Tag Archives: Books

Unesco releases its World Digital Library

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In order to make the isolation recommendations more bearable, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  (Unesco)  released the acquis and in multilingual format from its World Digital Library. Continue reading

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Free public books database

When I try and find online publications of hard-to-find, old or expensive books that I can download, I go to archive.org. Now, the Public Books Database is cataloging titles of academic presses (mainly US), Continue reading

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The trouble with ‘preventing Palestine’

Seth Anziska’s book on the Arab-Israeli “peace process” is a useful primer on the conflict, but it does not fully examine the paradox of the Carter administration’s solution that we are still living with, argues AS’AD ABUKHALIL*

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Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, left, and U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezinski play chess at Camp David, September 9, 1978 | CIA

A new book by Seth Anziska, titled “Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo” created quite a buzz before its official release in late 2018. The writer had mentioned it in press articles and noted that he had unearthed important documents. The book, however, is not as firm in its Palestinian advocacy as has been assumed by supporters of the cause who have praised it on social media and in reviews. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Edna Barker (1952-2019)

Edna Jean Barker

Edna Barker (1952-2019), Toronto Small Press Book Fair, June 19, 2010 | Photo by Don McLeod

Wordsmith, editor, sister, friend

Edna died on April 24, 2019 of assisted suicide, ending years struggling with a rare form of dementia that gradually robbed her of her vision, language and cognitive skills, and her ability to ride her beloved bike. Edna was my proofreading boss at Harlequin Books in 1976-77 and my good friend for 43 years. She was one of 26 co-founders of FEAC, now Editors Canada, in 1979, serving as secretary and advocate. She also advocated for Casey House and gay rights. Few realized how many dying friends with AIDs she cared for over the years. She advocated building more bike lanes, public libraries, and small houses, like the 12 that she’d owned and renovated on an editor’s salary. The best was the union hall on Barker Avenue, which she turned into a studio/home, and its backyard, into a big vegetable garden. Continue reading

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Designed to fail: American aggression in Afghanistan

In 2003 I attended a hearing on Afghanistan at the US Senate. During the hearing, at which a serving general and a few other experts were giving their testimony, the then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, leaned forward and said something to the effect of, “I’ve always felt that rather than sending 100,000 troops to Iraq, we should have sent 25,000 troops to Waziristan instead.” Continue reading

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Anna Burns may have won the Booker, but monopoly publishers are the real victors

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This day. Jean-Paul Sartre rejects the Nobel Prize

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Jean-Paul Sartre (centre) dining in Paris with filmmaker Claude Lanzmann (left) and Simone de Beauvoir in 1964 | Bettmann/Corbis

On October 10, 1964, the French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre rejected the Nobel Prize for literature. Continue reading

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Killing Yasser Arafat: Mossad propaganda in the New York Times

By As’ad AbuKhalil

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, 75, who was declared dead in a Paris hospital November 10, 2004 in murky circumstances. Painting by Ismail Shammout

“How Arafat Eluded Israel’s Assassination Machine,” the story in the New York Times, which is part of a book which has come out, is a typical Mossad planted story in the U.S. media. Notice that there is an attempt to show that humanitarian consideration went into planning to kill Arafat.

The most fervent effort by Israel to kill Arafat was in the summer of 1982 during the savage siege of Beirut. As I lived those times, I remember how whole apartment buildings would be bombed by concussion bombs from the air ON THE SUSPICION that Arafat was in the building. Continue reading

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This Day. Year of Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) |RIA Novosti:Guriyano)

(April 8, 2018) – Recently, Russia solemnly celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Battle of Stalingrad. The year of the anniversary of this victory is declared the year of Solzhenitsyn. In a country where the Great Victory is celebrated, there should be no honour to a person, to the one who spat on this victory without shame. But now in power is the oligarchy, for which there is nothing sacred, except for its own profits and power. Therefore, another important anniversary fell under an unofficial ban, was in the information blockade. Continue reading

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Centenary of the Halifax Explosion: Time to disturb the sleep of the unjust

Act of God, the harbour pilot, the navy?

