Articles Reviews

  • Mapping the vocabulary of the radical Left

    This wide spectrum of essays offers richly grounded and concrete tools for navigating anticapitalist struggle. For example, John Bellamy Foster’s and Patrick Bond’s respective chapters on nature and sustainability provide conceptual and historical clarity for any political project that considers environmental destruction and the limits of natural resources, time, labour and money.

  • Comic collection inspired by everyday heroes

    Edited by the Graphic History Collective, this compilation of comics presents readers with an alternative narrative to the dominant comic book discourse. Our militaristic, macho, male heroes are replaced with people like Québécois union activist Madeleine Parent, or Indigenous workers fighting for the land in B.C., or the women who fought hard labour battles in the retail sector.

  • Mother Tareka addresses the elephants in the room

    Elephants is the perfect soundtrack for the times we live in. Funk’s influences range from funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat and Arabic poetry. The breadth of styles adds several layers to Elephants. It’s not simply hip-hop with Afro-beat horn lines or a funk rhythm section with rapping overtop; instead, each style plays a role in forming the overall sound.

  • The Propaganda System in Canada

    Propaganda is only as good as the processes through which it is concealed. Traditional examples of propaganda — the cult of personality, the political commissar, and the threat of the work camp (or worse) — were blunt and easy. They reflected a political climate where the threat of violent repression allowed for a less sophisticated regime of mass persuasion.

  • Ava DuVernay’s ‘13th’ a must-see exposé of mass incarceration in the US

    Avu DuVernay’s latest documentary 13th comes at an important junction in American history. The 2016 presidential elections confirmed that divisions of race and class continue to be central and defining features of contemporary US society. Donald Trump ran on a platform of open bigotry, courting a reactionary following and emboldening the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement.

  • Rebel Youth offers depth but lacks dimension

    Rebel Youth is ordered by two claims. The first is that the explosion of defiant youthful anti-authoritarianism in the cultural arena, rebellious uprisings of young wildcat strikers in 1965-1966, the rise of New Left opposition and protest, and young radicals’ support for a series of 1969-1972 strikes need all be understood as “aspects of a single youth phenomenon.”

  • The “People’s Poet” in three dimensions

    The entire artifact — book and CD together —becomes a multimedia portrait of a fascinating man whose family and class allegiances, fierce intelligence and demanding friendship were obviously a challenge and a joy for those around him. Acorn’s reputation as a Marxist curmudgeon was the one I was most familiar with when I picked up this book.

  • Conflict, Coercion, and Settler Colonialism in Western Canada

    Reviews

    The Pass System is an important documentary that is a must-watch for teachers, researchers, and activists of all kinds. In light of the Idle No More movement and ongoing pipeline protests, the film reminds us of the different ways in which the state, in the name of nation-building, tries to contain Indigenous resistance to facilitate capitalist accumulation by colonial dispossession.

  • Pacifying Palestinians and Pacifying the World

    Middle East

    Yet whether we think of Syria as the paradigm of twenty-first century warfare or the Israeli matrix of control, it is “the people,” or a mobilized segment, that is being victimized. Halper’s book does the best job so far of depicting this new cartography of warfare, and deserves to be widely read and its main theses debated.

  • A blueprint for Canada’s energy policy

    When Ralph Nader called Gordon Laxer’s book After the Sands “a myth-destroying blockbuster” it couldn’t have been better put. This is a long-overdue insightful analysis of not only Canada’s oil and gas industry, but also the economic and political framework within which it operates.

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