All posts filed under: book reviews

The Quiet Imperialism

Frank Lee reviews Beyond US Hegemony by Egyptian economist Samir Amin, who died earlier this year. This work was first published in 2006, but has been remarkably prescient in its evaluation of US strategic imperial policy before, and, a fortiori, after that date. Many, if not most, Americans and of course their Petainist vassals in Europe, have always been in denial about the imperial ambitions and practises of the US.

Book Review: High Magick By Damien Echols

Hope K If I were to pick one word to sum up Damien Echols’ new book, High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row, I would choose “empowerment.” And if you’re doubtful that magick is real, well, just know that Damien Echols is the only person to ever have walked away from death row in Arkansas. The West Memphis Three In May of 1993, three eight year old boys were brutally murdered, their bodies found in a gulley, their bicycles left on a pipe bridge in the woods of West Memphis, Arkansas. Here’s the crime scene 25 years later: The town was traumatized by the gruesome nature of the murders. The police either could not or would not name a suspect, and they were getting a lot of pressure. So they honed in on Damien, who with his black clothes, heavy metal music, and interest in magick, stood out. He and his best friend, Jason Baldwin, lived in poverty. So too did Jessie Misskelley, who confessed to the crime. Damien …

Book Review: Propaganda Blitz – How Corporate Media Distort Reality

We’ve heard a good deal of late about Western democracy, and I for one don’t knock it. I think it an excellent idea, but wouldn’t it require an informed electorate? And wouldn’t that require a media untainted by power and unfettered by any ties other than to truth? Truth in the sense of accuracy and immunity from entrenched interest; truth in the sense of facts and interpretations offered with neither fear nor favour on matters vital to the common good – like climate change, waging war, and levels of inequality both morally indefensible and socially dysfunctional?

9/11 Unmasked: A Remarkable Review

David Ray Griffin The book 9/11 Unmasked, which I wrote together with Elizabeth Woodworth, has received several excellent reviews. But the most remarkable of these was written by Philip Roddis, who in 2016 had written with vitriol (his term) about the idea that 9/11 was an “inside job.” He wrote: “9/11 Truthism is not only seriously crackers but reactionary too.” What is remarkable about Roddis’ 2018 review is the extent to which he reversed his previous position. Introduction Roddis’ reversal began after seeing responses to his 2016 piece. Most of the responses simply confirmed Roddis’ long-held “contempt” for 9/11 truthers. He had felt this contempt – he recently realized – because he had been “exposed only to lazy, simplistic and epistemologically naive truthers.” Put otherwise, Roddis admitted that his “exposure to truthism had come from armchair conspiracists too idle or brain fogged to put together a decent argument.” Given his long-held certainty that the truthers could not be taken seriously, he had felt no need to “engage with evidential flaws in the official account.” So …

The Fakest Fake News: The U.S. Government’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

Edward Curtin A Review of 9/11Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth If you want to fathom today’s world, absolutely nothing is more important than to understand the truth about the attacks of September 11, 2001. This is the definitive book on the subject. For seventeen years we have been subjected to an onslaught of U.S. government and corporate media propaganda about 9/11 that has been used to support the “war on terror” that has resulted in millions of deaths around the world.  It has been used as a pretext to attack nations throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. It has led to a great increase in Islamophobia since Muslims were accused of being responsible for the attacks. It has led to a crackdown on civil liberties in the United States, the exponential growth of a vast and costly national security apparatus, the spreading of fear and anxiety on a great scale, and a state of permanent war that is pushing the world toward a nuclear confrontation. …

Book Reviews: 9/11 Unmasked

Every year, at about this time, OffGuardian likes to cover the anniversary of 9/11, the most important “catalysing event” in modern history. And this year is no different. As part of this coverage, and in recognition of our willingness to discuss this often-controversial topic, we were invited to review 9/11 Unmasked, a new book from David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth, focusing on the discrepancies in the official account of that fateful day 17 years ago. We reached out to trusted regular contributors and friends of the site based on their honesty, integrity and potentially contrasting points of view. The results are three different reviews, illustrating an interesting cross-section of opinions and experiences. Philip Roddis Two years ago, on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, OffGuardian ran my review of Dylan Avery’s Loose Change. Except it wasn’t a review but a pouring of vitriol on the film’s central assertion that the events of September 11, 2001 were an inside job. Reception below the line was hostile. But among the cat-calls were voices I could not ignore: …

Seventeen Years on: what really happened on 9/11?

