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I don't review books nearly as much as I should so here goes one... [09 Dec 2008|02:02am]

Stoecker, Randy. 1994. Defending Community: The Struggle for Alternative Redevelopment in Cedar-Riverside. Philadelphia:Temple University Press.

This book might be of particular interest to local Minnesota people. You know that big building complex over at Cedar Square West aka Riverside Plaza? Man, originally the city was going to have it be a huge complex of buildings with over 30,000 people living in them on under 3 acres. They were going to demolish the entire neighborhood, but the interesting thing is that lots of 60s radicals had moved into the area and they organized and contested the thing so only those few buildings that are there now were built and the neighborhood was largely saved. yay?

People look at them now, all run down and decrepit and assume it was some kind of public housing project but the original builders were very much for profit and actually envisioned that University professors might live there, lol! Low incomes communities were demolished in city after city to make way for highways or new developments for more wealthy residents. The really unusual thing in this case is that usually the neighborhoods slated for destruction were minority and this neighborhood was low-income but mostly of Scandinavian stock. I guess they were still an immigrant ethnic enclave, which in Minnesota is close enough to be put under "urban renewal".

So this book follows the efforts to contest this huge redevelopment project. The city was going to demolish everything over in that area to put up the tower blocks. Looking at how it ended up, man it would have been horrible!

The final few chapters take a very Marxist turn which was very interesting as it echoed lots of other readings I have been doing on urban movements. You see, we just don't have a class consciousness in this nation. Instead what we have are many movements by many different fragmented classes. These classes are basically based on identity politics, you are white, you are black, you are a man, you are a woman, you are gay, you are straight, it goes on and on. It's like we only see differences when there are huge unities out there.

These days it seems that when people do act out as a class (the working class anyway, the wealthy seem to work together quite well) it is when their community is generally working class and it is somehow threatened. That is why quite a few radical authors kind of idealize community organizations. Yet as this author points out, these community based struggles can be very limited, only passionate over one issue until it is either won or lost and then they dissipate into their own fragmented identity politics again.

This book, like many others from a Marxist perspective, are not particularly inspiring. It tries to be though, it speaks of success, of a fight where the little guy beat the government and corporate giants. Yet the local radical inspired organizations it speaks of just a decade ago have mostly vanished. Even the radical movements of the 60s and 70s disassembled when their fights against Vietnam and segregation seemingly ended. Is success the first sign of radical movements turning into dust? Is this the meaning behind more brilliant propaganda movements who build never ending wars for the passion of the masses? Is there something that could just as passionately unify the left? Sure, Obama was elected and that is great, but it seems mostly pragmatic over idealistic. It's funny how such an inspiring story would leave me feeling so cynical.

NeXt [23 Feb 2008|06:43pm]

I just read Next by Michael Crichton.

It was wonderful. I found it hard to get past the competition for gene patents between universities and companies, but I loved reading through transgenic apes and about gene-transplanted Gerard, the genius talking parrot.
It was a change from Juriasic Park, it reminded me more of The Andromeda Strain, but with more modern-word slang humor. That's a good thing.
Anyone else's opinion? On the book or Crichton...
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New Reading Group [27 Jan 2007|06:31am]

[ mood | awake ]

Ever just get the urge to talk about a book you just read?

Do you think you have something to contribute to others?

Are you disappointed with the anti-intellectual streak that's so prevalent?

Do you think that radical thought is more than just mental masturbation - that without revolutionary theories and ideas there can be no revolution?

Then come join us at dialecticus! We're a new reading group and we're still in the process of deciding on a reading list so come join us and help us get this group off the ground.

cross-posted a bunch of places...


where is everyone? [23 Jan 2007|11:13pm]

this community has probably been inactive for longer than I know of, but to change that, what should I do but post myself? here goes.

T.A.Z...poetic terrorism, ontological anarchy

any or all thoughts on this book?
I find that I have to read it without trying to take everything literally, more of a semi-conscious understanding, because of the fact that a lot of it is written poetically and not as straightforward as your typical book.

