Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday Morning Book Club

There's a terrific bookstore, in my area, that not only stocks excellent, current political titles, (with a liberal bent) but also has many of the authors of those books come and speak live. There may be a bookstore near you that does the same, if not, you should encourage them to invite authors to speak publically. It's a great draw for their store, and it brings like-minded "liberal" people together in an intellectually-stoked atmosphere.

Here are some of the books, and their authors, who are coming to my local bookstore in September. These books are worth checking out even if you can't come and hear the author's speak about them.

The following descriptions were put together by the great folks at Black Oak Books. The appearance information listed with each entry regards when they'll be at Black Oak Books in Berkeley, California. But you needn't be from Northern California to read on so please do....

All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity by Robert Fuller.
Appearing Wednesday September 6, 2006 at 7:30pm
Robert Fuller has been a professor of physics at Columbia University, President of Oberlin College, and a citizen diplomat who worked with Jimmy Carter on the problem of world hunger. In recent years he has been writing about the abuse of rank in society, the ways in which people misuse their places in hierarchies for personal gain. He set out the general principles of ‘rankism’ in Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank, a book that has given us a more comprehensive way to talk about the diffuse manifestations of social injustice, an idea of unfairness that includes but is not limited to discriminations based on race, sex, age, and class. His new book, All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies and the Politics of Dignity, proposes a progressive political movement based on overcoming rankism and insuring the dignity of every member of society.

Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class by Thom Hartmann
Appearing Saturday September 16, 2006 6:00PM.
The American middle class is in economic and political decline. People who put in a solid day's work can no longer afford to buy a house, send their kids to college, or even get sick. If you’re not a CEO, says Air America radio host Thom Hartmann, you’re probably screwed. In Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class—And What We Can Do About It, Hartmann shows that this decline is no accident. He argues that under the guise of “freeing the market” conservative and corporate forces are waging a covert war against the middle class by dismantling policies like Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, and fair labor laws — the very safeguards that foster economic opportunity and citizen engagement.

Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney by Peter Phillips, Dennis Loo, and other contributors.
Appearing Saturday September 23, 2006 7:30PM
Peter Phillips, Dennis Loo, Judith Volkart, Kevin Wehr, and other contributors talk about Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney. In the face of what the writers in this book consider the extraordinary and unprecedented threat the White House and its allies present to civil liberties, civil rights, the Constitution, international law, and the future of the planet, America needs, they tell us, to immediately pursue a drastically different political direction. Impeach the President raises a general outcry against the current presidential administration. It includes a striking introduction by Howard Zinn, and contributions from writers such as Dahr Jamail, Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler, Brendan Smith, Larry Everest, Greg Palast , Nancy Snow, Barbara J. Bowley, Mark Crispin Miller, Richard Heinberg, Lyn Duff, Dennis Bernstein, Bridget Thornton, Lew Brown, Andrew Sloan, Cynthia Boaz, and Michael Nagler.

9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out Edited by David Ray Griffin andPeter Dale Scott
Appearing Sunday September 24, 2006 7:00PM at Martin Luther King School, 1781 Rose Street in North Berkeley. Tickets ($15 advance, $20 at the door) available at Bay Area bookstores, and KPFA radio station.
“9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out”: David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Peter Phillips, Ray McGovern (host), and Kevin Ryan. Polls show that as the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches a large number of Americans distrust the U.S. government’s official version of events. A recent Zogby poll showed that more than half of Americans distrust the official account, and 42% believe there has been a cover-up. The same poll showed that 55% were unsatisfied by media coverage of 9/11. “9/11 was not only the largest and least-investigated homicide in American history but perhaps also the largest hoax, with extremely fateful consequences for human civilization as a whole. If our educational community cannot address this issue, then it risks remaining merely ‘academic’ in the worst sense of that term.”—David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott.

Mecca and Main Street: Being Muslim in America After 9/11 by Genieve Abdo
Appearing Friday September 29, 2006 7:30PM.
There are currently over six million Muslims in America, and Islam is this country’s fastest growing religion. Yet there is a great deal of misunderstanding and suspicion of Muslims in the United States, especially since September 11, 2001, when many Americans came to wrongly believe, explicitly or implicitly, that America and the West were at war with Islam. Genieve Abdo, the Liaison for the Alliance of Civilizations at the U.N. and a recognized authority on Islamic political movements, has written a study of the Muslim community in the United States. In Mecca and Main Street: Being Muslim in America After 9/11 she visited schools, radio stations, community centers, homes, and mosques, and got candid, detailed views of how Muslims feel about being Americans and about being perceived as enemies in the current “war on terror.” She discovered that young Muslims are no longer identifying themselves by their family’s countries of origins, nor even primarily as Americans; rather, they are increasingly prone to see themselves as members of the universal faith of Islam.

Diplomacy Lessons: Realism for an Unloved Superpower by John Brady Kiesling
Appearing Saturday September 30, 2006 7:30PM.
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, will introduce career diplomat John Brady Kiesling, who resigned from the Foreign Service in 2003 to protest the U.S. invasion of Iraq and other aspects of American foreign policy under the Bush administration. Kiesling was at the time of his resignation five years short of his full pension. His resignation letter was printed in newspapers around the world, and became widely enough known to appear as part of a trivia question in The New Yorker. He will talk about his book Diplomacy Lessons: Realism for an Unloved Superpower in which he uses personal experience to explain the realities of the diplomatic process. The book is dedicated to aspiring foreign service officers, but should be read by anyone with an interest in world affairs. "America is an all-too-human superpower. We tend to confuse self-serving fantasies with the real world, and we are powerful enough to make those fantasies seem plausible until enough innocent people have died. Then we wake up ... usually." -- John Brady Kiesling.

So, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area you may like to attend one or more of these talks at Black Oak Books in Berkeley. And if your local bookstore doesn't stock these books, get down there and ask them to before you consider buying them from red Amazon Books.


Blogger Manifest Dignity said...

Hi, EmilyD -

Were you at Bob Fuller's talk? I wish you had introduced yourself! :-)

9:10 AM  
Blogger Emily Duffy said...

Hello Manifest Dignity,

Unfortunately I was unable to attend Fuller's talk due to my workload planning the upcoming San Francisco Bay Area ArtCar Fest. Please tell, what kind of crowd showed up, what did Fuller talk about (aside from the obvious) and what struck you most about the evening? Inquiring minds really do want to know. Thanks.

11:42 AM  

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