Philip Roddis Introduction On Friday, August 31, I had an email from OffGuardian editor Catte: How do you feel about reviewing a new 9/11 book for the anniversary? I know you’re a sceptic but that is why I’d value your input … Two years ago, on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, OffGuardian ran my review of Dylan Avery’s Loose Change. Except it wasn’t a review but a pouring of vitriol on the film’s central assertion that the events of September 11, 2001 were an inside job. Reception below the line was hostile. But among the cat-calls were voices I could not ignore: voices of reason from dudes who’d done their homework and whose tones were sober; friendly even. I promised to re-assess the truther case and return either to concede and apologise or reaffirm my views with better arguments. I gave no date but strongly and at the time sincerely implied it would be a few months tops. Not two years. Why the delay? I’m not afraid of saying, I was wrong. I’ve had practise …

9/11 Unmasked by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth: A Review

Piers Robinson Although not a topic for polite conversation, nor a widely recognized ‘acceptable’ issue for mainstream academics and journalists, the issue of 9/11 and the multiple questions that persist with respect to this transformative event continue to bubble under the surface. 9/11 ushered in the global ‘war on terror’, shaping the geo-political agenda of Western governments for almost two decades now and having a deleterious impact on civil liberties across Western liberal democratic states. Torture has been used as part of official policy and there is bulk data collection and surveillance of entire populations. In recent years, further information has come into the public domain, via the UK Chilcot report regarding the formative stages of the post 9/11 ‘war on terror’: Within days of 9/11 having occurred a British embassy cable reported that ‘the “regime-change hawks” in Washington are arguing that a coalition put together for one purpose (against international terrorism) could be used to clear up other problems in the region’; Chilcot also published a Bush-Blair communication from the aftermath of 9/11 which …

Book Review: JFK and the Unspeakable – How he died and why it matters

by Edward Curtin This review was first published on November 28th 2009 and originally appeared on globalresearch.ca, lewrockwell.com and ratical.org. We are republishing it now to mark the our “JFK Week”, as well as announce our new “Book Review” section, coming soon. Despite a treasure-trove of new information having emerged over the last forty-six years, there are many people who still think who killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and why are unanswerable questions. There are others who cling to the Lee Harvey Oswald “lone-nut” explanation proffered by the Warren Commission. Both groups agree, however, that whatever the truth, it has no contemporary relevance but is old-hat, history, stuff for conspiracy-obsessed people with nothing better to do. The general thinking is that the assassination occurred almost a half-century ago, so let’s move on. Nothing could be further from the truth, as James Douglass shows in his extraordinary book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (Orbis Books, 2008). It is clearly one of the best books ever written on the Kennedy assassination …

It trolls for thee: a review of Milo Yiannopoulos’ Dangerous

by A.L. Shaw Milo Yiannopoulos is a creature of the internet: the erstwhile Twitter critter, former professional agitator for clickbait sweatshop Breitbart, and self-proclaimed “virtuous troll” heralds an online gaming-inspired conservative culture war against the political left in Dangerous, his debut book. Yiannopoulos portrays himself as one of the “provocateurs and clowns” needed “to grab the attention and challenge the biases of those who don’t want to be challenged” who pave the way for the “Debate Club Brigade” of intellectuals. Having thus delegated the serious work to others, the result is, indeed, clownish. The target audience may well derive voyeuristic pleasure from Yiannopoulos’ truculent “triggering” of feminists and Muslims. The critical reader, however, will derive about as much benefit from this trashy tract, devoid of almost any references to academic journals or studies, as from reading a primer on phrenology or flat earth theory. Yiannopoulos’ professional career has its roots in technology journalism, starting at The Daily Telegraph, followed by the now-defunct technology e-zine The Kernel (which he founded) and, until this year, heading Breitbart’s …