The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue

John Griffith Armstrong
(Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002)
Hardcover, 256 pp, 6 x 9 inches, 16 b/w photos, maps
Index, Bibliography and Chapter end-notes
ISBN 0-7748-0890-X
$39.95
New in Paperback: July, 2003
ISBN 0774808918 $24.95 Continue reading

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How imperial Britain promoted religion to stymie Palestinian nationalism

By SARAH IRVING*

Islam Under the Palestine Mandate: Colonialism and the Supreme Muslim Council, Nicholas E. Roberts, I.B.Tauris (2017)

In the dangerous and inaccurate popular narratives on Palestine, religion – a black-and-white tale of Islam versus Judaism – is often given priority of importance. Religious identities are taken as the simple, unquestioned driving force behind the actions of Palestinians throughout history.

A closer look, of course, reveals the flaws in this image. During the Ottoman period, the people of Palestine might have been more likely to identify themselves in terms of their family, neighbourhood, city or profession, depending on which identity the situation called for at a particular time. Continue reading

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How Britain brought waterboarding to Palestine

British forces who served in Ireland during its war of independence were later sent to Palestine | National Library of Ireland/Flickr

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Cuba’s Internet bazaar – multimedia, audiovisuals, e-books

CUBA’S Information Technology and Advanced Electronic Services Enterprise, Citamel, has recently announced the addition of nine new audiovisuals to its multimedia products catalogue of CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, e-books and downloadable documents, available for sale on it internet website, Bazar Cuba.

This electronic sales outlet allows for the acquisition of a great variety of Cuban products via the Internet, and its multimedia offerings, grouped in eight thematic categories, have been very well-received, according to the company. Continue reading

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Book Review – Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and Diaspora, 1919-1939

Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism(From our archives: originally published on May 25, 2014) – This ground-breaking book, based on research undertaken in the archives of the Comintern in Moscow as well as archives in France, Britain, the US and West Africa, documents the activities of the Communist International in relation to Africa and the African diaspora. It focuses on a period when the world was in flux, with inter-imperialist rivalry at its height, when African and Caribbean countries, amongst others, were under colonial domination. Black people in Africa, the Caribbean and other western countries were officially considered inferior, had few rights and racism was at the level of open state policy from so-called “Jim Crow” laws and lynching in the US, to pass laws and segregation in South Africa and the colour bar in Britain. Continue reading

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Atlas of Palestine 1917-1966

DR. SALMAN ABU SITTAPalestine is one of the most well-documented areas of the world. What makes The Atlas of Palestine — with 450 colour pages documenting 1,300 towns and villages and 20,000 place names, and ten years in preparation — so unique? | Interview with DR. SALMAN ABU SITTA*, al-majdal

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Nakba: The man reconstructing Palestine’s lost villages

Driven by a desire to return to his childhood village, Salman Abu Sitta is rebuilding the map of historic Palestine | VACY VLAZNA* Aljazeera

Abu Sitta has ensured that the keys to the Palestinians' stolen homes will inevitably reopen the never forgotten doors | Getty Images

Abu Sitta has ensured that the keys to the Palestinians’ stolen homes will inevitably reopen the never forgotten doors | Getty Images

Salman Abu Sitta was only 10 years old when the Nakba –  the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 – happened, forcing him from his home near Beersheba. Like many Palestinians of his generation, his traumatic loss and enduring desire to return would be the defining features of his life from that moment on. Continue reading

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The Arab Spring: US black ops and subversion

libya_nato_latuff_400Book review of Ahmed Bensaada, Arabesque$: Enquête sur le rôle des États-Unis dans les révoltes arabes (Investigation into the US Role in the Arab Uprisings) by Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall Continue reading

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The Case Against To Kill a Mockingbird

mockingbird down and outOn February 19, news agencies announced the death of the American author Harper Lee. The Toronto Star warmly eulogized a writer “whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, To Kill a Mockingbird, became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film.” Published in 1960, it received the Pulitzer Prize and George Bush awarded Lee the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony held at the White House. In 2015, fifty five years later, Robert Murdoch’s HarperCollins published Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, only her second novel but actually written prior to Mockingbird. Watchman sold more than 1 million copies and was described as “the fastest selling” book in HarperCollins’ history. It was called a “fraud” and an “epic money grab” in the New York Times.

