Mat Ward takes a look back at January's political news and the best new albums that related to it.
“Not of sound mind when I committed me crime, some said. Others... I'd orchestrated the whole damm thing. On reflection, I do ask meself… Was I morally or legally responsible for what I had done? You see, I never set out to harm anyone, but simply to remind the British empire dat as an Irishman... I wasn't about to stand idle and watch as me fellow countrymen were being hanged for defending their own country.”
So wrote Henry James O'Farrell, an alleged Irish Fenian (as 19th century Irish revolutionaries were known), who made a failed assassination attempt on Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Sydney on March 12, 1868.
At the height of the US invasion of Vietnam, about 500,000 United States military personnel were involved in the conflict. Of those, more than 50,000 lost their lives — and the US lost the war.
Two new books illustrate the enormous breadth, depth and courage of the soldier (GI) movement against the war.
Waging Peace in Vietnam is an ideological hand grenade thrown at the war mongers. Winter Warrior, for its part, uses a graphic, comic-book style to show the terrible personal cost inflicted on at least one anti-war Vet.
The winter of humankind draws near
Science has spoken in alarm
The day may be warm, unseasonal
Land whips at our faces
Too spoiled to take root
For all the rot we fed it
The well of life ran dry
As the last drop fell from our swollen lips
Our gods of gold had fallen short
Adorned in accolades we buried them too
Perhaps one day another kind
Will unveil our bones of mystery
On what was once such fertile ground
Should they enquire
How we never grew to regard our limits
Directed by Jay Roach
Staring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman & Margot Robbie
In cinemas now
Nominated for three Oscars, this powerful drama is based on the real-life sexual harassment scandal and the women who brought down Roger Ailes, the infamous head and creator of Fox News, laying the foundations for the Me Too and Time's Up movements that were to come.
Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle 2nd Ed.
Edited by Charlie Fox, Alexis Vassiley, Bobbie Oliver & Lenore Layman
Interventions Inc., 2019
462 pages, pb
Following the success of the first edition of Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle in 2017, the editors heeded calls for the anthology to publish a second, more updated edition.The editors made several very apparent changes from the first edition.
While the rise of the Chinese economy has often been touted as a miracle, many economists have pointed out some alarming risks.
limate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at seven new titles for an ecosocialist bookshelf.
No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
By Greta Thunberg
Allen Lane/Penguin Books, 2019
On August 20, 2018, rather than go to school, Greta Thunberg sat outside the Swedish parliament to protest inaction on climate change. The then-15-year-old Swedish school student had with her some flyers and a hand-painted wooden sign that read Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate).
Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society: The Life of Karl Marx and the Development of His Work
Volume 1: 1818-1841
By Michael Heinrich
Monthly Review Press, 2019
390 pp., $46.00
In the opening lines of this book Michael Heinrich quotes from an 1868 letter in which Karl Marx mentions a publisher’s request for a biography. “Not only did I not send one”, said Marx, “I did not even reply to the letter.”