Claudio Pavone's history of the Italian resistance – A Civil War
– received a rave review in the Financial Times
over the weekend. A 'study of moral reasoning in those highly charged 18 months between Mussolini's overthrow and the end of the war', the book explores the lives of Italians who loathed both the German backed Mussolini and the British backed King Victor Emmanuel III, and took it upon themselves to forge a new Italy:
On publication in Italian in 1991, it was immediately recognised as one of those rare works of history that speaks to the present in new and urgent tones. For such an important work, it has taken a surprisingly long time to appear in English but we must be glad it has, for it has lost none of its pertinence; indeed, the current crisis in the eurozone has given its underlying message about the fragility of the democratic achievement a new importance.
provided a thoughtful analysis of Pierre Dardot
and Christian Laval
's The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society
, of which Verso is publishing the first English translation in February 2014. Although the term neoliberalism is used and abused, its actual definition often eludes us, to the point that it becomes "what Althusser called a descriptive theory at best, and at worse a way to speak about capitalism without speaking about capitalism". In their work, Dardot and Laval trace a history of neoliberalism to allow for a more complex understanding of it, and how resistance to it can emerge. The article exposes Dardot and Laval's definition of neo-liberalism:
Neoliberals solved [the] crisis [of liberal society to realize its own goals] but valuing liberty, defined in terms of liberty of property, over democracy, and competition as ideal over the unimpeded action of the market.
In Counterpunch, Ramzy Baroud writes in response to the right-wing newspaper The Jerusalem Post proclaiming the controversial intellectual and ‘sham philosopher’ Bernard Henry Levy the 45th “most influential Jew” in the world. Baroud, needless to say, does not have kind words to say about Lévy.
's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
was translated into fifteen languages, but never in Hebrew. Never taken on by any Israeli publisher, the book has been tragically unavailable to its Hebrew-speaking audience as the truth on the treatment of Palestinians in Israel is deliberately being silenced. Using social media to resist the suppression of his work, Ilan Pappe will be posting the Hebrew version of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
, bit by bit, on his Facebook page!
He revealed his intention in the statement below, posted on his Facebook wall:
Since the initiation of the FB, it was used by many good people, but not by me. I intend to use it as a regular stage for announcing lectures, sharing interviews and articles, and thoughts of the week at the beginning of every week. This will hopefully happen from December 1st.
Eugene Brennan wrote a review of Alain Badiou
, Eric Hazan
and Ivan Segré
's Reflections on Anti-Semitism
. In their work, the three authors highlight a current custom of French political discourse, which silences any criticism of France's racist and Islamophobic policies by branding it as anti-semitic. Similarly criticism of Israel becomes dangerously but conveniently equated to anti-semitism, a practice upholded by France's most prominent Zionist pundit philosophers, Alain Finkielkraut and Bernard Henri-Lévy. These attacks predominantly affect France's Arab population by justifying discriminatory measures against them, in addition to their demonization by many feminist and gay liberation groups. Brennan writes:
While these complex variants of anti-Semitism persist in fragmented forms, the authors denounce the prevalent thesis which claims that there has been a ‘surge of anti-semitism’ since the early years of the War on Terror. This is not a description of an actual situation but an ideological smokescreen for stigmatising one portion of the population, conveniently one of the most disadvantaged: black and Arab youth.