After an unfortunate sighting of "The Protocols" at an event, I wanted to be prepared to confront this anti-Semitic reactionary filth whenever I saw iAfter an unfortunate sighting of "The Protocols" at an event, I wanted to be prepared to confront this anti-Semitic reactionary filth whenever I saw it. This book gave me exactly what I needed: a thorough explanation on how this bullshit text came about, and how it spread across the planet.
Created by the most reactionary advisors to Csar Nicholas II, The Protocols were a piece of disinformation created to influence him away from Enlightenment principles and back toward the medieval relationship the Csar had towards the Catholic Church and feudal lords. These were supposed to be the meeting minutes of a comparatively harmless congress of Zionists (As atrocious as the current state of affairs is in Isreal, Jewish nationalism was not at that time a threat to anyone...). These advisors took a fairly obscure satirical text about France under Napoleon, a text which implicated Napoleon in undermining French society, made a shoddy translation into Russian, and basically replaced the word Napoleon and Machiavelli with Jew. The dumb Csar, who already hated the Jews, panicked and anti-Jewish pogroms (race riots) swept the country. Csar Nicholas II used royal printing presses to popularize the book.
Conservative and reactionary Russians who fled the country after the fall of the Csar in 1905 brought this text with them all over the world, including the United States. Here, the notorious anti-Semite Henry Ford came upon it, and republished it as fact in a newspaper he ran, in order to undermine worker organizing in his factory. It also made its way into Germany, where another notorious anti-Semite got ahold of it: Adolf Hitler. It thoroughly influenced his thinking, and his mad scheme to unify all of Germany under one state. According to the Protocols, Jews were undermining states worldwide, so Hitler came up with a terrifying solution to how to deal with a non-German population that refused to be assimilated within his state's borders. It was these three men who are responsible for the immense popularity of the text.
Meanwhile, this book has been publicly debunked as a fraud. Many times. It is the great lie that will not die. No matter how thoroughly it is debunked, it lives on in the cover of the dimness of reactionary assholes and anti-Semites. Because it never mattered whether it was true. You can trace a thread of anti-Semitism throughout history since Rome, where the Jews were vilified and crucified for being anti-colonial fighters.
Buy or borrow this book (I got it used for $3 including shipping on abebooks.com). Make your friends and family read it. Kill the lie that has been holding back not only Jews, but the liberation of humanity. Don't think so? Reexamine who uses this text: Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford, Csar Nicholas. They all thought that the perpetuation of this book would keep them in power. It's time to bury this embarassing lie.
The book loses a star because it was too short. I want to know much more about the effects of the Protocols. How has the lies perpetuated in The Protocols helped to put in things which are "common knowledge" about Jews (such as that they are bankers who control everything)? How have the Protocols been used recently? If any readers of this review know about a longer-form text that I could read about this topic, please drop a comment below with the book....more
I want to read this solely based on the excerpt included in Alfie Kohn's book No Contest: The Case Against Competition, which literally brought me toI want to read this solely based on the excerpt included in Alfie Kohn's book No Contest: The Case Against Competition, which literally brought me to tears: ""I try to give him a will to win. He doesn't have one...He passes the basketball deliberately -- he does it deliberately, Mr. Slocum, I swear he does. Like a joke. He throws it away -- to some kid on the other team just to give him a chance to make some points or to surprise the kids on his own team. For a joke. That's some joke, isn't it? ... When he's ahead in one of the relays, do you know what he does? He starts laughing. He does that. And then slows down and waits for the other guys to catch up. Can you imagine? The other kids on his team don't like that. That's no way to run a race, Mr. Slocum. Would you say that's a way to run a race?" "No." I shake my head and try to bury a smile. Good for you, kid, I want to cheer out loud... for I can visualize my boy clearly far out in front in one of his relay races, laughing that deep, reverberating, unrestrained laugh that sometimes erupts from him, staggering with merriment as he toils to keep going and motioning liberally for the other kids in the race to catch up so they can all laugh together and run alongside each other as they continue their game (after all, it's only a game)."...more
This book was easy to read and well paced. My class was, for the most part, based on the Learning Objectives in the book, which were made easy to findThis book was easy to read and well paced. My class was, for the most part, based on the Learning Objectives in the book, which were made easy to find by editors who made sure that you could just skim the chapter to get a great deal of information on the topic. Definitions were added to the margins, which made new words easily accessible.
