Throughout history, Europeans have tried to grab their own little portion of Africa. Too many have succeeded through the use of violence, bribery, subjugation and the remorseless wearing of breeches. But Pierre Paul François Camille Savorgnan de Brazza, who made significant inroads into the Congo during the late 19thcentury, was different. Pierre Paul François Camille Savorgnan de Brazza was nice. Born Pietro Paolo Savorgnan di Brazzà in 1852, he was the middle child of thirteen offspring sprung by Count Ascanio…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

PDF for Subscribers 19 June 2014

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PDF version is available for subscribers
Part of the reason the country - if not the world - is drifting rightwards and disappearing into the unegalitarian vortex of late capitalism is because conversations about the economy, about politics, and about democracy are not just dominated by right-wing blowhards but are driven by right-wing ideas. Everything from balanced budgets and carbon taxes to “entitlement abuse” and immigration are discussed according to right-wing understandings of what is and isn’t desirable. If progressives want to change things, they are…
Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tara Moss and fictional women

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Tara Moss’ book The Fictional Woman has been flying off the shelves since its release two weeks ago, and with good reason. It’s a blend of memoir, robust research, informed discussion and optimistic hope for change. Eminently accessible without ever condescending or dumbing down, it’s also a discussion about the gender based power structures, both historic and current, that limit the opportunities available to men and women. While most of the book concentrates on this lack of opportunities for women…
Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place To Hide is more than just the story of the Edward Snowden leaks. It’s a description of how we are giving up freedom we don’t know we have in the name of security we don’t actually need. Glenn Greenwald is a very good writer, a tenacious journalist, and, though I'm loathe to hyperbolise, a crusader for freedom. His early career as a constitutional and civil rights lawyer informed his respect for liberty and suspicion of…