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December 21, 2014
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The China Reader: The Reform Era (Vintage)

The China Reader: The Reform Era (Vintage)

By Orville Schell and David Shambaugh

The Road

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy

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Tag: History


Attila JANDI / Shutterstock.com

A Win for the Cuban People

President Obama’s historic opening to Cuba is long overdue—and has a chance of hastening the Castro dictatorship’s demise.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdig’s Books of the Year: Part One

Whether on climate change, soaring wealth inequality, or the surveillance state, this has been a year of calls to action.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



CIA Crimes Without Punishment

With the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the use of torture by the CIA after 9/11, the final defense of the indefensible by its perpetrators, advocates and publicists is falling apart before our eyes.

Posted on Dec 10, 2014 READ MORE



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Why Some of the Most Conservative Republicans Are Pro-Immigration

Take, for example, studies arguing for a liberalized immigration policy by the Cato Institute, a conservative libertarian think tank started by the vast wealth of right-wingers Charles and David Koch.

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Anja Niedringhaus

Gratitude in a Warring World

As my children’s seventh Thanksgiving rolls around, I want to teach my boys that the holiday is about more than football and stomachaches.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



Joan of Arc

In a new biography of the French girl freedom-fighter, it isn’t the maid of Orleans who receives the blazing light of scrutiny so much as the society that engulfed her and the literary imagination in which she endures.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Evan Vucci

Immigration: Presidents Have the Power, but Does Obama Have the Guts?

Protecting immigrants from deportation, permitting them to come out of the shadows, is the right thing to do.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



Photo by Marion S. Trikosko, U.S. News & World Report, via Wikimedia Commons

American Hero; American Story

John Doar died last week at the age of 92. If there was a Greatest Generation, he was one of its greatest men.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Oregon Shakespeare Festival/UNIVERSES

Black Panthers: The Musical

“Party People” examines the complexity and struggle of the Black Panthers and Young Lords.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

What to Do About American Plutocracy

All is not lost. Change has happened in the past, against severe resistance, three times since the Civil War.

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE



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In Need of a Rebuilding Plan

All right, all right, I didn’t see the wave coming. And it turned out to be a genuine wave—one with serious implications for 2016 and beyond.

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 READ MORE



Maximum Progress on the Minimum Wage

The movement toward a higher minimum wage prevailed in Tuesday’s elections, even in some of the reddest of states.

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 READ MORE



‘When Google Met WikiLeaks’: An Exclusive Excerpt

In 2011 WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was visited by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Here, from Assange’s new book, is part of the extraordinary conversation that resulted.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Eric Gay

Is Voter Suppression an American Tradition?

Today’s ID laws are driven by an old purpose—undermining genuine majority rule and deflecting threats to the established order.

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 READ MORE



A Revisionist Take on President Obama

There is no shortage of bad news for President Obama, but history may be kinder to the man.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Meet the Alabama Judge Who Figured Out How to Unravel Roe v. Wade

ProPublica profiles Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker, whose “rulings over the last nine years have fueled the biggest threat to abortion rights in a generation.”

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr.

More Questions Than Answers in War With Islamic State

The decision of President Barack Obama to wage air war against the Islamic State still is swimming in a sea of confusion and doubt.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Amira Mortada, El Shorouk Newspaper

Women in Egypt After the Arab Spring: Gains and Losses

Women played a significant role in the 2011-2013 revolutions that shook the heart of the Arab world, as well as in the succeeding turmoil.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE



Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

Seattle Replaces Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Christopher Columbus was a genocidal maniac who is celebrated annually for “discovering” a land that was already inhabited by a people he would go on to enslave, torture and kill.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE



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Marriage Equality: Surrender to the Inevitable

By deciding not to decide, the Supreme Court may have decided: If history is a guide, same-sex marriage will soon be the law of the land.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE



A Force More Powerful in Jefferson County, Colo.

“Don’t make history a mystery” read one of the signs at a rally in Jefferson County, Colo. High-school students in this suburban district, referred to locally as “JeffCo,” have been walking out of class en masse this past week, protesting the planned censorship of the district’s Advanced Placement (AP) United States history curriculum by the local school board.

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE



TonyV3112 / Shutterstock.com

China and Its Challenges

China may be said to confront four current categories of challenge, with a possible return to horrors past.

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 READ MORE



Ryan Johnson (CC-BY-SA)

Eric Holder and RFK’s Legacy

When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department “can and must always be a force for that which is right.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE


War on Extremism

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Posted on Sep 28, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Bookends of a Presidency

President Obama began his presidency with a call for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” He will end it as a reluctant but unapologetic warrior.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Global Warming and Global Warring

Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war.

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 READ MORE



A Climate Week to Change Everything

The climate crisis is worsening faster than predicted, by every scientific measure, and is paralleled by another crisis: the failure of the U.N. climate negotiation process.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



BasPhoto / Shutterstock.com

For the Love of Scotland

Scotland’s referendum on independence will be decided by voters whose hearts say yes but whose heads say no.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters Pulls Bloody Kent State Sweatshirt

The trend-chasing retailer has apologized for selling a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt, but insists the red splotches that look remarkably like bloodstains were not meant to allude to the 1970 national guard shooting.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Center For American Progress (CC-BY-ND)

Can Congress Be Responsible?

