Book Reviews

Bleakness without respite: Atticus Lish’s novel Preparation for the Next Life

By Sandy English, 24 March 2015

Atticus Lish’s lengthy novel is a love story between an undocumented Chinese immigrant and an American veteran of the Iraq War.

Berlin professor sees Germany as the “taskmaster” of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 13 March 2015

In his new book, Power in the Center, political scientist Herfried Münkler, who has close ties to the political establishment, argues openly for German hegemony in Europe.

The twentieth century was lived in vain: Leonardo Padura’s The Man Who Loved Dogs

By Sandy English, 7 February 2015

Padura’s novel takes a pessimistic, cynical view of history as it describes the life of Ramon Mercader, the assassin of Trotsky.

Guantánamo Diary: A book that needs to be read

By Tom Carter, 6 February 2015

Guantánamo Diary, written by a current inmate of the infamous camp and suppressed by the US government for seven years, is a terrifying exposure of the secret US torture program—and much more.

The Nazi war of annihilation against the Soviet Union: Part two

Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization

By Clara Weiss, 13 January 2015

The volume provides insight into the criminal historical antecedents of the current siege of cities in eastern Ukraine by the Western-installed regime in Kiev, spearheaded by Ukrainian fascist forces.

The Nazi war of annihilation against the Soviet Union: Part one

Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization

By Clara Weiss, 12 January 2015

The volume provides insight into the criminal historical antecedents of the current siege of cities in eastern Ukraine by the Western-installed regime in Kiev, spearheaded by Ukrainian fascist forces.

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Radley Balko, 2013, PublicAffairs

By Nick Barrickman, 2 December 2014

While arguing that the US is not yet a totalitarian society, Balko acknowledges that “we have entered a police state writ small.”

James Risen on war and the US financial aristocracy

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

By Eric London, 19 November 2014

James Risen’s latest book details crimes committed by the Bush and Obama administrations under the auspices of the “war on terror” and the profits made by corporate interests.

“Give me something to do”

The literary impact and social concerns of American novelist Dave Eggers

By James Brookfield, 3 November 2014

Without wanting to oversimplify, one presumes that the general sympathy with which sufferers are treated in Eggers’ novels is owing in no small measure to his own experiences.

Who Owns Germany? Documenting the widening gulf between rich and poor

By Gustav Kemper, 15 September 2014

Berger’s book reveals startling facts about the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top of German society.

The beginning of modern physics

By Henry Allan and Bryan Dyne, 9 September 2014

David Whitehouse’s Renaissance Genius: Galileo Galilei and His Legacy to Modern Science, provides a human portrait of Galileo, his times and his role in the advancement and popularization of science.

New facts revealed on 2010 ousting of Australian PM

By Nick Beams, 29 August 2014

Paul Kelly’s book effectively demolishes the political fictions manufactured to justify the coup against Kevin Rudd.

Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession

A right-wing critique of Australia’s World War I centenary celebrations

By Richard Phillips, 22 August 2014

A new book calls for increased funds and greater focus on elite military leadership, in order to prepare for new imperialist interventions.

A key moment in the prehistory of the Enlightenment

By Tom Carter, 9 August 2014

Greenblatt’s controversial book The Swerve: How the World Became Modern won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and it has also come under attack as an “anti-religious diatribe.”

Interview with Professor Ian Duncan on Sir Walter Scott: The novel “as a kind of total environment of human life”

By David Walsh, 31 July 2014

Ian Duncan is the author of an introduction to a Penguin Classics edition of Waverley and currently teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sting of the Drone: Richard A. Clarke’s reservations about American war crimes

By Sandy English, 16 July 2014

Richard A. Clarke, former counterterrorism “czar” under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, has written a third novel, about drone warfare.

Edlef Köppen’s Higher Command: An important novel on the First World War

By Clara Weiss, 8 July 2014

The semi-documentary character of this novel largely succeeds in making comprehensible the shattering impact of the war on the consciousness of millions.

