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Hope Into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears
Hope Into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears
by Penny Rosenwasser
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.46
48 used & new from $10.96

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading For Jewish Feminists Working For Peace In The Middle East!, September 29, 2013
This is a book that every person, Jewish or gentile, female or not, needs to read as soon as possible. I really can't recommend it enough. Written by Penny Rosenwasser, a founding board member of Jewish Voice For Peace and former Jewish Caucus Chair of the National Women's Studies Association, "Hope Into Practice Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears" exemplifies the Jewish ethical tradition of social justice activism. Clearly, Rosenwasser, a Jewish radical lesbian feminist and anti-war organizer, understands the meaning of tikkun olam and I assure you that after reading this book you too will feel inspired to take to the streets to repair the world. In this book, Rosenwasser makes the crucial point that Jewish liberation is interconnected with the liberation of all oppressed people, whether they are African-American, undocumented immigrants, queer or transgender, homeless, or Palestinian. Like Marc Ellis and Judith Plaskow, Rosenwasser proves that the prophetic Jewish voice is still alive. Emphasizing the importance for Jewish activists to heal ourselves of internalized anti-Semitism as we simultaneously work to transform unjust systems like the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, this book demands that we love ourselves enough to confront our fears without allowing them to control us. Quoting Warsaw Ghetto survivor Irena Klepfisz, Rosenwasser suggests that we recontextualize the Shoah to move "toward a Jewish future that is informed, but not defined" by it. While not minimizing the horror of the Nazi Holocaust, Rosenwasser believes that our Jewishness should not be dominated by this tragedy, keeping us stuck in the past in a perpetual state of trauma, unable to engage with current struggles. As such, instead of focusing exclusively on Jewish victimization, Rosenwasser urges us to find inspiration from Jewish women and men who have devoted their lives fighting against institutionalized injustice. While it is true that Jewish-Americans are not presently the victims of deportations, racial profiling, and widespread economic discrimination, anti-Semitism is still an enormous problem that we need to take seriously. Whether it manifests itself in Jewish women feeling the need to get nose jobs or in violent attacks against Jewish persons, synagogues, Jewish community centers, or Holocaust memorials, anti-Semitism is real and must be challenged. For those of us working for peace and justice in the Middle East, it is so essential that we confront anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arabism whenever they rear their ugly heads in our communities and movements. Speaking of Israel-Palestine, Rosenwasser writes that despite the widespread belief that Jewish lobbyists are solely responsible for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, in actuality, organizations like AIPAC only play a minor role, as the real decisions are made by the Pentagon, the arms manufacturers, and the Christian right. This understanding is important, because it helps to undermine the common anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews are the masterminds of the New World Order. Thank you, Penny Rosenwasser, for your brilliant book. You make me feel proud to be a fat, working-class, radical queer, anti-occupation, Jewish anarchist living with AIDS!


Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency
Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency
by Kristian Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.90
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop The Criminalization Of Dissent!, August 27, 2013
This may well be the scariest and most important book you could ever read. It is also extremely timely given what Edward Snowden has recently revealed about the NSA and government surveillance. In this frightening anthology of essays about the U.S. government's domestic security apparatus, twenty authors and activists reflect on the growing political repression against various movements for liberation and how we can organize effectively against this. Modeled on the counterinsurgency techniques developed by the U.S. military to destabilize and destroy revolutionary organizations in Latin America and the Middle East, this domestic war against activists, the poor, and communities of color manifests itself in myriad ways, including infiltration, counter-intelligence, disruption, disinformation, media smear campaigns, community policing, the winning of hearts and minds, grand jury investigations, imprisonment, the co-opting of activists, deportation, police brutality, and assassination. This low-intensity war against the radical left also involves the divide-and-conquer strategies of exacerbating preexisting tensions within activist organizations and pitting so-called good protesters against so-called bad protesters. Furthermore, this book is very comprehensive in that it explores numerous cases of domestic counterinsurgency like the Green Scare, the RNC 8, the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, gang injunctions, and state repression against the anti-war, global justice, Occupy, international solidarity, and anti-imperialist movements. Additionally, the authors encourage intergenerational dialogues between activists so that youth can be educated about the history of COINTELPRO and other instances of political repression. Though our fears are justified, we cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated. Personally, I believe the best way to defend our civil liberties is to exercise our civil liberties, because if we silence ourselves, then the system has won. So instead of giving up, I suggest that we be smart, stay sober, and practice good security culture. It is also necessary that we confront oppressive behaviors like racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism in our activist communities. Not only is this the correct thing to do from a moral standpoint, it will also prevent the state from exploiting our weaknesses to create division. In conclusion, if you're involved in any kind of leftist political organizing, then I strongly recommend that you read this excellent book as soon as possible. Thank you, AK Press, for publishing yet again another fantastic book! I hope that many people read it and join the struggle for a better world.


Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement
Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement
by Sarah Erdreich
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.71
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defend A Woman's Right To Choose!, August 19, 2013
This certainly has been a depressing year for pro-choice activists in the United States! Across the country, we've witnessed women's healthcare clinics being closed and successful right-wing legislative battles being won by reactionary Christian fundamentalists who feel they have the prerogative to dictate what a woman can do with her own body. As such, this book is more important than ever and should be read immediately by every feminist concerned about the availability of safe, legal, and affordable abortions. If you care at all about women's reproductive rights, this book will make your blood boil. It is so outrageous, for example, how the federal government is helping to fund Christian evangelical "crisis pregnancy centers" which provide duplicitous anti-choice propaganda to women seeking reproductive healthcare. Obviously, such funding is in complete violation of the separation of church and state. Simply put, we cannot allow anti-choice conservatives to transform this country into a patriarchal theocracy in which women are destined to either have unwanted children or forced to have illegal, dangerous, underground abortions. As the Christian right continues to escalate its violent, aggressive tactics against abortion providers and their patients, it has become imperative that the pro-choice majority takes to the streets to defend a woman's right to choose. Unfortunately, we have not had a major pro-choice mobilization in this country since the Bush regime and we are now long overdue for another. Moreover, besides organizing nationally, we also need to work in our local communities to ensure that this basic human right remains accessible to all women, regardless of race or class. Thank you Sara Erdreich for writing this important book. I hope that many people read it and feel inspired to join the struggle for women's liberation.
Comment Comments (19) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 8:21 AM PDT


Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism
Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism
by Michael Schmidt
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.18
45 used & new from $4.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Introduction To Anarchist World History, August 19, 2013
In this concise history of class-struggle, revolutionary anarchism, South African anarchist Michael Schmidt takes us around the world to examine the horizontally-federated, directly-democratic, communist libertarian organizations that have challenged capitalism and the nation-state over the last 150 years, focusing primarily on Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Oceania. By de-Westernizing anarchist history, Schmidt has made an important contribution to anarchist scholarship, bringing to light the hidden histories of anarchist militants in places as diverse as Argentina, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Costa Rica, Lebanon, China, Mexico, Estonia, Venezuela, Sierra Leone, Israel/Palestine, and Cuba. In contrast to the common criticism of anarchism being a white, Eurocentric political tradition, Schmidt reveals the movement's internationalism and multiculturalism. Along with writing this important book, Schmidt also co-authored, with Lucien van der Walt, the excellent book, "Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism" and its upcoming companion volume, "Global Fire: 150 Fighting Years of Anarchism and Syndicalism." For those of us living in North America and Europe, it is vital that we unite in anti-authoritarian solidarity with the subjugated masses of impoverished workers in the Global South. As such, "Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism" is a call to action across borders to overthrow capitalism and the nation-state!


The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage (Live Girls)
The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage (Live Girls)
by Loolwa Khazzoom
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.16
48 used & new from $6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books I've Read This Year!, August 13, 2013
In this fascinating anthology of essays by Mizrahi and Sephardic women, the complexities of Jewish identity are explored and the diversity of the worldwide Jewish community affirmed and celebrated. Loolwa Khazzoom, the founder of the Jewish multiculturalism movement, has done an incredible mitzvah/muswa by compiling these brave and beautiful voices of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish women who speak about the complicated interplay of anti-Semitism, racism, and misogyny in their lives. For too long, the phrase "Arab Jew" has been seen as an oxymoron, the voices of these communities having been silenced by the Ashkenazi, white hegemony in North America, Europe, and Israel which promotes its Eurocentric culture as the Jewish norm. For example, when most people think of Jewish food they think of bagels and lox, matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, and pastrami sandwiches, not couscous, hummus, or falafel. Similarly, when people think of Jewish entertainers they think of Barbra Streisand and Woody Allen, not Ofra Haza or Dana International. Even amongst many left-wing political activists, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is often framed as a conflict between white, European settlers and indigenous people of color which obscures the reality of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews who are also indigenous to this land. Moreover, this political framework also makes invisible the existence of other non-white Israelis such as Ethiopian Jews, not to mention the growing number of people of color who are converting to Judaism in the United States and elsewhere who eventually may very well make aliyah. Though Arab Jews were always economically, socially, and politically oppressed by the Ashkenazi ruling-class in Israel, prior to the mass migration of Russian Jews in the 1990s Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews were the majority population, something a lot of people do not know. As an HIV+ queer Jew of choice, I am hungry for literature that reflects the lives of marginalized Jews, whether they are LGBTQ, Mizrahi and Sephardic, Ethiopian, feminist, Latin American, working-class, punk, Ugandan, differently-abled, African-American, Asian-American, or seropositive, etc. As such, I found this book to be an extremely exciting read and I look forward to learning more about the multicolored mosaic which comprises the global Jewish family. L'Chaim!
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2013 6:49 PM PDT


Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz
Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz
by Russell Shoats
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.05
50 used & new from $8.59

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Russell Maroon Shoatz And All Black Panther Party And Black Liberation Army Political Prisoners!, August 10, 2013
A former Philadelphia-based activist involved with the Black Unity Council and later on the Black Panther Party, Russell Maroon Shoatz has been unjustly incarcerated for over thirty years as a political prisoner. Currently, he is being held in solitary confinement, a condition he has been in for over two decades. An active leader in the 1970s black liberation movement in Pennsylvania, Shoatz is one of the numerous COINTELPRO victims like Mumia Abu Jamal, David Gilbert, and Leonard Peltier languishing behind bars as part of the U.S. government's counterinsurgency war against the radical left. Due to his daring prison escapes, Shoatz earned himself the moniker "Maroon" which is the generic term for slaves who became fugitives from their owners in North and South America and the Caribbean Islands. Besides being a brilliant political analyst, Maroon is also a superb historian, and I really learned a lot about the history of black resistance from this book, which covers such events as the slave rebellions in sixteenth- and seventeenth- century Brazil, the Haitian revolution, the Underground Railroad, the civil rights movement, and the Black Panther Party. I had no idea, for example, how common it was for escaped African slaves, impoverished whites, and Native Americans to work together in solidarity to overturn the racist, capitalist, colonial regime in the U.S. south. Throughout this book, Maroon importantly discusses the necessity for the black liberation movement to embrace radical feminism and ecosocialism, talking about such things as food security and the reestablishing of a matriarchal society. He also speaks about the Occupy Wall Street movement and the need for people of color to get involved. In conclusion, I will just say that this book has really enriched my life. Russell Maroon Shoatz is not only an articulate and very intelligent writer, but a real revolutionary hero working to dismantle the interlocking systems of white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, capitalism, and imperialism. May he one day soon be free!


Against Equality: Prisons Will Not Protect You
Against Equality: Prisons Will Not Protect You
by Ryan Conrad
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from $15.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear Down The Prison Walls!, July 31, 2013
For far too long, the right-wing gay establishment has been collaborating with law enforcement and the FBI, supporting the profit-driven prison industrial complex instead of fighting for prison abolition. In this short but thought-provoking anthology of essays by radical queer and transgender activists, the sacred cow issue of hate crime legislation is tackled, showing how it fails to address the actual causes of homophobic and transphobic violence, while simultaneously incarcerating massive numbers of impoverished people, people of color, and sexual minorities. Needless to say, given the constant state violence perpetrated against LGBT people, particularly though not exclusively against transgender women of color, homeless LGBT youth, and sex workers, it is absurd to entrust the police with our protection. Instead, we should be building better, community-based solutions to end all forms of violence. The final book in the Against Equality trilogy challenging the mainstream LGBT movement's conservative agenda of gay marriage, gays in the military, and hate crime legislation, this is a great and extremely important book.

For a more in-depth exploration of this issue, I also strongly recommend reading, "Captive Genders: Trans Empowerment And The Prison Industrial Complex" edited by Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith and published by AK Press.


