Books

In The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani provides a passionate and compelling statement of the mainstream liberal critique of the misdeeds of the 45th president and the cultural and political effects that it has spawned. Digging deeper, Kakutani locates the source of the problem in the loss of standards of truth held in common. (More…)

On the night of 7 November, the wild cry arose that the war was over! We were used to all manner of reports, though none quite as stunning as this, and in a few minutes excitement was at its height. An optimistic MP was heard shouting, “It’s over, so help me, God!” and a little later the same spirit was evidenced by the doughboys along the roads, who were joyfully proclaiming the end by shooting up flares and yelling, “Fini la guerre.” (More…)

Slave narratives are working-class literature in extremis.  They relate an existential struggle for possession of self and labour.  Failure to wrest control away from a master or to effect escape often means traumatic depression.  The slave narrative is predicated on the eventual success of that struggle.  Stripped to its essence, a slave narrative is a working-class fight to the death.  (More…)

Her resources already taxed to the breaking point, Italy was called upon to bear an additional burden of colossal proportions in caring for half a million old men, women and children, suddenly rendered homeless and penniless by the Caporetto defeat. (More…)

Fascism is a state that capitalism sometimes occupies, but it is also a system of ideas. It is important to remember this because this ideological dimension generates dynamics in a turbulent landscape that cannot be unproblematically reduced to (or mapped onto) the underlying economic formation. (More…)

“I AM WHAT I AM.” This is marketing’s latest offering to the world, the final stage in the development of advertising, far beyond all the exhortations to be different, to be oneself and drink Pepsi. Decades of concepts in order to get where we are, to arrive at pure tautology. 1 = 1. He’s running on a treadmill in front of the mirror in his gym. She’s coming back from work behind the wheel of her Smart car. Will they meet? (More…)

Jair Bolsonaro’s violent authoritarianism is nothing new in Brazilian society.  The country’s Afro-Brazilian population lived under these terms for centuries.  Today Bolsonaro voices an unfounded belief, common in the United States as well as Brazil, that slavery is long gone and irrelevant to contemporary concerns.  (More…)

Marine Le Pen’s partner had just left the country. A Jew of Algerian background, Louis Aliot had been dispatched to Israel to raise funds for the Front National (FN).

Money was tight for the populists in 2012, and they were fishing for cash everywhere. Even from North African Jewish expats, sympathetic to the Front’s Islamophobia. (More…)

There has never been in the history of Italy a state so completely identified with one man as in the case of Fascism — and there has never been a Government in which the name of its creator and the title of its governmental system has been so meticulously kept apart. You hear plenty of  the Duce del Fascismo, but never nowadays of the “Mussolini ” Fascists; you hear in Italy of the “ Fascist ” or the “ Italian ” but not of the “Mussolini ” government, and there are Fascisti, but no “Mussoliniani.” (More…)

The late historian Detlev Peukert once wrote of the literature on Max Weber that the annual volume of new publications was such that not even specialists could keep fully current. This statement could equally apply to the literature on Marx and Marxism which, even without “actually existing socialism” to act as motivator or bête noire, continues to appear in its accustomed profusion. (More…)

On July 23-24, 1968, African American radicals engaged in a wild shootout with police in the Glenville section of Cleveland. When it was over, six people were dead and the raw racial tension that had simmered below the surface in the city since the Hough Riots two years earlier again flashed into the open. (More…)

Gaza—the outpost of Africa, and the door of Asia—is situated in the south-west of Palestine, and is only about twelve miles to the north of Rafah (formerly Raphia), which marks the Turko-Egyptian boundary, running down to Akaba. (More…)