Ian Angus, editor of Climate and Capitalism, compiles a new list of essential readings for ecosocialists.
There are few things more restorative right now than reading the work of US fantasy and science fiction writer Ursula K Le Guin.
Her writing offers a temporary reprieve from the terrors and traumas of our current political moment of soaring wealth inequality, and the daily struggle to resist the belligerent menace of US President Donald Trump and the ruling class he serves.
The celebrated novelist who authored more than 20 novels, as well as collections of poetry and children’s books, passed away on January 22 aged 88.
Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle
Edited by Charlie Fox, Bobbie Oliver & Lenore Layman
Black Swan Press
Curtin University, 2017
283 pages, $30.00
When we think of Western Australia, we generally do not think about left-wing politics or radical actions. WA’s unique history, demographic, natural resources and generally prosperous economic conditions had always shaped a strong sense of a place not especially inclined to serious challenges to the status quo.
Nobody better reflects the military and political elites’ cavalier attitude to nuclear weapons than Sir William Penney, the architect of Britain’s hydrogen bomb program.
Asked how destructive the new weapons were in meetings in 1961 between US Democrat President John F. Kennedy and British Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Penney casually answered by saying: “It would take twelve to destroy Australia, Britain five or six, say seven or eight, and I’ll have another gin and tonic, if you would be so kind”.
Apocalyptic futures are common plot lines these days, but few as starling as this one. It has all of the big-ticket items like global warming and alien invasion, but with the added element of passionate and physical acting.
I could not wait to purchase my ticket to Iraqi singer Nour Al-Zain’s scheduled concert in Sydney this weekend. I made a trip to ‘Iraqi’ Fairfield last week and finally purchased the ticket. I had saved up the ticket money over the past few weeks.
With much anticipation to finally see my favourite Iraqi singer live on his first ever tour to Australia, I counted the days and hours — and even had plans to welcome him at the airport.
Chris Owen has produced an exhaustive history of colonial Western Australia pastoralists and the police who served their interests in the Kimberley region. It shows that, at best, they considered Aboriginal people as convenient slave labour and at worst pests who were to be exterminated.
What’s the fate of Cuba in the age of Trump? It is not an easy question to unravel, but Canadian author and journalist Arnold August provides some answers in his latest book, Cuba-US Relations: Obama and Beyond.
As a kid, the way I was taught about Indigenous people was terrible. For one thing, the understanding of the Indigenous economy and technology was non-existent.
I had this picture of people living in homes basically made of a bit of bark and maybe grass and sticks leaned up against a tree trunk. The impression was they spent their time wandering around and occasionally spearing a kangaroo or goanna for dinner.
Over the years I picked up bits and pieces of a more realistic and less insulting picture of Indigenous life, but it wasn’t really until I read Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe that it all fell into place such that I can maybe imagine in some detail how people lived.