Unfortunately, this was yet another book that was not a book so much as a collection of looseleaf papers that I had to purchase a binder for. In theory this would have saved me money. Unfortunately, the price was still over a hundred dollars. My binder's binding promptly broke, which made it quite difficult to turn the page. This lead to me taking out chapters and reading them separately, an idea that is not terrible, except sometimes I would lose a page. Further, the constant opening and closing of the binder caused it to break further. I hate this sadistic trend in textbooks....more
This was a well organized textbook that was not difficult to read. Sometimes, the text would go from painfully obvious generalization in one paragraphThis was a well organized textbook that was not difficult to read. Sometimes, the text would go from painfully obvious generalization in one paragraph to minute frivolous detail in the next. This was often frustrating, as the tests and learning objectives in the class for which I read this book tended to be more specific than the former an more general than the latter. I suppose this could be a review for the class overall, given the extensive overlap between the learning objectives for the class and the questions given at the beginning of each chapter and subject. Textbook conventions were used well. If there was a new word or concept, it was bold and the definition followed. Further, the most important concepts were always the first sentence in the section. This made the text easy to skim or quickly glean answers to learning objectives.
Unfortunately I am very unlikely to ever thumb through this book again, as it is on looseleaf paper in a binder, with no bound version offered at my campus bookstore. This is disgraceful. I would have happily traded in the full color photos for a binding and hardcover. The book was still outrageously expensive, AND IT WASN'T EVEN BOUND!...more
After some mixed reactions (mostly during book one) I can officially say that by the end of the sixth volume I enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim series. I fouAfter some mixed reactions (mostly during book one) I can officially say that by the end of the sixth volume I enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim series. I found them to be charming and sweet and romantic. Surprisingly, I found them to very rarely be cheesy, an impresseive feat given the genre of literature: Teen Romance Manga??
At the same time, reading the books I understood that I am a little too old for them. Don't get me wrong, I devoured these books with gusto. But I can't help but feel that if I had come across them when I was 17 years old, they would have affected me on a much deeper level. I would have been fanatic about them, rather than amused and charmed by them.
At first glance, the Scott Pilgrim series seems vaguely fucked up. The premise, after all, is that the main character must fight and defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to win the love of his girlfriend Ramona. On the surface, this is some misogynist bullshit, only men in comic books (or, perhaps, rams) need to defeat other men in battle in order to woo their women, and this is a tired cliche. But perhaps a deeper reading is in order here.
It's true that the title of the book is Scott Pilgrim, and that the storyline most often follows Scott. However, Scott barely exists. From the moment she appears, Ramona is a three dimensional character with a past, a background, depth, hobbies, interests, a job, a place to live, friends, etc. Scott, on the other hand, is almost a cardboard cutout. We learn he is in a band. He doesn't really have a place to live (he's crashing at a friend's house (since...?), he has no apparent job (it's revealed later he doesn't have one), he has no direction, no past, and no real future. We don't know very much about him because he doesn't know very much about himself! Scott has only one dimension, and it takes Ramona to bring him any semblance of depth.
So perhaps the story is really about Ramona. She has demons that she needs to work out with regard to her past boyfriends. And she uses Scott to get to a place where she can love herself and, eventually, when he develops into a human being for her and for us, she can love him as well. Read like this, the book is not nearly so misogynist. It's almost refreshing!
Anyhow, perhaps I'm just trying to justify why I would totally recommend this book to anyone with a couple of hours to burn (it goes really quickly). I can't necessarily tell you why you should read it (I never quite figured out why I was reading it myself), but I can tell you that it's fun....more
Lies My Teacher Told Me takes several chapters to delve into fascinating historical subjects, focusing especially on the neglected narratives of two pLies My Teacher Told Me takes several chapters to delve into fascinating historical subjects, focusing especially on the neglected narratives of two particular groups: African Americans and Native Americans. I thoroughly enjoyed the debunking of the reconstruction corruption myth, and the attention paid (and due) to John Brown. The book challenged me to wonder what an American History would look like if it didn't favor white history over all others, and took an honest assessment of the contributions of Native Americans, as well as African slaves, to the creation of what we now know as the United States. The book also introduced me to a couple of concepts that had eluded me, but are awe inspiring.