There was a moment in the last quarter-century when the Congress of the United States made the nation proud. It did so across all its usual lines of division: Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal, hawk and dove.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Remembering Hiroshima in an Age of Neoliberal Barbarism

Once an emancipatory project predicated on the right to study and engage the past critically, history under the reign of neoliberalism has receded into a depoliticizing culture of consumerism, a wholesale attack on science, the glorification of military ideals, an embrace of the punishing state, and a nostalgic invocation of the greatest generation.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Hasan Jamali

Terrorizing a Family of Human Rights Champions

Bahrain, a key U.S. ally in the Mideast, is building a symbolic wall against freedom. Part of that odious effort is the longtime persecution of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and two of his daughters.

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 READ MORE



The Climate Marches On

“Unjust laws exist.” So wrote Henry David Thoreau in his 1849 essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.” The naturalist and pacifist asked, “Shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

President Poroshenko’s Gift to America

It seems evident that Barack Obama today still does not understand how much he owes to President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Our Challenge With Islam

Destroying, degrading or containing the Islamic State—whichever goal President Obama chooses—will be the easy part. Finding ways for fundamentalist Islam to express itself peacefully is a bigger, tougher and more important project.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Beyond the Sound Bite

In contemplating President Obama’s foreign policy, Mark Twain’s reference to Richard Wagner’s music—it’s “better than it sounds”—comes to mind.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Pavel Golovkin

Do Barack Obama and Angela Merkel Even Know What They Want From Russia?

Within the same news conference, President Obama declared economic sanctions against Russia a huge success and said Russia had invaded Ukraine.

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 READ MORE



The Guns of August

What, if anything, have we learned from the disaster of World War I? Look no farther than Gaza, or Ferguson, Mo.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Where to Watch Sir Richard Attenborough’s Five Best Movies Right Now

One of film’s most beloved actors and directors died Sunday after 90 years of life and a career that somehow made giants of the 20th century (including Mahatma Gandhi, as played by Ben Kingsley, above) seem even grander.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Is Obama Too Thoughtful to Be President?

The presidency is not what it seems or what we (and the president) wish it were.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



The Ghost of Dred Scott Haunts the Streets of Ferguson

Four miles south of the Ferguson protest’s ground zero, along the same street, in the quietude of Calvary Cemetery, lies Dred Scott, the man born a slave who famously fought for his freedom in the courts.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 READ MORE



Shawn Semmler (CC-BY)

The Ones Left Behind

The fire this time is about invisibility. Our society expects the police to keep unemployed, poorly educated African-American men out of sight and out of mind. When they suddenly take center stage, illuminated by the flash and flicker of Molotov cocktails, we feign surprise.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Riddles, Lies and Lives—Castro, Muhammad Ali, Einstein and Barbie

It was not by Lucifer’s curse or God’s miracle that the new country managed to outlive 10 U.S. presidents, their napkins spread in their laps, ready to eat it with knife and fork. His enemies do not say that in spite of sorrow, external aggression and internal high-handedness, the distressed island spawned the least unjust society in Latin America.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Vincent van Gogh, self-portrait.

Nine Left-Handed People Who Changed the World

Wednesday is international Left Handers Day, a time to reflect on one of the mysteries of science, a minority complex that has resisted centuries of abuse and ridicule.

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 READ MORE



Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 69 Years Later

“I hate war,” Koji Hosokawa told me as we stood next to the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.

Posted on Aug 6, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Abbot Kinney, Pacific Ocean Park, and the California Dreamers

A new book about an old seaside amusement park, gone for a half a century, set me thinking about a favorite subject, the boom-and-bust quality of California, a place of constant invention and reinvention, of dreams shattered or attained.

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Rising Tide: Will All Boats Be Lifted?

Debate and commentary about the rising tide of income inequality in the United States is remindful of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns in the 1980s when he kept preaching about boats stuck on the bottom.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Gaza as Sarajevo

The image of Israeli tank columns safely ranged on the periphery of Gaza methodically lobbing in round after round of supposedly precision-guided munitions (precision, that is, give or take the odd 25 person civilian family huddled together for the breaking of their Ramadan fast), sent me whistling back to my own time in Sarajevo, after the lifting of the siege there in the wake of the Dayton Accords in late 1995.

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Thomas Frank: ‘An Ineffective and Gutless Presidency’s Legacy Is Failure’

The Salon columnist imagines President Obama’s inevitable library, and how it will cope with the transition of “an unlikely champion” of the masses to “the only thing between [Wall Street] and the pitchforks.”

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Palestinians, Israelis Are Failed by Their Leaders

It’s difficult to have a conversation with someone who wants to get rid of you. That is why Hamas militants and Israel’s right-wing-dominated government are each on such a destructive path.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 READ MORE


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