Beginning Aug. 15 and running for four Monday evenings, UFPPC's book discussion group, "Digging Deeper," will discuss a group of five books that address, in various ways, the question: What mechanisms of social control maintain the current order? -- Books are available for borrowing or purchase; there is no charge for participation. -- Please help publicize the series by printing the flyer from the link .pdf file....
WHAT: Study circle on 5 books relating to mechanisms of social control
WHO: Facilitated by members of United for Peace of Pierce County
WHEN: August 15, 22, & 29, and September 5, 2005, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA
[Series flyer for printing (.pdf format).]
United for Peace of Pierce County Study Circle: August 15, 22, 29 & September 5
DIGGING DEEPER VIII: MAINTAINING THE PRESENT ORDER
For more than a year, United for Peace of Pierce County has been conducting Digging Deeper, a Monday night book discussion group, often in the form of a study circle around a group of books, copies of which participants read, pass around, and discuss. Topics of study circles have included peak oil, climate change, and the corporation, as well as abiding themes of war and peace. Continuing in this tradition, on August 15, 2005, Digging Deeper VII will begin a four-week study circle examining a number of diverse works touching on a common theme: What mechanisms of social control maintain the current order?
· Geraldine Brooks, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (Anchor, 1995): Ms. Brooks is a talented writer and it was a pleasure to read her work. Her six years living in the Middle East and associating with Muslim women from all levels of society and in many countries gave her fascinating insights into everyday Muslim women's lives. Some reviewers here did not like the book because Brooks expresses negative opinions on some practices in Islamic countries; perhaps they are expecting a glossing over of these things in order to shed nothing but a rosy light on women's lives in Islam? In fact, this book presented some aspects of Muslim women's lives in a far more positive light than I expected. For instance, I read Azar Nafisi's book "Reading Lolita in Tehran" before reading this book, and was surprised to find Brook's examples of life for women in Iran to be far less bleak than what Nafisi showed (Nafisi's book is also great and I recommend it) (a reader from Chicago). The author spent six years covering the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal.
· Kalle Lasn, Culture Jam: How to Reverse Americas Suicidal Consumer Binge ― And Why We Must (Perennial, 2000). Publishers Weekly: With a courageous and compelling voice, Lasn deconstructs the advertising culture and our fixation on icons and brand names. And he shows how to organize resistance against the power trust that manages the brands by uncooling consumer items, by dermarketing fashions and celebrities, and by breaking the media trance of our TV-addicted age. A powerful manifesto by a leading media activist, Culture Jam lays the foundations for . . . a movement that can change the world and the way we think and live. The author publishes Adbusters magazine and lives in Vancouver, Canada.
· Derrick Jensen, The Culture of Make Believe (Chelsea Green, 2004; orig. ed. 2002). Publishers Weekly: Writing with the same driven passion and intense intelligence as his critically acclaimed A Language Older Than Words, which examined the interconnections between personal and social violence, Jensen says this book is more about racism and far more broadly hate as it manifests itself in our Western world. As in the earlier work, Jensen paints on a huge canvas he details American racism from the genocidal slave trade through lynchings to the 2000 murder of Amadou Diallo by NYC police, and covers a wide range of other cultural horrors as well: the massacres of Native American people, the Holocaust, the 8,000 deaths from the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in India, and the deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq. The book is packed full of startling details. . . . But the uniqueness and enormous power of Jensen's work is his ability to forge these events into an emotionally compelling and devastating critique of the intellectual, psychological, emotional and social structures of Western culture. Derrick Jensen is a prolific writer and activist.
· Emma Larkin, Finding George Orwell in Burma (Penguin, 2005). Publishers Weekly: The author, an American journalist fluent in Burmese, writing under a pseudonym, notes that there's a joke in Burma (now Myanmar) that Orwell wrote not one novel about the country, but three: Burmese Days, Animal Farm and 1984. The first takes place during the British colonial days, while the latter two, Larkin argues, more closely reflect the situation there today. . . . Larkin encounters a nation bristling with informants and paranoia. Her language skills, however, allow her to glean information and mingle with the country's reserved and cautious intelligentsia. . . . Larkin's prose is striking and understated, and she allows the people she meets to speak their parts without editorializing. . . . Her efforts have resulted in a lucid and insightful illustration of truly Orwellian circumstances. Emma Larkin is a pseudonym for an American journalist based in Bangkok.
· Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House, 2005). Publishers Weekly: Robert Pape has collected groundbreaking evidence to explain the strategic, social, and individual factors responsible for this growing threat. One of the worlds foremost authorities on the subject, Professor Pape has created the first comprehensive database of every suicide terrorist attack in the world from 1980 until today. With striking clarity and precision, Professor Pape uses this unprecedented research to debunk widely held misconceptions about the nature of suicide terrorism and provide a new lens that makes sense of the threat we face. . . . In this wide-ranging analysis, Professor Pape offers the essential tools to forecast when some groups are likely to resort to suicide terrorism and when they are not. He also provides the first comprehensive demographic profile of modern suicide terrorist attackers. With data from more than 460 such attackers - including the names of 333 - we now know that these individuals are not mainly poor, desperate criminals or uneducated religious fanatics but are often well-educated, middle-class political activists. The author teaches political science at the University of Chicago.
MEETING SCHEDULE ―- Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on August 15, 22, & 29, and September 5 at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.
United for Peace of Pierce County meets at 7:00 p.m. on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at First United Methodist Church, 423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, WA
Digging Deeper, UFPPCs book discussion series, has been meeting weekly since July 2004. We have considered these books bearing on matters related to UFPPCs mission statement: "We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy": Kevin Phillips, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (Viking, 2004); Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties (Scribner, 2004); Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (Simon and Schuster, 2004); Evan Wright, Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War (Putnam, 2004); Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies (Free Press, 2004); David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (Interlink, 2004); James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (Viking, 2004); Dana Priest, The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military (Norton, 2003); Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (Metropolitan Books, 2004); Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004); Catherine Lutz, Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century (Beacon, 2001); Robert McChesney, The Problem of the Media: US Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Monthly Review Press, 2004); Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Columbia, and Indochina (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); Rahul Mahajan, Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond (Seven Stories Press, 2003); Anonymous [Michael Scheuer], Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror (Brassey's, 2004); Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster, 1991); Michael T. Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004); Ross Gelbspan, Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis -- and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster (Basic Books, 2004); Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation (Three Rivers Press, 1999); Richard Heinberg, The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (New Society, 2003); Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Hubberts Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage (Princeton UP, 2001); Amory Lovins et al., Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profit, Jobs, and Security (Rocky Mountain Institute, 2005); Mark Lynas, High Tide: The Truth about Our Climate Crisis (Picador, 2004); Brian M. Fagan, The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization (Basic Books, 2004); Patrick J. Michaels, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media (Cato Institute, 2004); Richard B. Alley, The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future (Princeton University Press, 2002); T.E. Graedel and Paul J. Crutzen, Atmospheric Change: An Earth System Perspective (W.H. Freeman, 1992); Spencer R. Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming (Harvard University Press, 2003); Douglas V. Hoyt & Kenneth H. Schatten, The Role of the Sun in Climate Change (Oxford University Press, 1997); Jim Wallis, God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005); Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2004); Ted Nace, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (Berret-Koehler, 2001); P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003); Roland Marchand, Creating the Corporate Soul: The Rise of Public Relations and Corporate Imagery in American Big Business (University of California Press, 1998); Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Back Bay Books, 2000); Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, The Selling of Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960 (University of Illinois Press, 1994); David C. Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd ed., (Berret-Koehler, 2001); Elliott D. Sclar and Richard C. Leone, You Dont Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization (Cornell University Press, 2001); Ezra N. Suleiman, Dismantling Democratic States (Princeton University Press, 2003); Naomi Klein, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (Picador, 2002; orig. ed. 1999); John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Berrett-Koehler, 2004); Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Broadway Books, 2002); Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire (South End Press, 2004); Lester R. Brown, Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures (W.W. Norton, 2005); Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2005); Ron Hira & Anil Hira, Outsourcing America: What's Behind Our National Crisis And How We Can Reclaim American Jobs (AMOCOM, 2005); Bruce Lincoln, Holy Terrors: Thinking about Religion after September 11 (University of Chicago Press, 2003); Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide (Basic Books, 2002; paperback edition by Perennial, 2005).