Exposing the profiteers of globalisation, disaster, conflict and detention

Book: Disaster capitalism: Making a killing out of catastrophe

Author: Antony Loewenstein

ISBN: 978-1784781156

Publisher: Verso, 2015, AUD 26.95*

*Book price at time of review

Review Title: Exposing the profiteers of globalisation, disaster, conflict and detention

Reviewer: Jason K. von Meding

Affiliation: School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Australia

In Disaster capitalism: Making a killing out of catastrophe, acclaimed Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein turns his passion for justice to deliver a stunning critique of the thriving disaster capitalism industry, in its many forms; the profiteers of privatised detention, militarised security, the aid industry and multinational mining are relentlessly skewered with style and poise, and their predatory tactics exposed.Read More »

Ernesto Che Guevara: His path to making history in the Americas

A necessary historical, biographical, military atlas

The Atlas histórico, biogra?fico y militar Ernesto Guevara, by authors Reinaldo Espinosa Goitizolo and Guillermo Grau Guardarrama.

THE figure of Ernesto Che Guevara awakens great passions and has become a symbol of universal appeal. One of his portraits, from the lens of Alberto Korda, is one the world’s most reproduced images.

This year, the tragic date of October 9 seems even more piercing: 50 years since his assassination in La Higuera, Bolivia. Despite the dozens of books written about Che, the search for information leads inevitably to the Atlas histórico, biográfico y militar Ernesto Guevara, by authors Reinaldo Espinosa Goitizolo and Guillermo Grau Guardarrama, published in Havana, in 1990, by the Pueblo y Educación house, with the support of the Cuban Institute of Geodesy and Cartography.Read More »

The Class War’s Ultimate Weapon

Governing From The Skies: A Global History of Aerial Bombing

by Thomas Hippler (Verso, £14.99)

by Gordon Parsons

Morning Star | 20 February, 2017

IN THIS global history of aerial bombing, philosopher and historian Thomas Hippler traces the development of air power in warfare from the “police-bombing,” by which imperialist powers controlled colonial peoples in the early years of the last century, to the present daily use of drones by the US to assert its declining influence.

It is doubtful whether Donald Trump will cancel Barack Obama’s weekly “bloody Thursday” White House briefings approving the list of people to be killed in the next seven days.Read More »

Myth-Busting Revelations Of US War On Vietnam

The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?
by John Marciano
(Monthly Review Press, £14.65)

by Steven Andrew

Morning Star | 06 February, 2017

FOR the past few decades, an unholy alliance of politicians, generals, journalists and academics have spent unlimited time and resources trying to convince the world that the US invasion of Vietnam was done with the best of intentions, the general narrative being that it was an idealistic crusade centred on the defence of democracy.

If crimes did occur, these were very much exceptional mistakes and, if they weren’t, actions do have to be contextualised. After all, wasn’t the communist enemy 10 times worse?

It’s an unremitting campaign and one which has returned with a vengeance as the empire continues to justify ongoing warfare against all those not willing to play ball.Read More »

Highways To Hope


Morning Star | 23 January, 2017

Four Futures: Life
After Capitalism
by Peter Frase
(Verso, £8.99)

ACCORDING to Peter Frase, the historical fork in the road facing humanity is not the two-pronged life-or-death choice declared by Rosa Luxemburg a century ago. It’s more of a four- lane superhighway.

Frase’s short and very readable Four Futures: Life After Capitalism includes the two routes identified by Luxemburg and throws in two more — communism, of the post-scarcity, non-statist variety, and “rentism.”Read More »

Revelatory Eyewitness Account Of Post-1917 Russia

By Alan Lloyd

Morning Star | 09 January, 2017

Lenin’s Moscow by Alfred Rosmer (Haymarket Books, £16.99)

WRITTEN by French revolutionary syndicalist Alfred Rosmer, this is a fascinating first-hand account of the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution.

Rosmer became a communist after the success of the Bolsheviks and was on the executive of the Communist International and the political bureau of the French Communist Party.

He spent much of the years from 1920 to 1924 in Soviet Russia, where he helped found and develop the Red International of Labour Unions.

Invited by Lenin, Rosmer’s journey to Russia was a feat of endurance which, due to the upheavals, chaos and poverty resulting from the war, took six weeks.Read More »

Left Right Left…

Left Politics in West Bengal: Examining The ‘Marxists’ and The ‘Maoists’ * By Partha Sarathi                      Publisher : Purbalok Publication PP 272; Rs 250.00

by Soumya Guhathakurta

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.23, Dec 11 – 17, 2016

The book* is the result of the author’s engagement with left politics in West Bengal since 1965-66. He was active with radical politics and he resigned from the “Maoist party” in 2001. The book is a quest to come to grips with the ideology, to chronicle the rise of the left in West Bengal and to analyse the Left’s performance in power. A close look is taken at the radicals as well as the left’s handling of gender and caste issues and the perpetual tension that exists between power, people and the party. Read More »

Contesting Symbols and Stereotypes

by Anirban Biswas

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.11, Sep 18 – 24, 2016

It is fact that the Hindutva brigade in India has been striving over the years to present a view of Indian history in conformity with their political objectives, and are making all sorts of fantastic claims in order to give this view a fairly reasonable appearance. It is also undeniable that over the last three decades or so, they have gained considerable strength. Although they more often than not prefer to impose their views on others by the force of sticks, knives and guns instead of trying to establish their propositions by means of logic and facts, there remains the need to unearth the various related aspects of India’s history and present them in their true light in order to beat back the nefarious schemes of the Hindutva brigade, and the brigade’s efforts to legitimize these schemes in terms of history by making all sorts of false claims.Read More »

Engrossing Account Of European History From Below

A People’s History of Modern Europe by William A Pelz (Pluto Press, £18)

by Steve Andrew

Morning Star | 26 September, 2016

VERY much written from the perspective of “history from below,” at best this book by William A Pelz is a well-written and engrossing read.

It’s a confident and no-holds- barred text that rapidly gets down to a thoughtful discussion of salient periods — inevitably selective — of European history from a left and feminist perspective.

The late medieval period is notably well addressed, particularly the European-wide peasant revolts and their relationships, good and bad, to Reformation figures such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. Both indulged in anti-semitic abuse and eulogised their own rich backers when necessary — an aspect of both figures that most biographers choose to ignore.Read More »

Fidel Castro: Hero of the dispossessed


Granma | 22 August, 2016

Photo: Granma

A controversial figure in the West, where he is heavily criticized, Fidel Castro is instead admired by the peoples of Latin America and the Third World, who consider him a symbol of resistance to oppression and a champion of the aspirations of the countries of the South to independence, sovereignty and self-determination. A mythical rebel, who has entered the pantheon of the great liberators of the Americas, the former guerrilla of the Sierra Maestra has seen his prestige surpass continental borders to become the archetype of anti-imperialism in the twentieth century and the champion of a universal message of emancipation.

Read More »