A damning exposure of the assault on public education in the US

Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools

By Nancy Hanover, 19 June 2014

Diane Ravitch’s bestseller powerfully indicts the government and corporate interests attacking public education.

The diary of Lena Mukhina: An important document on the Leningrad blockade

Lenas Tagebuch, translated by Lena Gorelik and Gero Fedtke, Munich, 2013

By Clara Weiss, 11 June 2014

Lena’s Diary is an important historical document relating to one of most horrific, although often forgotten, war crimes of German imperialism.

A crude celebration of Australian militarism

By Laura Tiernan, 9 June 2014

Carlton’s account is not based on any serious historical reconstruction and amounts to a glorification of the Australian military in World War I.

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

By Philip Guelpa, 31 May 2014

Human-induced climate change and environmental degradation threaten to cause a sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.

Government-produced book describes WWI as “successful and profitable”

New Zealand and the First World War 1914–1919

By Tom Peters, 24 April 2014

Fenton’s book is part of the government’s WWI centenary program, which is designed to revive militarism and prepare public opinion for future wars.

A Permanent Member of the Family: Responses to trying and frustrating times—short stories by Russell Banks

By Sandy English, 9 April 2014

In recent years, novelist Russell Banks has shifted his focus to upstate New York, where he lives, making it the locale of many of the stories in this interesting new volume.

A review of David Walsh’s The Sky Between the Leaves from Uruguay

“The Permanent Revolution in film criticism”

By Marcelo Arias Souto, 19 February 2014

A comment on WSWS arts editor David Walsh’s The Sky Between the Leaves, written by Marcelo Arias Souto from Uruguay.

Book review

James Cuno’s Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum

By Nancy Hanover, 12 February 2014

The book polemicizes against the postmodern view that museums are mere institutions of ideological control imposing Western and state supremacy.

Murdoch’s Politics—An ex-Stalinist in awe of Rupert Murdoch, Part II

By Dave Hyland, 3 February 2014

A two-part review of Murdoch’s Politics—How one man’s thirst for wealth and power shapes our world, David McKnight, Pluto Press.

Murdoch’s Politics—An ex-Stalinist in awe of Rupert Murdoch, Part I

By Dave Hyland, 1 February 2014

A two-part review of Murdoch’s Politics—How one man’s thirst for wealth and power shapes our world, David McKnight, Pluto Press.

Lives of the Scientists and U.S. Presidents

By Christine Schofelt, 16 October 2013

Two collective biographies released this year aimed at children between the ages of 9 and 15 miss the mark in many ways.

The politics of cultural destruction: The Rape of Europa

By Nancy Hanover, 27 September 2013

The attempt to sell the masterworks of the Detroit Institute of Art makes The Rape of Europa, an account of the systematic looting of the art of conquered Europe by the Nazis, a timely read.

War, fascism and the fate of music in the 20th century

By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2013

An important new book explores the period of musical history brought to an end by fascist barbarism.

Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts: A remarkable glimpse into cultural history

By David Walsh, 26 July 2013

The new book looks at the relationship between film director Orson Welles and his longtime mentor and friend, Roger Hill, based on conversations and correspondence the pair conducted in the 1980s.

An interview with Todd Tarbox, author of Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts

By David Walsh, 26 July 2013

David Walsh interviews the grandson of Orson Welles’ life-long friend and mentor, Roger Hill.

Daniel Pinkwater’s Bushman Lives: To become an artist

By Christine Schofelt, 25 June 2013

With this earnest and often hilarious novel for young adults, Daniel Pinkwater encourages exploration, of various kinds.

America’s revolutionary founding document

For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence

By Tom Mackaman, 4 May 2013

A book that seriously considers the impact the Declaration of Independence is most welcome reading in 2013, a year which has seen an intensifying assault on the most basic principles of America’s founding document.

