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John le Carré: Calling out the traitors

John le Carré, the former British spy turned spy novelist, has some grave words for Tony Blair. More than seven years after the invasion of Iraq, the former British prime minister, now out of office and touring the world pushing his political memoir, is encountering serious protests at his book signings.

"I can't understand that Blair has an afterlife at all. It seems to me that any politician who takes his country to war under false pretenses has committed the ultimate sin," he told me when I sat down with le Carré recently in London. "We've caused irreparable damage in the Middle East. I think we shall pay for it for a long time."

'Gender Failure' defies gender rules, roles and assumptions

Gender Failure

by Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon
(Arsenal Pulp Press,
2014;
$17.95)

"I had no way to talk about gender. I wasn't allowed to express how uncomfortable it was for me. To resist would have put me in danger, so I kept any subversive thoughts covert. As a person who couldn't conform to what was expected of me, I thought I was a failure and kept it to myself..."

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Olivia Chow's 'My Journey' is the antidote to political despair

My Journey

by Olivia Chow
(HarperCollins ,
2014;
$29.99)

When I think about Olivia Chow I always think about her seemingly endless energy and her infectious enthusiasm as she works with people on a huge array of social issues.

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'Letters Lived' captures the personal and political of an activist's journey

Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths

by Edited by Sheila Sampath
(Three O'Clock Press,
2013;
$14.95)

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Do you ever wish you could write your teenaged self a letter about what you wished you had known back then?

Letters Lived: Radical reflections, revolutionary paths edited by Sheila Sampath takes this question and poses it to a diverse group of international and cross-generational social justice activists and asks them to answer. The result is a series of candid and powerful letters that discuss the personal and political and the journey in between.

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Redeye

Mac-Pap: Memoir of a Canadian in the Spanish Civil War

December 13, 2013
| The memoir was written by Ron Liversedge, a Canadian worker, about his experiences in Spain from 1936 to 1939. The book was completed in 1966, but it has only just been published.
Length: 18:25 minutes (16.87 MB)

babble book club reading 'Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter' by Carmen Aguirre

| September 26, 2013

Graphic novel double feature! babble book club's newest selection is here!

| July 4, 2013
Democracy North

This Week on Media Mornings: Michael Parenti, surveillance leaks, prostitution law challenge

June 17, 2013
| This Week on Media Mornings has interviews featuring Michael Parenti, ACLU and BCCLA on surveillance leaks and the prostitution law challenge.
Length: 1:05:51 minutes (60.3 MB)
Redeye

Play: How Has My Love Affected You?

March 19, 2013
| Marcus Youssef is well-known for his plays on political issues from the invasion of Iraq to Canadian involvement in Afghanistan. His most recent production moves into more personal territory.
Length: 20:20 minutes (18.62 MB)

Eli Clare's Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation

Exile and Pride

Exile and Pride (Classics Edition): Disability, Queerness, and Liberation

by Eli Clare
(South End Press,
2009;
$19.99)

I often feel that describing the pieces that I write in response to books as “reviews” is a bit inaccurate because I only occasionally relate to the books in question in the ways that a review is, traditionally, supposed to. What I write tend to be more reactions or reflections or responses, or just meanderings. Nonetheless, I inevitably end up deciding just to sit with that unease -- to accept that the label “review” doesn’t always quite fit the way it is normatively intended and to trouble and loosen it by taking it on anyway. In the case of this book, I’m afraid that what I write will be more of a moderately reflective fanboy “squee” than a proper review.

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