All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge
All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge
by Beth Lahickey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.07
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Book To Read... But It Could Have Been So Much Better, July 31, 2013
While I genuinely enjoyed reading this book and looking at all the sexy photographs of muscular straight edge studs, there are many things about this book which I find really problematic. Of the 30 or so people that Becky Lahickey interviewed only three of them are women. She also only interviewed two people of color, both Latino/as, and only one out queer musician, the bisexual singer Dan O'Mahony. While I commend Lahickey for questioning the women about their experiences in a largely patriarchal subculture, it amazes me that she never discusses the issue of racism with the two Latino/as or the issue of heterosexism with the one out bisexual. Surprisingly, she never even mentions his sexuality at all, despite the fact that O'Mahony is definitely not in the closet. Just read his excellent and very erotic book, "Four Letter World". As a straight edge, radical queer, I would have really appreciated some LGBTQ perspectives on the movement. Given the fact that the straight edge community is so overwhelmingly dominated by white, middle-class, heterosexual, cisgender, young men, I think a discussion about racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism would have been enormously valuable. As one example of straight edge machismo, many of the contributors speak in phallocentric terminology, talking about the importance of having a "hard" personality. Though the straight edge movement is overtly political, I was disappointed to find that Beth Lahickey barely discusses politics in this book at all. Moreover, in her interview with Ray Cappo, she never interrogates him about his responsibility for drawing so many straight edge activists into the Hare Krishna cult. Despite their exotic robes, vegetarian diet, and nag champa incense, the Hare Krishnas share the same conservative political opinions on sexuality and gender as their Christian fundamentalist counterparts. Like the hardline movement and Christian straight edge, I think that Krishnacore is a really negative and destructive development in the straight edge movement. For a much better book on straight edge, I recommend the straight edge, anarchist anthology, "Sober Living For The Revolution", edited by Gabriel Kuhn and published by PM Press.


Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue
Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue
by Ezra Berkley Nepon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.61
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Account of Late 20th Century Radical Jewish-American Activism, July 30, 2013
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love this book. Lasting from 1980 to 1992 and consisting of 45 chapters with 5,000 members, New Jewish Agenda (NJA) was a large and impressive radical left organization that provided a "Jewish voice among progressives and a progressive voice among Jews". Embracing an intersectional political agenda long before intersectionality became a popular movement buzzword, NJA worked on a broad array of issues such as Middle East peace, Central American solidarity, global nuclear disarmament, women's liberation, LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS, and economic and social justice in the U.S. Predating Jewish-American organizations like Jewish Voice For Peace and Keshet, NJA took radical stances on the rights of Palestinians and queer Jews and worked in solidarity with other oppressed communities that were being brutally attacked by the Reagan administration. Considering that we live in a time when loudmouth right-wing Zionists and reactionary Jewish-Americans like David Horowitz, Jonah Goldberg, and Alan Dershowitz are championing neoliberalism and trying to silence any Jewish critiques of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, it is so important that Jewish-Americans be educated about this history. Though it's been said a million times before, let me say it again: supporting a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis does not make you a self-hating Jew or an anti-Semite. Not only do I wish that every Jewish-American would read this book, I also wish that every leftist, regardless of race or religion, would read it as well, as sadly there is still a lot of anti-Semitism in the world, even among anarchists, communists, and socialists. For example, I was at a protest the other day against the criminalization of the homeless, when a fellow activist started spewing fascist garbage about how every Jew is a capitalist and how Jews control the global economy, which is blatantly ridiculous especially when one considers the large number of important Jewish leftists, both historically and presently, like Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Karl Marx, Murray Bookchin, Noam Chomsky, Cindy Milstein, Abbie Hoffman, Norman Finkelstein, Susan Rosenberg, David Gilbert, Y-Love, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Laura Whitehorn, Martin Duberman, Howard Zinn, Kate Bornstein, Aurora Levins Morales, Leslie Feinberg, Frida Kahlo, Adrienne Rich, Hannah Arendt, Rosa Luxemburg, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Nomy Lamm, Sam Dolgoff, Diana Block, and Uri Gordon, to name just a few. In short, this book is fabulous and I encourage everyone, Jewish or not, to read it immediately.

If you haven't seen this documentary already, I also strongly recommend the DVD, "Young, Jewish, and Left" which is available through AK Press.


Anarchism and Workers' Self-Management in Revolutionary Spain
Anarchism and Workers' Self-Management in Revolutionary Spain
by Frank Mintz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.79
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Contribution to Anarchist Scholarship On the Spanish Revolution, July 24, 2013
Every year or so, AK Press publishes another excellent book on the history of the Spanish revolution and this book is no exception. For activists involved in the global anticapitalist movements, Frank Mintz's classic study of the Spanish revolutionary anarchist collectives is an exciting and inspirational read. Certainly, if you are interested in workers' self-management, cooperative economics, anarcho-syndicalism, and participatory democracy then you need to read this book. Though an important piece of anarchist scholarship, the book is extremely accessible and I am sure you will find it a pleasure to read. Moreover, for antifascist activists, this book is doubly important as it shows how the Spanish anarchists were able to build a self-managed, federated, libertarian communist economy from below while simultaneously resisting the tyranny of the Franco regime, an important lesson given the scary resurgence of fascist movements in North America and Europe and the crushing effects of corporate globalization on the working-class.

If you're interested in learning more about the Spanish anarchist collectives, I also recommend reading Sam Dolgoff's hard-to-find book, "The Anarchist Collectives: Workers' Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936-1939".


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