Book Sale Benefit for the Peace Council!

From the May 2013 PNL #824

compiled by PNL Editorial Committee

Help the Peace Council meet our budget shortfall by purchasing some summer reading during our May Book Sale. By reserving and pre-paying for your books through the Peace Council website (or by filling out an order form at our office), SPC will earn 50% of the cover price. To show our appreciation, if you order two or more books, you can get a free Peace Songs CNY CD of local music. Below are descriptions of a few of the excellent books available. Place your order at


Dirty Wars

Jeremy Scahill, whose first book brought to light the powerful and secretive mercenary group Blackwater, released his second book in April. Staying true to Bill Moyer’s characterization of Scahill as “a one-man truth squad,” Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield “unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as ‘suspected militants,’” according to the book’s website. To date, this may be the fullest exploration of the changes to US military practice in the so-called War on Terror, exposing the dirty truths and describing the legal and ethical quagmire that Obama’s current wars present the nation.  

The Invisible Arab

Marwan Bishara, host of the Al-Jazeera program Empire, takes a journalistic and historical look at the roots of the Arab Spring. Starting with the arbitrary parsing of the Middle East by colonial interests and the subsequent revolutions for independence in the “liberation generation,” Bishara describes the complex factors that brought on the current “miracle generation” after a period of political decline. Bishara also takes on western representations of Arab countries: “Protection of Israel, Western imperial ambition, a thirst for oil, and fear of radicalism have caused many Western regimes and media to characterize Arab countries and people as unreceptive to democracy or progress. These ideas are as one-dimensional as they are foolhardy,” the book’s website summarizes.

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and American Book Award recipient Joe Sacco explore America’s “sacrifice zones, those areas that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize earnings.” Hedges and Sacco travel to the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation in South Dakota to meet with Native Americans who have lost their lands, along with their sense of tradition, at the hands of colonialization and genocide. To Camden, New Jersey, a former industrial center which now boasts the highest rate of poverty per capita in the US. They stop in Southern West Virginia and witness an environment and community ravaged by mountain top removal. And onto Immokalee, Florida where undocumented migrant workers are forced into dangerous jobs they cannot leave, “replicat[ing] slavery.” The result is a harrowing account of personal stories afflicted by poverty, violence, deceit and despair. But, rather than abandoning us there, Hedges looks at recent social movements and reminds us “no act of resistance, however solitary, hopeless, and futile it appears in the moment, is useless. These acts keep alive the possibility of resistance and finally hope.” The New York Times bestseller is an encouraging piece of journalism beckoning us to rise up against this “economic, political, cultural, and environmental catastrophe.”

Other Titles for Sale Through SPC:
• EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé
• Children of the Days, Eduardo Galeano
• The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century, Peter Dreier