The Green Corn Rebellion: 1935 novel about an episode in the American class struggle

By Vince Ostroweicz, 29 January 2013

William Cunningham’s The Green Corn Rebellion offers a fictionalized account of an August 1917 uprising in Oklahoma against conscription during the First World War.

An exercise in myth-making

Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History by Jenny Hocking

By Nick Beams, 26 November 2012

Whitlam's demise is presented as the downfall of a social reformer, almost totally ignoring the global context in which the 1975 Canberra Coup took place.

Book review

Wolfgang Brenner’s Hubert in Wonderland: A life in the shadow of Stalinism

By Sybille Fuchs, 29 October 2012

The well-documented story of a boy from a small village in Germany’s Saar region, who travels to Moscow at the age of ten in late 1933. He is destined never again to see his homeland or most of his family.

A guest review

Bento’s Sketchbook—John Berger’s “Way of Seeing” Spinoza

By Kamilla Vaski, 20 September 2012

Bento’s Sketchbook is a collection of stories, some of them simply vignettes, always connected to a drawing, either as the source of the story or the result of it. The “Bento” of the book’s title is Baruch or Benedict de Spinoza, the seventeenth century philosopher.

A brief for racial politics

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

By Helen Halyard and Fred Mazelis, 18 September 2012

For Alexander, the driving force of American society is racial “caste” oppression, not the class struggle.

College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair—a satire of contemporary American community colleges

By Charles Bogle, 22 August 2012

College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair is largely successful in satirizing the corporate model so prevalent on American college campuses.

Book review:

A hard life, then Hurricane Katrina: Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones

By Sandy English, 13 August 2012

Jesmyn Ward’s second novel, Salvage the Bones, is an organic and spontaneous portrait of a family living in Mississippi before, during and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A portrait of a “people smuggler”

By Mike Head, 21 July 2012

The People Smuggler puts a human face on those involved in refugee boat voyages, and exposes myths peddled by Australian governments.

The reactionary politics of Grace Lee Boggs

By Shannon Jones, 2 July 2012

In The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century, Detroit’s Grace Lee Boggs advances a political perspective thoroughly hostile to the interests of the working class.

Book Review:

Canadian imperialism’s intervention in the Russian Civil War

By Vic Neufeld, 30 June 2012

Benjamin Isitt has excavated an important, but long-buried historical chapter—the story of the Canadian ruling class’ intervention in the Russian Civil War and the fierce opposition it provoked among Canadian workers, including among the conscript soldiers sent to fight alongside the counter-revolutionary White armies.

Film critic Andrew Sarris 1928-2012: An appreciation

Andrew Sarris and American filmmaking

By David Walsh, 26 June 2012

The World Socialist Web Site is reposting here an article originally published on July 1, 1998. See also the accompanying interview with Andrew Sarris, also from 1998, with a new introduction following his death June 20.

Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman: A valuable, passionate portrait of a great actress

By Charles Bogle, 18 May 2012

Biographer Dan Callahan makes a convincing case for finding the source of Barbara Stanwyck’s acting style and depth in her childhood and adolescence. His analyses of her performances are highly observant and passionately written.

Daniel Woodrell’s The Outlaw Album: Short, honest, brutal and beautiful stories

By Christine Schofelt, 9 March 2012

Set in the small towns and rural areas of Woodrell’s native Missouri and Arkansas, the stories in The Outlaw Album depict troubles of a universal nature.

Jack London’s The Iron Heel: An enduring classic

By Jack Hood, 8 March 2012

In his futuristic novel, The Iron Heel (1908), American author and socialist Jack London chronicled a revolutionary struggle beginning a century ago this year, in 1912.

Chuck Palahniuk’s Damned: Damned if you do

By Christine Schofelt, 4 January 2012

Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) has made a career of trying to be the literary equivalent of a “shock jock.” His latest novel, Damned, takes us on a journey characterized by contrived and banal disgust.

