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OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishing6 months ago
A Buddhist teacher shares insights into the prisoner’s mindset, something with implications for us all, whether or not we are in a conventional jail
As a prison chaplain, Cuong Lu discovered that when the men inside allowed themselves to feel their pain—including remorse for committing crimes—knowing and feeling the truth became a source of strength for them.
This is a book of fifty-two vignettes—stories and teachings about Lu’s six years as a prison chaplain. He found that when the inmates felt listened to, understood and not judged, it transformed their sense of who they are, and as a result changed their attitudes and their behavior.
Cuong Lu opens our eyes beyond prejudice to see others—and ourselves—in a larger perspective. When we look at prisoners without judgment, we connect with those we might never know, and with our own basic goodness. The message of The Buddha in Jail is one of redemption.
This book is not just about the prisoners. It’s about all of us. We’re all caught in distorted and limiting ideas of ourselves. We don’t believe freedom and happiness are attainable. But when we come to believe in ourselves, we discover the freedom and happiness already within. Cuong Lu shows us that this approach works. It can be applied to all prisons, and also to our own lives.
“Read these stories carefully, a few at a time, and apply them to our encounters with those who have acted badly, those we don't particularly like, and ourselves, for all these dialogues are taking place within each of us all the time.” — Roshi Joan Halifax
The Buddha in Jail, Cuong Lu
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishing7 months ago
In this diverse and vigorous mix of stories by newcomers and luminaries, writers offer their takes on what life might hold for us in the next few years. The resulting visions of war, oppression, and daily struggle are sometimes humorous, sometimes terrifying (and occasionally both), but always thought-provoking.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishing7 months ago
The inside story of how, using deliberate and strategic social engineering, The 700 Club moved Christians steadily into the Republican Party―and moved the party itself to the right.How did Evangelical Christians become the American right wing’s attack troops? Televangelist Pat Robertson was one of the first to realize the political potential of millions of Evangelicals, and decided to determine how battlelines were drawn. Robertson, now a leading and unflinching Trump supporter, rose to national prominence in the 1960s with his Christian Broadcasting Network and his hit show The 700 Club.Terry Heaton was instrumental in Robertson's rise to power and now deeply regrets his role at The 700 Club, where he was executive producer. He now provides the inside story of how evangelical Christianity forced itself on a needy Republican Party in order to gain political influence on a global level. Using deliberate and strategic social engineering, The 700 Club moved Christians steadily into the Republican Party–and moved the party itself to the right.With a gospel message that appealed to self-interest, The 700 Club violated numerous laws in an attempt to create a Shadow Government of Evangelicals, all in the name of doing God’s work on earth. The results of this long-term campaign were fully on display in the 2016 electoral season.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishing7 months ago
When white nationalists and their supporters clashed with counter-demonstrators in the college town of Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue, resulting in the death of one anti-racist activist and the wounding of thirty-five more, a signal moment in American history was reached.Suddenly, U.S. citizens who had previously thought of themselves as moderate began to wonder whether violence in defending their values against fellow citizens was not only an option, but a necessity—whether the way American history has been commonly presented is not only unfair but inaccurate; whether the current President is to blame for the sudden visibility of white supremacist groups; and finally, whether a surge in racism and ultra-nationalism is irrevocably re-shaping the country.Charlottesville: Before & Beyond untangles the meaning of the events that unfolded last August. Part One of the book documents and comments upon the immediate aftermath of the violence. Part Two addresses the context, both before and after, for interpreting the violence: essays reflect on the social and cultural landscape of the nation, the role of the media, and the logic of “punching Nazis in the face.”Including writing by Eric Anthamatten, Nicholas Baer, Wes Bellamy, Keval Bhatt, Vaughn A. Booker, Andrew Boyer, Maria Bucur, Jordan Dunn, Mindy Fullilove, Laura Goldblatt, Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, Maggie Hennefeld, Christopher Howard-Woods, Jeffrey Isaac, Michael Sasha King, Mitchell Kosters, Jared Loggins, Gordon Mantler, Marcus McCullough, Rachel McKinney, Julia Ott, Claire Potter, Isaac Ariail Reed, Neil Roberts, Melvin Rogers, Sanford Schram, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Michael Weinman, Leonard A. Williams, and Deva Woodly.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishing8 months ago
A provocative, entertaining but ultimately serious examination of rock's most essential questions: Beatles or Stones? Which is the best air guitar to play? Does Rush suck? And what is the meaning of Billy Joel?
Metaphysical Graffiti is a book for music fans, humor fans, and, if a meaningful ontological category, fans of philosophy too. It is a provocative, inflammatory, hilarious, but ultimately serious book about the essential questions of rock—Beatles or Stones? What Kind of Air Guitar Do You Play? Does Rush Suck? and, of course, The Meaning of Billy Joel. In a rich mix of original pieces, Kaufman not only examines the essential issues facing all rock fans, but delves into the deeper, metaphysical roots of these questions.
