Mon 11.08.10| Blacks & Latinos: Conflict or Synergy?

Román & Flores, eds., The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States Duke U. Press, 2010

Mark Sawyer, Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba Cambridge U. Press, 2006

African Americans and Latinos acting in tandem could exert tremendous political force. Mark Sawyer examines factors that inhibit Latino-Black collaboration, including anti-Black racism among many Latinos, African American parochialism, and narrow visions of racial/ethnic identity. He also identifies points of commonality and convergence. And Juan Flores talks about the broader project of the book in which Sawyer's essay appears.

Wed 11.03.10| Overpopulation: The Cause of Environmental Degradation?

Too few resources, too many people. That's the received wisdom in most of the environmental movement, mainstream or radical. But can that assumption withstand close scrutiny? Not according to population scholar Betsy Hartmann, who interrogates whether overpopulation is a main -- or the main -- cause of our ecological woes and discusses the far right's courting of liberal environmentalism.

Tues 11.02.10| Retirement Savings Ideology

Is your 401(k) plan, and the way it might or might not take care of your retirement needs -- is that a personal, individual concern, or is it in fact deeply political, rooted in ideological choices contrary to values of community, solidarity, and social responsibility? James Russell talks about the politics of retirement savings and about the rise of what he calls a retirement-industrial complex. Also, Richard Wolff assesses the French protests against proposals to raise the retirement age.
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Mon 11.01.10| Marx and the Non-Western World

Many critics, including Edward Said, have faulted Karl Marx for his assumptions about the non-Western world, not to mention his unsavory comments about "unhistorical peoples." But are Marx's early writings representative of how he saw countries on the periphery of capitalism? Kevin Anderson argues they're not. In an acclaimed new book, he discusses the evolution of Marx's thought on race, ethnicity, and multiple paths of historical development -- and why they matter.

Wed 10.27.10| New Words, Big Ideas

In the world of science and technology, new words are coined, and some of them stick, and the words themselves lead interesting lives and have surprising effects -- technical, social, even political. In his new book Jonathon Keats explores the origins, uses, and impact of terms like microbiome, copyleft, Panglish, and singularity.

Tues 10.26.10| California in Crisis

Ashok Bardhan and Richard Walker, "California, Pivot of the Great Recession," Institute for Research on Labor & Employment



If it feels to those of us who live in California that ground zero of the economic crisis is right here -- well, we might not be wrong. Radical economic geographer Richard Walker speaks about the importance of California in the meltdown, from housing to manufacturing, fiscal crises to tremendous inequality. And he considers, as attacks on public sector workers continue apace, what lies at the heart of the crisis, and what the future holds for the Golden State.
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