The Millions, one of the US's most-respected literary sites, has called The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise one of the most-anticipated books of 2011, noting that
We readers will have to deal with the fortunate burden of clearing shelf-space for another novel by Perec this spring, with the first English translation of The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise.
Visit The Millions to see the full list of recommended reading for 2011.
In in interview with Aaron Lake Smith for The Rumpus, Luc Sante calls The Invention of Paris "really fantastic" and characterizes Eric Hazan, the author, as a "kindred spirit." Sante's recent review of The Invention of Paris for the New York Review of Books praised Hazan's book as "one of the greatest books about the city anyone has written in decades." Demand for The Invention of Paris has been so great that Verso has sold through its hardcover printing in less than a year. A lovely paperback edition, with new full-color maps and illustrations, will be available in April 2011.
Visit The Rumpus to read the interview in full.
In a world of statistics and precision, in which "accountability" is now a Washington buzzword, there's one number no American—not even the president or the Pentagon—knows: the number of U.S. military bases currently dotting the globe. In a new piece for Tomdispatch.com, Nick Turse, author of The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, weighs in:
Last January, Colonel Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), told me that there were nearly 400 U.S. and coalition bases in Afghanistan, including camps, forward operating bases, and combat outposts. He expected that number to increase by 12 or more, he added, over the course of 2010.
In September, I contacted ISAF's Joint Command Public Affairs Office to follow up. To my surprise, I was told that "there are approximately 350 forward operating bases with two major military installations, Bagram and Kandahar airfields." Perplexed by the loss of 50 bases instead of a gain of 12, I contacted Gary Younger, a Public Affairs Officer with the International Security Assistance Force. "There are less than 10 NATO bases in Afghanistan," he wrote in an October 2010 email. "There are over 250 U.S. bases in Afghanistan."
In a review of John Nichols' forthcoming book, Kirkus calls The "S" Word "an important reminder of the invaluable strains of socialist thought throughout American political history, from fighting despotism to creating universal health care." The reviewer goes on to observe how "Nichols brilliantly exposes Glenn Beck's acute ignorance of [Tom] Paine by actually reading and quoting from the impassioned advocate for engaged citizenship."
Chris Lombardi of Guernica magazine interviews Joshua Phillips on the left media's standard torture story, untrained soldiers making it up as they go, and becoming a suicide hotline. In the interview, Phillips, the author of None of Us Were Like This Before, describes some alarming changes in attitudes toward torture that he's observed taking place in the military over a number of years:
I visited West Point classes in early 2009 and I visited a class where they openly discussed using torture for interrogation. I'd been told worrisome stories by some instructors about cadets who argued for torture after 9/11, saying "we have to change our protocols because the paradigm has shifted with these suicide bombers." The professor was telling them no, the paradigm hasn't shifted. Remember kamikaze suicide bombers? The cadets would make arguments using anecdotes about "times torture worked," none of which has ever been proven. So much of that stuff is folklore and anecdotal success stories, lacking any corroboration or verifiable facts. That's what the Bush administration was selling.