Poetry review: Carol Ann Duffy’s The Christmas Truce

By Jackie Warren, 27 December 2011

The latest work by Carol Ann Duffy, the UK’s Poet Laureate, is a book-length children’s poem that reflects on the moments, during World War One, leading up to the “Christmas Truce” of December 24 and 25, 1914.

That Deadman Dance—an imaginative story about indigenous Australians and European settlers

By Gabriela Zabala, 22 December 2011

Kim Scott’s novel uses poetic and creative lyrical prose, cleverly shifting between the ‘voices’ and consciousness of the European settlers and the Noongar.

Exciting and engaging: Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

By Christine Schofelt, 12 November 2011

In his latest book, written for young people, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins shows how—and why—to fall in love with reality.

Woman as animal: Bonnie Jo Campbell’s Once Upon a River

By Janel Flechsig, 21 October 2011

Bonnie Jo Campbell came to national attention in 2009 with her short story collection, American Salvage, which became a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent novel, Once Upon a River, was released in July.

Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour Leader

A transparent attempt to rebrand Labour

By Dave Hyland, 13 September 2011

Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour Leader (Biteback Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-84954-102-2) is less a biography than an extended memo, written by Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre from the standpoint of explaining to disappointed supporters of David Miliband how his younger brother, Ed, won last year’s Labour Party leadership election.

Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director—a new biography of a major American filmmaker

By Charles Bogle, 12 September 2011

In writing Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director, biographer Patrick McGilligan has performed the valuable service of tracing the fitful arc of a great and troubled director’s life and career.

Correspondence

A letter: Some thoughts on author Stan Barstow (1928-2011) and postwar British social realism

29 August 2011

Stan Barstow, who died August 1, was best known for his 1960 novel A Kind of Loving.

Book Review

Guantanamo: My Journey—David Hicks exposes torture and government criminality

By Richard Phillips, 19 May 2011

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks has written a valuable exposure of the barbarities perpetrated against him by the US military and Canberra’s role in his illegal detention.

Inside WikiLeaks—an attack from a former supporter

By Johann Müller, 1 April 2011

Domscheit-Berg, a former employee of WikiLeaks has written a book which seeks to discredit the whistle blowers’ web site.

A remarkable glimpse at art and politics in Depression America

A review of American Letters 1927-1947: Jackson Pollock & Family

By David Walsh, 24 March 2011

American Letters 1927-1947 is a fascinating volume that sheds light in particular on the Depression years in the US and some of the intellectual and artistic trends that emerged during that harsh era.

An interview with Sylvia Winter Pollock

By David Walsh, 24 March 2011

A conversation with the co-editor of American Letters 1927-1947: Jackson Pollock & Family

The Guardian’s hatchet job on Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 10 March 2011

WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, published by the Guardian newspaper, is a politically-motivated hatchet job aimed at discrediting Assange and facilitating his persecution.

Detroit Disassembled by Andrew Moore: The devastation of a major American city

By Tim Tower, 5 January 2011

Detroit was once synonymous with automobile manufacturing and the dominance of American industry. Today’s cityscape is rife with images of decay. Andrew Moore’s photographs in his Detroit Disassembled give expression to the city’s historical tragedy.

The legacy of Leonard Bernstein: a book review

By Fred Mazelis, 24 November 2010

A recent book by Barry Seldes adds something important to the study of Leonard Bernstein’s life and work. Seldes, a professor at Ryder University in New Jersey, is the first biographer to have studied the conductor-composer’s massive FBI dossier.

The Stieg Larsson phenomenon

By David Walsh, 8 September 2010

The three novels by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, published in the US as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, have attracted much attention around the world.

Photo book of the month: Red Star Over Russia

A visual history by David King of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the death of Joseph Stalin

By Adelbert Reif, 19 August 2010

David King’s Red Star Over Russia is a truly superlative photo book!