Basically, "Chaos never died." Not your crazy bombthrowing anarchist chaos [as so described by mass media] but that disorder is natural, and what happens happens (and shouldn't be dictated by some bullshit government and laws over humans.)
My favorite parts are the poetic terrorism ideas/spirituality.

kid's stuff... [04 Aug 2006|02:37am]

I’m 7.5 months pregnant and looking for children’s books, baby’s books, and children’s/baby’s movies/shows that are enjoyable, educational, have good politics, and strong female characters. I’ve already thought of a few but I’m looking to stock up on stuff in the last couple of months before I give birth… any suggestions?
X-posted a lot
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[20 Jun 2006|01:17pm]

I've put up some good ebooks in the resources section of my new site peoplewillriot.com if anyone is interested.

Comment if you found the site useful. I don't have too much of an ebook collection but I hope to add a lot more by the time the site is finished. If you have any files you would like to contribute that would be wonderful also. zaeem@[remove this]peoplewillriot.com send anything.

[10 Apr 2006|03:28pm]

For those of you who ever scroll around the project guttenberg website, what is some of your favorite ebooks there???

"Flashflood Magazine: Communities Against Imperialism" [23 Jan 2006|06:11pm]

[ mood | okay ]

This is a 'zine one of my comrades from PDX is involved in. You can e-mail submissions to her at: leyeza at graffiti dot net.

Shout Out For Submissions:

"Flashflood Magazine: Communities Against Imperialism" is looking for
submissions to its first issue! The purpose and ethic of this
bi-monthly magazine is to give voice to struggles for
self-determination and against the oppressive forces of imperialism
on all fronts. Though large and cultural, these dynamics of
self-determination and oppression define the personal experiences of
all of us, in different ways.

This theme of the first issue is: Land and Liberation

What Kind of Submissions Are We Looking For?

We are looking for personal writing, how-to articles, interviews,
reviews, essays, black and white artwork, or other submissions that
describe their subject in an a context of resistance to imperialism.
Each issue has a theme, and articles related to that theme in any
fashion are given preference. We are looking for writing that is
accessible, and that reflects and respects individual experience. We
are looking for writing from people who are interested in developing
empowering relationships with their communities, with this magazine,
and with their own writing/work.
We are also looking for submissions to a Kid’s Page- writing and
drawings by and/or for kids, games, event announcements, and more.

How Does This Magazine Support Those Who Support It?

The first responsibility of this magazine and its publishing
collective is to our communities’ common struggle. This magazine will
be distributed widely wherever we can get it to, for a small or no
cost in venues from bookstores to laundramats to schools, and also
will be available by mail subscription. Any proceeds of the magazine
above and beyond production and labor costs will go into growing the
reach and accessability of the magazine.
We will not compromise the founding principles of the magazine. We
will print a letters page for feedback on the magazine. We will also
have a clear and honestly executed publishing policy so that the
magazine is as inclusive and focused as possible.

A related responsibility is to the publishing collective itself and
to the contributers to the magazine, because they are what sustain
the project. The magazine is starting out with no budget, but will
grow to become self-sufficient, and eventually, able to reimburse
both collective members and contributers for their time.

At this time, we can offer no resources except the opportunity to
publish your important work.

Publishing Policy

We will publish things that are in harmony with our founding
principles as long as space is available. Submissions related to the
issue’s theme will be given preference for that issue, but things
submitted and not printed one issue will be given preference in the
next issue.

We reserve the right to edit any or all submissions for length and
clarity, but we promise that all edits will be approved with the
author before they are published. If we can’t get a hold of the
author, we will either publish the submission without edits or not
publish the submission at all. If the author does not approve of
requested edits we will either run the submission without edits, or
not publish the submission at all.

Founding Principles:

We support the right of communities to self-determination and to
build their lives free of imperialist oppression.

We stand against classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and all other
forms of oppression on both individual and cultural/political levels.
We stand for learning to create a common struggle, which involves
breeching silences created by these and other forms of oppression.

We support honesty and reconciliation in our communities, and are
focused on personal liberation as it relates to political liberation;
and political liberation as it relates to the personal.

We respect a diversity of struggle and the diversity of tactics that
are involved therin. We believe in a movement that supports
political prisoners and solidarity with all who struggle against
imperialist oppression.


[20 Jan 2006|02:05pm]

Has anyone here read Oriana Fallaci's The Rage and the Pride?

