Wed 6.04.14 | Thomas Piketty on Wealth Inequality

Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century Harvard U. Press, 2014







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It's an unlikely book to take America by storm: a 700-page work of economic history by a French academic. But Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century has proved to be a book for our times, explaining the extreme inequality that characterizes our world, and drawing some bold and empirically backed arguments about the inherent tendencies of the capitalist system. Piketty, in a rare US radio interview, discusses the roots of wealth inequality in the global North and South, war and revolution, and the current economic crisis.

Tues 6.03.14 | Not Just War

Gentry and Eckert, eds., The Future of Just War: New Critical Essays U. of Georgia Press, 2014





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What happens to the morality of conducting war when the US can kill enemy soldiers without putting the lives of its own personnel in jeopardy? Sebastian Kaempf asserts that  the trend toward increasingly one-sided, technology-driven, "risk-free" US warfare makes the killing of enemy forces impossible to justify in moral terms even under the established, widely accepted Just War tradition.

Mon 6.02.14 | Freedom and Slavery

Greg Grandin, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World Metropolitan Books, 2014





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In 1805, a remarkable slave rebellion took place -- not in the Atlantic, but in the Pacific, and involving an unusual ruse. And it illustrates, argues historian Greg Grandin, something fundamental about freedom and unfreedom in the New World. Grandin examines the historical event, immortalized by Herman Melville, in which insurgent slave leaders maintained a striking deception against the odds, but were ultimately repressed by an anti-slavery republican.

Wed 5.28.14 | The American Counter-Revolution?

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Gerald Horne sees the colonists' revolt of 1776 not as a noble struggle for liberty and independence but as a counter-revolution, one waged by this nation's Founding Fathers to defend their right to enslave Africans. The white settlers rose up, argues Horne, in the face of growing evidence that London was moving toward abolition.

Tues 5.27.14 | Assaults on the Public (Sector)

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Many nations' public sectors have been decimated by structural adjustment. James Pfeiffer describes what's happened; he also asserts that PEPFAR, which targets HIV-AIDS, degrades public systems, with tragic consequences for poor people. In Mozambique and elsewhere, PEPFAR funds lamentably go mostly to NGOs.

Mon 5.26.14 | The Panthers' Medical Activism

Alondra Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination U. of Minnesota Press, 2011





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The Black Panther Party left a rich legacy of militant and innovative organizing. Yet one component of their work is largely forgotten. Sociologist Alondra Nelson discusses the Black Panther Party's medical activism, from setting up free clinics to screening for sickle cell anemia. She situates its work within a long tradition of African American health advocacy and considers its legacy forty years on. (Encore presentation.)

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