Tues 6.10.14 | Bobby Sands and the Hunger Strike

Denis O'Hearn, Nothing But an Unfinished Song: The Life and Times of Bobby Sands Nation Books, 2005





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He died over three decades ago, but remains a symbol -- albeit a controversial one -- of prison resistance in countries like the U.S. and Turkey where prisoners are held under increasingly harsh circumstances. Sociologist Denis O'Hearn has written extensively about Bobby Sands and the Irish hunger strikers who inspired Nelson Mandela and, in recent years, prisoners in Ohio and California. He discusses their struggle and the politics of prison hunger strikes.

Mon 6.09.14 | Financialization's Reach

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The financial sector of the US economy is incredibly powerful and influential, but its impact on our social and cultural lives is rarely examined or acknowledged. Max Haiven contends that financialization has, in a certain sense, colonized our attitudes, our beliefs, and our sense of the future. Haiven believes we need to chart a very different path forward, both imaginatively and practically.

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.

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