In 1996, “intense community pressure” by the African Canadian community in Nova Scotia successfully managed to remove this and two other novels from the Department of Education’s list of recommended, authorized books. They meant that they could no longer be purchased from the provincial government.

In 2002, a committee consisting of parents and educators, seconded by members of the Black Educators’ Association (BEA), recommended that the book “be removed from school use altogether.” Further, the community courageously boycotted a theatrical production in Halifax on the basis that it did not reflect the black experience and falsified historical reality. Continue reading

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‘For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on The Western Front 1914-18’ by Shrabani Basu

Shrabani Basu is well-known for her book Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan, the story of heroic sacrifice and courage as an SOE agent in occupied Paris in the war against fascism and her cruel execution in a Nazi concentration camp in 1944. Subsequently Shrabani Basu founded the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust and successfully led a campaign to erect a bust of Noor in Gordon Square, London.

For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on The Western Front 1914-18 tells the stories of Indians in the service of the Crown in a very different war, in the appalling mass slaughter of millions as the Great Powers sought to redivide the world with crass disregard for the human cost. Continue reading

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In Memoriam – Donald Neff

An American journalist and historian erased from history for reporting on Palestine. ALISON WEIR*

Author, Journalist Donald Neff (1930-2015) | James Buckner

Author, Journalist Donald Neff (1930-2015) | James Buckner

One of the top journalists to report on Palestine-Israel has died.

Donald Neff passed away on May 10 in his hometown of York, Pennsylvania, at the age of 84. The cause of death was heart disease and diabetes.

Neff was a luminous writer and meticulous reporter. From humble beginnings, he had reached the top ranks of American journalism. When he then turned his formidable talents to writing books and articles about Palestine, his contracts with mainstream American publishers dried up, his income plummeted, and his fame faded. Continue reading

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Review of ‘The Nazis Next Door: How America Became A Safe Haven For Hitler’s Men’

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Krupp and GE: The conspiracy trial of 1947

GE-KRUPPINTRODUCTION: Imagine a film about the Holocaust that makes no mention of the forces that built the concentration camps or established Hitlerite Germany. Imagine living in a country 70 years later where these same forces are celebrated as “good corporate citizens” – honoured for “creating jobs?” Then imagine that  Continue reading

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James Risen’s book, Pay Any Price

Barrack Obama promised a “transparent” administration – but Americans did not know the transparency was a one-way street, letting the government look at the people, and concentrating executive power in the White House and a warmongering “commander-in-chief” as president; meanwhile, using coercive measures and disinformation to block the public’s ability to view issues objectively and work out solutions, a reality described in James Risen’s new book, reviewed by NORMAN SOLOMON.

james-risenNo single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price – the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the “war on terror.” Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity: focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive. Continue reading

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Salman Rushdie – An intellectual in the service of imperialist war

BIG POWERS intent on invading and waging war on a sovereign country or countries, in order to gain hegemony over a region of the world, must first create public opinion for so doing, including denigrating and demonising a whole people. Such was the role played by the writer Salman Rushdie with his book The Satanic Verses published in 1988, which insulted Islam and gravely disturbed and provoked its followers. What followed is justified and grotesquely glamorised in Rushdie’s latest book, Joseph Anton, an autobiographical work focussing on his decade under police protection, the title being his assumed name during that period. This new book is currently being massively promoted. Continue reading

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Dossier on Palestine – A Land, a People

Dossier-on-Palestine.coverA BOOK-LENGTH SPECIAL EDITION, Dossier on Palestine, from the editors of Nova Scotia’s Shunpiking magazine is already being acclaimed as the only publication of its kind in North America on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This original work is compiled with a host of excellent articles, ranging from up-to-date first person reporting from journalists, front-line doctors and activists to commentaries and in-depth essays on the situation. With unusual force and compelling effectiveness, this material brings stubborn fact and compassion at a decisive historical moment. Between its covers, a brilliantly diverse, enraging and engaging investigation of the latest Palestinian uprising unfolds, rich in essential insights. Continue reading

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