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Archive for 'Book Review'

Jamie Bartlett: The Dark Net

The Dark Net opens with an account of a chilling website, ‘Assassination Market’.  Here you are invited to predict the time of death of well known public figures, with the promise of a cash jackpot if you guess right. But – would it just be a guess?
Much else lurks in the underbelly of the Net, [...]

On Slave Reparations: A response to Boonin: 2. Recipients and beneficiaries

This is the second post in a series of three responding to the arguments made in favour of reparations for slavery by David Boonin in his book, Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions. The first post can be seen here.
As I commented in my last post, Boonin argues that “the U.S government has [...]

On Slave Reparations: A response to Boonin: 1. Causation

In 2011 Cambridge University Press published philosopher David Boonin’s book, Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions. Chapters 2 and 3 of the book deal with the idea that America owes slave reparations to its black population. In 2001 the conservative commentator David Horowitz wrote Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea [...]

A journey through Twenty-First Century antisemitism

Review by Karl Pfeifer
Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism, by Ben Cohen
This well-edited volume contains selected thought-provoking articles by Ben Cohen, written in this century. His subject is the crude, violent “Bierkeller” antisemitism and the polite, modulated, ostensibly reasonable antisemitism, called nowadays “anti-Zionism” and so often expressed in the “progressive” [...]

Mao’s Murders

The most memorable historical book I have read in the last few years is Frank Dikötter’s Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62 about the manmade famine responsible for tens of millions of deaths in Communist China. (I reviewed the book here).  Dikötter has recently had published the prequel: The Tragedy [...]

Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon

Guest post by Karl Pfeifer
Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon by Clemens Heni sets out to analyze the trivialization of the Holocaust and in many cases the cosmopolitan character of anti-Zionism in the age of resurgent Islamism. Heni shows how old antisemitic assertions and insinuations are being reinvigorated while Jews, once again, are set up as scapegoats [...]

“I am going to annihilate you”: Five Books on Marx and Marxists

This is a cross post from Under the Ocular Tree.
Phil at A Very Public Sociologist reminds us that Sunday would have been Karl Marx’s 195th birthday. This, he believes, is something well worthwhile commemorating. The way he has done so is to list his five favourite books on Marx and Marxism.  He challenges us to also [...]

Lenny’s Lexicon

On his own blog Richard Seymour uses the nom de plume, “Lenin.” Because I do not think he would have the guts to murder as many people as his hero, I prefer the nickname “Lenny.”
I have previously mentioned that his recent book, The Trial of Christopher Hitchens, is not worth reviewing. It has been reviewed elsewhere. What is [...]

When Rushdie-bashing was in fashion

From Paul Berman’s essay/review in The New Republic of Salman Rushdie’s memoir Joseph Anton, on the years immediately following the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death because of the alleged blasphemy of his novel The Satanic Verses:
Huge portions of the British press turned against Rushdie and went on speaking contemptuously of him for many [...]

The Iranian Nuclear Programme

Book Review:
David Patrikarakos, Nuclear Iran: The Birth of an Atomic State, (I.B. Tauris, 2012) 368pp. £25.00. (£17.50 via Amazon)
The problem with the debate about Iran’s nuclear programme is that it is largely ideological, and, what is worse, Manichean: either bomb Iran, or, do anything but bomb Iran. The facts about of the Iranian nuclear [...]