The book's title is a riff on the classic Led Zeppelin album, Physical Graffiti, while the book itself is an innovative, critical work that in many ways mirrors the best rock 'n' roll. Funny, audacious, irreverent, and relentlessly creative, it stretches the parameters of traditional criticism by incorporating short fiction, “Moronic Dialogues,” and even a short mini-play, “Godot, The Musical,” in order to explore philosophical concepts of Reality, Authenticity, Hype, and, ultimately, the purpose of music criticism itself.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
A celebrated performance artist’s mesmerizing riffs on sex in American politics.Based on her widely praised performance piece Unicorn Gratitude Mystery («Wickedly funny," as described by The New York Times), Karen Finley’s Grabbing Pussy explores the Shakespearean dynamics that surface when libidos and loyalties clash in the public and private personas of Donald Trump, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, and now Harvey Weinstein.Standing in the tradition of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, Finley’s words jolt the reader into new insights about the ways the darkly private can drive the public realm in dizzying twists and turns. The aggression of intimacy, the disparity of gender, and the vital importance of hair are all encompassed in Finley’s exhilarating canter.
Grabbing Pussy, Karen Finley
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
Extensively expanded and revised, with a new foreword by Thomas Frank

In the United States, happiness and wealth are often regarded as synonymous. Consumerism, greed, and the insatiable desire for more are American obsessions. In the native tradition of Twain, Veblen, and Mencken, the editor of Lapham's Quarterly here examines our fascination with the ubiquitous green goddess.
Focusing on the wealthy sybarites of New York City, whom Lewis H. Lapham has been able to observe firsthand in their natural habitat, Money and Class in America is a caustic, and often hilarious, portrait of a segment of the American population who, in the thirty years since the book was originally written, have become only further removed—both in terms of wealth and social awareness—from everyone else.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
Creating Chaos explores that dark side of statecraft, the covert use of political warfare in international relations — from its early practices during the Great Game between the British and Russian empires, through the Cold War era of ideological confrontation and forward into the hybrid political warfare of the 21st Century.

Creating Chaos presents and illustrates the full body of covert and deniable political warfare practices, tracing their historical development and their use by both America and Russia throughout the Cold War and beyond. Using the most current information available, Hancock, a “veteran national security journalist” (Publishers Weekly) examines the evolution of political warfare tools and tactics in the era of the global Internet and ubiquitous social media, evaluating their effectiveness and illustrating the rapidly increasing levels of risk associated with these new and untested cyberwarfare tools.

Virtually no books have studied actual political warfare beyond the Cold War, and only a handful have provided any insights into the new and rapidly evolving practices of the Russian Federation or of the political warfare aspect of NGOs or other surrogate actors.

A companion volume to Shadow Warfare: The History of America's Undeclared Wars, Creating Chaos introduces the nature and history of political action practices, exploring a number of formerly secret American and Russian hybrid warfare and active measures projects in detail. With that background for context, it then extends those practices into the twenty-first century and contemporary events, evaluating wellestablished practices as they are being used with the newest tools of the global Internet and social media. It demonstrates the exponential increase in their effectiveness—and the equally exponential risk and consequences involved.
Creating Chaos, Larry Hancock
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
A half-century into the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Israel’s Occupation at Fifty brings together eminent political leaders, scholars, and activists for a wide-ranging, at times contentious, and remarkably fruitful discussion of the region’s fate.A simple observation that ought to astonish more than it does: the Israel-Palestine conflict continues. A century on from the Balfour Declaration, 50 years since the fateful war of 1967, and a full decade into the brutal siege of Gaza, Israel's occupation is more entrenched than ever while Palestinian self-determination has never been so remote. This is a record that should inspire intellectual humility as well as political urgency; a readiness to acknowledge that, on myriad questions bearing on the prospects for resolving the conflict, compelling arguments can be advanced from multiple sides.This book brings together an unprecedented wealth of expertise—encompassing political leaders, preeminent scholars, and dedicated activists from Israel, Palestine, and abroad—in direct critical exchange on the issues at the heart of the world's most intractable war. Has Israel's vast settlement enterprise made a Palestinian state impossible? Can the Palestinian leadership end the occupation? Is Israel's rule in the Palestinian territories a form of apartheid? What role must the United States play in securing a just peace? In a series of compelling, illuminating and at times no-holds-barred debates, leading authorities tackle these and other problems, exposing myths, challenging preconceptions, and providing a more sober and informed basis for political action.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
Medea Benjamin is the author of the insightful and successful Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.–Saudi Connection.
This book is perhaps the first non-academic look at the history of US and Iranian relations––giving a complex issue an accessible entry point for a general audience.
