In November, UFPPC's Monday evening book discussion group, Digging Deeper, will examine Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream and books on viral media culture and perpetual war (or what seems like it), as well as two recent historical critiques of Zionism.[1]  --  Digging Deeper meets every Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.



DIGGING DEEPER meets every Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.

Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County’s “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-evening book discussion group, has examined more than 200 books, usually in the form of a study circle.  Topics have included peak oil, climate change, the corporation, torture, Iran, U.S.-Iran relations, the writings of Robert Baer, Islam, American immigration policy, Barack Obama and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Saul Alinsky’s life and writings, war and human nature, parallels between the U.S. and ancient Rome, the sustainability revolution, 9/11, energy geopolitics, the debt crisis, the 2000 and 2004 U.S. presidential elections, the politics of assassination, and the financial crisis, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, politics, and social change.  Occasionally, the group has spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation.  --  Participation is free and open; anyone interested is welcome.  Try King's Books (218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) or other local bookstores for copies of books.  More information:  contact Mark Jensen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or see

November 2, 2009:  DIGGING DEEPER CII – Susan Faludi’s The Terror Dream

Susan Faludi, The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America (Metropolitan Books, 2007; paperback Picador 2008 [retitled The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America]).  —  “Brilliantly demonstrates how our culture's seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. . . . The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.” — Book description.

November 9, 2009:  DIGGING DEEPER CIII – Viral culture

Bill Wasik, And Then There' s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture (Viking, June 2009).  "Focusing on the phenomenon of viral culture, Wasik, senior editor at Harper's magazine, reflects on his own Internet experiments . . . relating how such nanostories contribute to growing cynicism in a media-saturated and consumer-savvy public.  He draws on the work of Steven Levitt and Malcolm Gladwell to demonstrate that the desire to interpret the analysis of culture has outstripped the desire to understand the culture itself.  Wasik's examples are culled from the trivial—e.g., ephemeral indie bands and forgettable ad campaigns—but his deft style and provocative insights keep the book significant." —Publishers Weekly.

November 16, 2009:  DIGGING DEEPER CIV –  Perpetual war

Dexter Filkins, The Forever War (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008).  “The New York Times correspondent, whose tours of duty have taken him from Afghanistan in 1998 to Iraq during the American intervention, captures a decade of armed struggle in harrowingly detailed vignettes.  Whether interviewing jihadists in Kabul, accompanying marines on risky patrols in Fallujah, or visiting grieving families in Baghdad, Filkins makes us see, with almost hallucinogenic immediacy, the true human meaning and consequences of the ‘war on terror.’”  --New York Times.

November 23 & 30, 2009:  DIGGING DEEPER CV — Historical critiques of Zionism

Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People, trans. Yael Lotan (Verso, 2009; original Hebrew edition 2008).  “Shlomo Sand has written a remarkable book.  In cool, scholarly prose he has, quite simply, normalized Jewish history.  In place of the implausible myth of a unique nation with a special destiny—expelled, isolated, wandering and finally restored to its rightful home—he has reconstructed the history of the Jews and convincingly reintegrated that history into the general story of humankind.  The self-serving and mostly imaginary Jewish past that has done so much to provoke conflict in the present is revealed, like the past of so many other nations, to be largely an invention.  Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book.”  —Tony Judt, NYU.

Alan Hart, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews.  Volume I:  The False Messiah (Clarity Press, 2009).  “In his extraordinary book, Alan Hart has succeeded in elucidating for us the immediate and long-term dangers involved in the unconditional Western support for Zionism and its oppressive policies against the Palestinians.  The author provides us with a chilling exposure of how this embrace developed and continues to endanger the Jewish existence and fuels the anti-Semitism that refuses to disappear.  Motivated by a genuine concern for peace in Israel and Palestine and beyond in the world at large.”  —Ilan Pappe.