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Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics—including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bush in Babylon, The Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Obama Syndrome—as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.


  • Explaining the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    The latest Israeli military attacks in Gaza, dubbed 'Operation Protective Edge', is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years. Before the July 2014 offensive, the last large-scale escalation was in November 2012, when the Israeli military bombarded the Gaza Strip with air strikes for eight days. Those strikes killed 171 Palestinians, including more than 100 civilians. In 2008-2009, Israeli soldiers launched a 22-day military operation in Gaza, dubbed Operation Cast Lead. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed. [source: Aljazeera]

    Tens of thousands of Palestinians have left their houses to seek shelter from an Israeli ground invasion, July 2o014. Photo: Emad Nassar/Al Jazeera

    As the latest attacks intensify, and the number of civilian deaths continue to rise, it seems more pertinent than ever to understand the political motivations behind these assaults and, more importantly, how Israel have been able to carry out such atrocities without intervention. Here, we present a list of books from Israeli and Palestinian authors, to explain the conflict and consider what the future might hold.

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  • Uprisings in South America: A reading list

    As neoliberal policies and monetary hegemony continue to dominate around the globe, protests for democracy and against the political elite are widespread. With the start of the World Cup in Brazil it is, yet again, kicking off everywhere.

    Riot police fired percussion grenades and teargas at anti-World Cup protesters in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on Thursday as the countdown to the kick-off was marred by demonstrations in at least 10 Brazilian cities. Just hours before the opening ceremony at the Itaquerão stadium, about 100 protesters started fires and threw rocks at police in an apparent attempt to block a road leading to the venue.

    The "Our Cup is on the Street" protests are targeting the high cost of the stadiums, corruption, police brutality and evictions. "The World Cup steals money from healthcare, education and the poor. The homeless are being forced from the streets. This is not for Brazil, it's for the tourists," said Denize Adriana Ferreira in this Guardian report.

    The following reading list from Verso suggests books to help us understand the multifaceted histories of uprising in Central and South America, as well as the anti-world cup protests.

    Barbaric Sport: A Global Plague

    by Marc Perelman

    What does hosting the World Cup really mean for Brazil? Marc Perelman explores this, and more, in Barbaric Sport.

    Boycott Football and Fifa - read his piece on the world cup here.

    Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of A New Architecture
    by Justin McGuirk

    Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving. 

    'We want FIFA standard schools and hospitals' - what the World Cup means for Rio: read an extract from Radical Cities here.

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  • The Unknown Known: Donald Rumsfeld and his legacy

    Donald Rumsfeld's political career, and unique management style, comes under close scrutiny in a new film from Errol Morris, director of The Fog of War. At the centre of the film is a powerful interview with Rumsfeld by the director which focuses specifically on the pivotal role the former Secretary of Defense played in the provocations and untruths that lead up to the invasion of Iraq. The film is structured around tens of thousands of snowflakes — memos and missives fired off by Rumsfeld over the course of his political career, which shed light on the political manouverings that steered him through the Nixon administration and Watergate all the way to the Pentagon. Peering straight down the camera lens, Rumsfeld recites key "snowflakes" relating to his career and the drive to war with Iraq. 

    To mark the launch of The Unknown Known, Verso has two tickets to the film's UK premiere in London up for grabs, alongside copies of Andrew Cockburn's Rumsfeld and Tariq Ali's Bush in Babylon. To win, simply answer the following question:

    Donald Rumsfeld served as Secretary of Defense for 2,585 days. Which U.S. politician served as Secretary of Defense for longer than Rumsfeld?

    E-mail your answer to james@verso.co.uk by 5pm GMT on Friday 14th March for your chance to win. 

    The premiere, which includes a Q&A with director Errol Morris, is at the Curzon Cinema, Soho at 6:20pm, Monday 17th March.