Inside Iran, Medea Benjamin
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
A reissued classic; Robert Coover is one of America's best-known living authors
Perfect for the Trump Era Never before released in paperback--or with this, its original title
With a new introduction by the author
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
«Serious but easily readable. The History of Havana employs conventional documentary, written and visual sources and a variety of testimonials from throughout the world to bring to life the complex portraits and challenges of contemporary Havana.» —Harry Belafonte Since its founding in 1519, Havana has drawn people from all over the world, including explorers, immigrant, refugees, and the exiled, to create a melting pot of influences and cultures––and a very distinct history. From its colonial roots to its communist revolution, authors Dick Cluster and Rafael Hernández examine not only the ruptures in the city's life, but its continuities as well. The traditions that make the city unique, like its idiosyncratic combination of territorialism and hospitality or its proclivity for protest, are as much a drive for change as an integral element of its character. Drawing on oral histories and cultural artifacts alike, this history acknowledges the rich and artfully selected stories of the citizens, from their fascinating exploits to their grand successes, to be as significant to the very fabric of the city as its dynamic culture and intriguing politics, making it a superbly well-rounded account of the most alluring city in the Caribbean. With grace and precision, in this updated and revised second edition of their classic history of the city Cluster and Hernández offer the divergent but productive perspectives of the American and the Cuban in lyrical and accessible prose on Cuba's magical capital. Generously illustrated with black-and-white photographs and maps.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishing14 days ago
A description from the belly of the beast that is MS-13: the first book to reveal the inner workings of the most violent gang in the world, written by an anthropologist who was there.This short, intense book exposes life inside the largest, most violent gang in the world, Mara Salvatrucha 13, more commonly known as MS-13. Right in the heart of El Salvador’s violent capital San Salvador, anthropologist Juan José Martínez d´Aubuisson observes firsthand an escalating cycle of violence between MS-13 and its sworn enemies from Barrio 18 as it becomes a war fought on a professional scale with grenades and machine guns. (Both gangs have their origins in Los Angeles, interestingly enough, not Central America.)For the better part of a year, d´Aubuisson was embedded in one of the cells of MS-13, where he learned its moral codes, rules, legends, and contradictions. His journey into the heart of the gang is guided by an enigmatic character, El Destino, a veteran founder of the gang. After many conversations with El Destino, the anthropologist begins to forge a strange kind of friendship with him, and understands not only the origin of the gang and its war with Barrio 18, but the deep-seated reasons for the regional violence. The book culminates in one of the most violent acts ever in an area that has seen more than its share: a full-scale attack on a public bus with thirty-two passengers on board. Fourteen people were killed and twenty-eight wounded.Almost all the principal characters in this book end up dying: some are killed in the war, while others fall to the state security forces. Those that do escape the war are imprisoned, exiled or murdered by their own gang. This is a true testimony of life inside a wild gang, in a neighborhood governed by abandoned boys.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
«Beautiful Rising offers insights and lessons for creative resistance from across the Global South, making it a crucial resource for change-makers.»—Archbishop Desmond Tutu“Beyond a brilliantly innovative toolkit for making social change, you will find here a 'deep structure' of activist patterns and principles that can unite millions in creating a new world beyond capitalist sociopathy and strong man despotism. Read this optimistic book for hope in grim times. " —Charles Derber, professor of sociology at Boston College and author of Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous TimesBased on face-to-face jam sessions held in Yangon, Amman, Harare, Dhaka, Kampala and Oaxaca, Beautiful Rising includes stories of the Ugandan organizers who smuggled two yellow-painted pigs into parliament to protest corruption; the Burmese students' 360-mile long march against undemocratic and overly centralized education reforms; the Lebanese “honk at parliament” campaign against politicians who had clung to power long after their term had expired; and much more.Now, in one remarkable book, you can find the collective wisdom of more than a hundred grassroots organizers from five continents. It's everything you need for a DIY uprising of your own.
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
One of only a few feminist poetry anthologies in print
Uniquely intersectional and diverse, with contributors from a wide range of racial, sexual, and gender identities
Topics range from the immediate political climate to sexuality, motherhood, and theories of feminism
OR Books
OR Booksadded a book to the bookshelfAlternative Publishinglast year
We all know the book: it’s been hailed as one of the most important documents on how the world economy works, or doesn’t work, and it’s been a colossal bestseller since it first appeared in 2014, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century makes a powerful case that wealth, and accumulated wealth, tends to stay where it lands: and with the passage of time, just gets bigger… and bigger. But how many of us who bought or borrowed the book—or even, perhaps, reviewed it—have read more than a fraction of its 696 pages? How many more shuddered at the thought of committing $40 to such a venture? And how many of Piketty’s groundshaking concepts have gone unappreciated, all for want of intellectual stamina?Deliverance is at hand in the form of Pocket Piketty, written in clear and accessible prose by an experienced economist and teacher–and one whose work was relied on by Piketty for his masterpiece. In this handy and slim volume, Jesper Roine explains all things Piketty.
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