- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Publishers WeeklyRadio talk show host and political commentator Press explores the money-and media-fueled propaganda machine currently being used to weaken President Obama. In the introduction, Press discusses the origins of some of the most prevalent charges against Obama, namely that he is a Muslim, a Socialist, and not an American born citizen. An interesting outline of the history of presidential criticism-Thomas Paine famously accused Washington of being either "an apostate or an imposter"-provides an appropriate context for the current discussion. Press goes on to summarize more than sixty of the anti-Obama books published since his election, noting how frequently critics choose "not to challenge his policies but to undermine his personal credibility." And, of course, Press dedicates ample space to the Koch brothers, the notoriously anti-left billionaires that the author believes are the masterminds behind the "Hate Machine." Press also lambasts the mainstream media for their complicity in fueling anti-Obama rhetoric and laments that journalists are content simply to repeat claims (sans commentary) made by fringe Republicans as if they were facts. This book provides an unsettling glimpse into the unsavory side of corporate interests and an irresponsible media. (Jan.)A CONVENIENT HATRED: The History of AntisemitismPhyllis Goldstein. Facing History and Ourselves (www.facing.org), $17.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-9819543-8-7After a thoughtful foreword by Sir Harold Evans, staff writer and researcher Goldstein (Holocaust and Human Behavior) follows a chronological trajectory, opening each chapter with a detailed snapshot of the time period under discussion, and often including a map to help locate readers unfamiliar with the terrain and shifting national boundaries. She begins with the first recorded incidence of antisemitism in 586 BCE, when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, and tracks its development across the ages, ending with a chapter on "Antisemitism Today," in which she warns that it is "still a force in the world." Thoroughly researched and meticulous in its treatment of a bleak topic, Goldstein's study does not rest on a recitation of the atrocities of WWII; rather, hers is a work that seeks to dismantle a complex prejudice in order to more swiftly do away with it. As president of Human Rights First Elisa Massimino points out, "The branding of Jews as scapegoats for ancient and modern ills remains a powerful underlying factor" in its continuation. (Dec.)* HOW TO DIE IN PARIS: A MemoirNaturi Thomas. Seal, $17 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-58005-364-8 This haunting and heartbreaking memoir tells the story of Thomas's 2004 move from New York City to Europe, where she decided to kill herself. "The only thing left for me in this life," she writes, "was to see Paris once, before I died." Broke, homeless, and jobless, Thomas wanders the Parisian streets for nearly three weeks, suicidal but unable to commit the act. She asks poetically, "How do you say, 'Help me?' in French? How do you say it in English?" Interspersed with her Parisian wanderings, Thomas recalls her childhood in Newark, N.J., where she grew up with an abusive mother whom she clearly despises, but feels sympathetic toward: "I know I should hate her...But I also can't help but wonder. What happened to her?" Still, she fondly remembers the good times with her family and refrains from vilifying her mother. Near the end, she writes of a recurring dream in which she travels back in time and whisks her four-year-old self out of Newark and away to Paris before she can suffer the forthcoming abuse. She advises her child self, "that's what Mom wanted: to make you as crazy as she was. If you commit suicide, you'll be letting the terrorist win." This is a phenomenal and courageous debut by a talented young writer.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.