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Dirty Truths Paperback – January 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; First Printing edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872863174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872863170
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Essays are enjoying renewed popularity, from the personal essays of Lewis Thomas, to the intellectual treats of Marguerite Yourcenar, to the political and social commentary of Michael Parenti in this superb collection. Parenti covers the myth of the liberal media, terrorist hype, John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy phobia, and an insider's view of ethnic struggle, among many other topical subjects. The essays are eye-openers, expressed in straightforward, smooth prose that entertains as it informs. If you enjoy a fresh perspective on contemporary issues, or if you want information on issues that may have been hidden or glossed over by the media, pick up Parenti!

From Publishers Weekly

Writing from a left-wing perspective that's been pretty quiet since the end of the Cold War, Parenti consistently overwhelms his occasional valid points with hyperbole more likely to alienate his readers than to inspire them to join the revolution. It's tremendously difficult to take seriously anyone who peppers his political essays with references to "the reformist governments... of Libya, Panama, and Iraq." And in a way, this is too bad. Parenti is a genuinely interesting guy, and when he writes about his own experiences, he's extremely effective. It's impossible not to sympathize with a man being blacklisted from academia because of his political beliefs, or with the kid who has to watch his dad's bakery forced out of business by the big chains. The points that Parenti raises in his essays are almost unfailingly thought-provoking. Unfortunately, these positives are more than balanced by the fact that his political writing is a chore to slog through. Parenti begins his collection with seven consecutive pages of statistics about poverty, disease and criminal behavior. While disturbing, the value of these numbers as a rhetorical flourish leaves something to be desired. He too often provides only numbers and/or cold factual accounts when something more is necessary. There is no doubt that Parenti is an able writer who is passionate about his beliefs. But the essays in this collection will not resonate with a wider audience.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Michael Parenti (Berkeley, CA) is the acclaimed author of more than twenty books, including, most recently, Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader; The Assassination of Julius Caesar; and The Culture Struggle. The New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, Harper's, The Nation, and Antioch Review, are among the countless publications that have praised Parenti's work. For further information, visit his Web site: michaelparenti.org

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael J Woznicki HALL OF FAME on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Some books inspire, some books cause a national stir, some books create, some books change things and then Dirty Truths comes along and combines all of the above. Michael Parenti takes on the media and gives them a real black eye.
The book should open a few eyes with the author's ability to bring out the way the liberal based media has undermined our society and hidden the real truth from it. Parenti's ability to delve deep into the black hole of the media elite and gives this reviewer a belief that honesty still exists.
Parenti's book covers a wide and varied variety of social and moral issues, from free speech and the first amendment to racism and white supremacy. What this book does is what the press and media failed to do - report the facts and report the truth.
The books ends on a high note with three poems from the author. Michael Parenti provides insight that few, if any, writers have or will do. Congratulations on a job well done. I look forward to Parenti's next work.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a wide-ranging book, covering topics as diverse as false consciousness, creating the poor, fascism in pinstripes, the strange death of Walter Reuther, personal reminiscence, with a defense of Oliver Stone's film "JFK" added to the mix. All are provocatively positioned to challenge assumptions of liberal and conservative alike. Unlike that ruling duopoly, Parenti is no friend of America's far-flung empire, disguised to the public as the "free world". His debunking commentary on this central myth constitutes the dirty truths of the title, and uncomfortable truths they are. He even has the guts to trace the current rollback of environmental and social reforms to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the free hand this has given the big money class to maximize profits regardless of human or ecological consequences.
Perhaps the book's most informative chapter is "Hidden Holocaust, USA", a compilation of negative social statistics drawn from the US Census Bureau. There the author makes a strong case against conventional claims that the US is a happy nation. The negative numbers paint a far grimmer picture, giving the lie to those Repubocrat politicians who loudly claim to love the country, at the same time they pursue profits over people.
Despite the author's scholarly background, this is not a scholarly work. There is very little foot-noting. Most of the chapters read like op-ed pieces; ones, however, that are never found in corporate news outlets, which is the real value of an informed work like this. For so long as the powers-that-be tolerate a fringe press, the public will have at least some access to the dirty truths filtered out of the mainstream. It is to Parenti's credit that he delivers the goods.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Flynn on April 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Throughout history there has been only one thing that ruling interests have ever wanted-and that is EVERYTHING" Insightful & witty look at a variety of topics; from the corporate media to the state killings of JFK & Walther Reuther.If you liked William Blum's Killing Hope or Noam Chomsky's Profit Over People then get this.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
The work is vintage Parenti. I would have liked to see more documentation on sources, but the lack of it doesn't take much away from this book. The chapters on the JFK assassination were extremely chilling. If the U.S. Government can do that to its president, then it can do it to anyone in the world.
Sometimes I wonder why so many people are turned off by conspiracy theories. Do they think that conspiracies don't happen in the U.S.? Sorry, non-believers. Conspiracies are real, and they can happen anywhere.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Michael Parenti ranks up their with the likes of Chomsky and Marx......all I have to say is that we need more books in the world like dirty truths. But due to the liberal media the great mind of Parenti will continually be suppressed. The chapters on JFK were awesome and the statistics were first rate. Issues in this book are exactly what the government does not want you to know that everyone should know!!!!!
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