contact menu.

 

 

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