Culture

American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes & Trial of Patty Hearst
Jeffrey Toobin
Profile Books, 2017, 371 pages

“Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people.” With this hyperbolic declaration by “General Field Marshall” Cinque M’tume (the nom-de-plume of a Black prison escapee), the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) introduced itself to the American people in the early 1970s.

Within 100 years, many of our cities will become uninhabitable, submerged under oceans or deadly hot. Food will be more difficult to grow. Storms will become more violent. The gentle planet we’ve known will be no more.

That’s hard to wrap one’s brain around. Some turn to faith, others despair.

Here are the best new albums that related to this month's politics. (There are actually far more than 10 - count them). What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers & Each Other
Matthew Sweet
Picador, 2018, 351 pages

More than 60 international NGOs have added their voices in protest against the plan to hold the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this year. They are now part of what is quickly becoming an international campaign by civil society groups seeking to move the event, which is scheduled for May, from Israel.

Campaigners for gay, lesbian and transgender rights have urged a boycott of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May.

Roma
Written & directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Starring Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira
In cinemas now

Roma is the latest film by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, who came to international prominence with his 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien.

This allowed him to break into the world of bigger budget, English-language films, directing Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013) which won seven Academy Awards including best director.

Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet
By Yasha Levine
Icon Books, £14.99

As accusations continue to swirl through social media around foreign meddling in Britain’s Brexit referendum and the last US election, Yasha Levine’s Surveillance Valley is a timely intervention in revealing how undermining democracy has always been the modus operandi of the internet since its inception.

Vice
Written and directed by Adam McKay
Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell
In cinemas now

Vice is a worthily acerbic assault on the life and times of former US vice-president Dick Cheney, writes Alan Frank.

Given the all-too-frequent off-the-wall activities of the current haystack-haired White House occupant, writer-director Adam McKay deserves praise for lifting the spirits somewhat with this cruelly satirical portrait of former US vice-president Dick Cheney.

Against Charity
By Daniel Raventos & Julie Wark
AK Press, 2018
294 pages, $16.95

One often hears that we should “give to charity”. Is this a good idea? Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark wrote their view in Against Charity. Admittedly, the title is a give-away.

Charities aren’t new, but in modern capitalist societies, many states have legislated to regulate charities. In this way, “the crumbs from the rich man’s table can safely be given to the poor”.

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