Tri-Racial Isolates, for example, were the bands of escaped African slaves and poor whites who joined up with the nearly plague-obliterated Native Americans to resist the expansion of the imperial project of the United States, and played a major role however other-ized they were by the dominant narrative of frontier savages. These people were at times called Seminoles, Cimarrons, Maroons, and other names.
The Requirement was a document read, in Spanish, to populations of Native Americans as they were met by the Spaniards that exposes the utter self-conscious brutality of the conquest of the Americas: "But, if you do not [...convert to Christianity immediately...:], and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can [...:] we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them [...:] we shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord."
But I think the most useful parts of the book weren't the pop history re-telling of the stories, which after all can be found in many other forms elsewhere, but the study of how we are affected by this loss of history, and glimpses of what our history would be if we took the positions of those other than the Europeans when composing our nations' history. I am struck by the Vietnam exercise that the author did with his undergraduate class, where because of their socialization and their relative allegiance to the upper classes, they believed that the more poorly educated were hawks, when in fact the opposite was true. The use of education as building allegiance and socializing youth is an important concept to take away from this book.
The book also took careful assessment of the day-to-day resistance of students to learning caustic and false material. As the author states, "we must salute young people for more than mere ignorance. This is resistance raised to a high level." Students rarely do the work required of them, preferring instead to do the bare minimum, slowing the pace of the class with work slow-downs and evasion techniques. By literally refusing to learn even the most basic facts put forth in the toxic classes of US History, students all over the US have opposed the whitewashing of their own history, whether they knew they were doing it or not. Day-to-day resistance doesn't threaten the system, but it does grind the system to a crawl.
The book told how high school students today loathe history as dead facts and drop it from their curriculum as soon as they get the chance, never to pick it up again. I can remember my senior year of high school being totally delighted by the new-found ability to drop history in favor of yet another lab science class. This is pretty ironic, given that as soon as I realized what an amazing source of inspiration and strength history was, I was constantly reading history books, and taking college-level classes. In contrast to the book's author's recommendations, however, it took being involved in struggle against first the Iraq War, and then against capitalism and the state, in order for me to get interested in history. After months of worrying that no one had ever attempted to uproot the vicious system we are living in today like I was attempting, I happened upon the book A People's History of the United States, and it provided and still provides no end of comfort and courage.
When my parents recommended this book to me, they told me that it helped them understand my perspective on the world and specifically of US History. That is a pretty resounding endorsement, given that whereas my mother has always been pretty open to learning things about US History that detracted from the dominant narrative fairy-tale, my father's position has ossified (as wealthier older men's politics tend to do) around liberal democrat dogma and the realm of the "politically possible." That he took the time and chance, when one day I left it at their house, to burn the audio CDs and then transfer it to my ipod, and then insist I listen to it, is a testament to the book's ability to reach even skeptical audiences.
I read a good deal of this book for PY203 Human Growth and Development at Montgomery College, as a prerequisite for Nursing school.
The content of theI read a good deal of this book for PY203 Human Growth and Development at Montgomery College, as a prerequisite for Nursing school.
The content of the book is geniunely interesting because it involves all of us. It is how we live and why we are the way we are at various chronological and developmental times. The content contained a ridiculous amount of in-paragraph sources, plenty of relevant anecdotes to ensure you could relate to the text, and well organized information.
The edition of the book that I had, however, was an enormous paperback book. 9 inches wide. 11 inches tall. An inch and a half thick, and perhaps 5 pounds. And not just five pounds of book, but five pounds of squirmy, bendy, annoying book. The book would wriggle its way into a roll at the bottom of my bookbag, making it uncomfortable to walk with. Also, because it was floppy and unsturdy, I had to have 18+ inches of space wherever I wanted to read it. Forget reading it while walking or on the crowded Metro on the way to class. For that matter, it was difficult to read on my desk. Why on earth would you make this a softcover book? It wasn't even cheap, but it sure did feel cheap....more