I would love to hear some opinions on the book as I'm quite torn about it myself.

Disasters, Natural and Otherwise: Race, Class, and the Destruction of New Orleans by Tim Wise [05 Sep 2005|12:10pm]

letter written by tim wise, an author and activist for racial
justice who used to live in new orleans.

feel free to forward the letter to any appropriate contacts.

(sorry about all the little arrows, i copied this from an email.)
Read more...Collapse )
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So let's try this [28 Aug 2005|08:26pm]

Okay, a few of you probably recognize me from my recent posts in Anarchist and Anarchisttheory Post. So I propose that this post be used as a discussion to decide what essays or books we should read for our first little Anarchist Reading Circle.

I suggest a few criteria, suggestions not demands.

1. That the work be related to Anarchism
2. That the work be easily accessible online, preferably providing a link for the location of the work.
3. That at least at first we keep the reading short, see how this works out and then we can go from there.

Also how long do you think we should give before we discuss? 1 week, 2 weeks, a few days? Maybe we should have a systematic way of deciding who will pick the reading for the next discussion, or should we all vote on it each time?

Any critiques of how we should do this, any other thoughts. Let's talk about this and get this project going!
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Montana, Idaho and Utah Anarchists [08 Aug 2005|04:01pm]

My partner and I are travelling to Olympia, WA to visit friends and family. Both of us are working on a project called the Rocky Mountain Resister (www.rockymountainresister.org) which is both an online resource as well as a quarterly paper for anarchists and radicals in the Rocky Mountain region. Right now we are working mostly with people in Colorado and Wyoming, but we'd like to bring people in from Idaho, Montana and Utah. If you are in that area we'd love to meet you, swap stories, info, literature, etc. Also, if you know people and/or groups in that area and get us in touch with them that would be really good too. My email is claytondewey(at)gmail.com We'll be travelling through those areas on the 12th and 13th, and then back through again the 20th and 21st.
x-posted to anarchists, anarchist theory, radicalreads

venezuela [14 Jun 2005|12:49am]

can anyone recommend some current books, articles, websites, etc. about venezuela/hugo chavez/the 'bolivarian revolution', in english or spanish?
i am attending the world youth and students festival in caracas, venezuela, in august. i want to educate myself as much as possible before then.

thanks in advance!
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[19 May 2005|05:32pm]

Does anybody happen to know what book Ho Chi Minh was reading at his death? It's just a useless bit of trivia, but it's been bugging me for at least three days. I think it was an autobiography of an American, but other than that, I have no clue. Like John Brown or someone.
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[10 May 2005|10:16am]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Romantic Revolutionary: A Biography of John Reed by Robert A. Rosenstone

I picked this up a little more than a week ago at a used books store in my hometown for a couple bucks. I've yet to begin reading it, seeing as how I'm in the middle of re-reading A People's History by Zinn, and have a couple others I plan on reading before this.

anyone else read it?
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[18 Apr 2005|11:25am]

Anyone know some sites with good (inexpesnvie) books?

My collection is still rather small and i'm looking for some new reads. Suggestions welcome! :)
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[13 Apr 2005|06:40pm]
I am sorry to post twice (this time in Anarchists, Crimethinc, and Radicalreads) but m_heart's question reminded me of an inquiry I have been itching to make for several months now. Though "Country Living" sounds great for rural survival I am looking for a book that is an encyclopedia on both urban and rural self-sufficiency. Have you run across any that are worthwhile? More than happy to put down 20-30 dollars for a hardy informative book. It would be a tremendous help, thanks!


Bourgeois accounts of Radical events [25 Mar 2005|05:03pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

Hey everyone-

I was just wondering what people think about the subject I posted.

I just finished “The Spanish Civil War” by Hugh Thomas, which is just that. I've got a short report posted on my journal.


favorite avantgardening website [17 Mar 2005|02:18am]

this is still one of my favorite gardening websites! it was totally influential on me and helped feed my interest in radical gardening. dig it.

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[14 Feb 2005|05:46pm]

Albert Camus is amazing. I'm reading Lyrical and Critical Essays now. Does anyone else like any of his writing and can recommend their favorite piece?
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