Mon 9.19.11 | Lincoln, Marx, and the Civil War

Robin Blackburn, An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln Verso, 2011




Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln: They may seem an unlikely pair, but they knew of each other, and Marx was intensely interested in the Civil War and the fate of slavery. Marx also influenced the culture and trajectory of US worker radicalism, which fueled the bitter and bloody labor conflicts of late nineteenth-century America. Robin Blackburn writes about all this in a new book.

Wed 9.14.11 | Debt to Society

David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years Melville House Publishing, 2011






The subprime mortgage meltdown and the battle over the debt ceiling have highlighted the centrality of borrowing in our economy. Yet David Graeber argues that our understanding of debt obscures more than it reveals. The acclaimed anthropologist and anarchist discusses the forms that money has taken throughout history, including the turn following Nixon's delinking of the dollar from the gold standard. He also considers the central connection between debt and empire.

Tues 9.13.11 | Paying for Forests

A new policy that purports to address climate change by incentivizing the protection of forests has attracted a lot of support. Environmental organizations, the World Bank, and others have lined up behind it. But who does it really help, and who gets harmed in the process? Jeff Conant describes the REDD policy mechanism and describes its impact on communities in Mexico's Lacondon Jungle.

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Mon 9.12.11 | French Intellectuals and Maoism

Womens' liberation, immigrants' and prisoners' rights, gay liberation and queer studies -- they're some of the most enduring legacies of the 1960s and '70s. And as Richard Wolin argues, they're partially the inheritance of Maoism in France. He explores the rise of Maoism in that country following the upheavals of 1968 and its impact on the thinking of intellectuals like Sartre and Foucault.

Wed 9.07.11 | Multiculturalism Under Attack

John Bowen, "Europeans Against Multiculturalism" Boston Review

John Bowen, Can Islam Be French? Princeton U. Press, 2009

Sentenced Home, a film by David Grabias and Nicole Newnham

Screening of Sentenced Home at Humanist Hall

Why have so many European leaders recently proclaimed the failure of multiculturalism? What should we make of their claims, and of the proliferating rhetoric of blame directed against Muslims and other immigrants of color in Europe? John Bowen distinguishes rhetoric from reality in France, Britain and beyond, and Nicole Newnham discusses her film about the human cost of US deportation policy.

Tues 9.06.11| Chomsky on Social Justice

Noam Chomsky







This year has witnessed mass protests throughout the Middle East and North Africa, a labor upsurge in Wisconsin, continued struggles against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and continued problems for radicals in finding their direction through it all. These concerns were discussed when celebrated intellectual Noam Chomsky was asked six questions by Alice Walker, Ken Loach, Chris Hedges, John Berger, Amira Hass and Paul Laverty.

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