German journalist Götz Aly denounces pension system

By Stefan Steinberg, 13 August 2010

In his attack on the German welfare state the journalist Götz Aly speaks on behalf of an increasingly unstable petit-bourgeois social layer that tossed aside its youthful radicalism a long time ago and has been able to forge a lucrative career during the past three decades.

A sense of unease: Tobias Wolff’s recent fiction collected in Our Story Begins

By Sandy English, 10 August 2010

Over the past thirty years, Tobias Wolff has produced several collections of short stories, novels, and popular memoirs, especially This Boy’s Life, as well as In Pharaoh’s Army, about his experiences during the Vietnam War.

Confessions of a scoundrel

The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour, by Peter Mandelson

By Dave Hyland, 5 August 2010

Peter Mandelson played a central role in the transformation of the reformist Labour Party into an openly right-wing capitalist party.

Diane Ravitch’s The Death and Life of the Great American School System

An insider’s critique of education “reform”

By Walter Gilberti and Jerry White, 27 July 2010

Diane Ravitch’s book presents a summary on the attack on public education, from its origins during the Reagan era to Obama’s Race to the Top.

Present historic: Carlyle, Robespierre and the French Revolution

By Ann Talbot, 17 July 2010

Ruth Scurr has done an enormous service by producing a collection of extracts from Thomas Carlyle’s powerful narrative The French Revolution to add to her earlier biography of Robespierre in which she uncovers something of the character and motivations of a man who is more usually hidden in the “blood red mist” of the Terror.

Present historic: Carlyle, Robespierre, and the French Revolution

Part two

By Ann Talbot, 16 July 2010

Ruth Scurr has done an enormous service by producing a collection of extracts from Thomas Carlyle’s powerful narrative The French Revolution to add to her earlier biography of Robespierre, in which she uncovers something of the character and motivations of a man who is more usually hidden in the “blood red mist” of the Terror.

Present historic: Carlyle, Robespierre and the French Revolution

Part one

By Ann Talbot, 15 July 2010

Ruth Scurr has done an enormous service by producing a collection of extracts from Thomas Carlyle’s powerful narrative The French Revolution to add to her earlier biography of Robespierre in which she uncovers something of the character and motivations of a man who is more usually hidden in the “blood red mist” of the Terror.

Letters on Strange Fruit by Kenan Malik

11 May 2010

The following letters were sent to the WSWS in response to Nancy Hanover’s review, “‘Strange Fruit’ by Kenan Malik: A polemic against racism and identity politics”

“Strange Fruit” by Kenan Malik: A polemic against racism and identity politics

By Nancy Hanover, 8 May 2010

Kenan Malik has situated himself in the crosshairs of the dispute over the nature of race, arguing from the standpoint of Enlightenment rationalism and scientific objectivity.

An American liberal looks at health care systems around the globe

By Fred Mazelis, 29 March 2010

The Healing of America, by longtime Washington Post journalist T.R. Reid, a proponent of health care reform, raises some important issues, despite the severe inadequacy of both its analysis and its prescriptions for change.

The Lacuna, or what’s missing

By Sandy English, 27 March 2010

In The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver recounts the life of a fictional writer named Harrison Shepherd, mixing his story in with those of such historical figures as the Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Successful launch of In Defence of Leon Trotsky at Sydney’s Gleebooks

By our correspondent, 4 February 2010

An appreciative audience of 150 filled the upstairs auditorium of Sydney’s Gleebooks bookstore last night to hear David North launch his In Defence of Leon Trotsky: A Reply to the Falsifications of Robert Service.

J.D. Salinger (1919-2010): An appreciation

By James Brookfield, 2 February 2010

American author J.D. Salinger, best known for his 1951 classic The Catcher in the Rye, died Wednesday, January 27. He was 91.

What does particle physics tell us about the nature of matter?

By Chris Talbot, 20 January 2010

Frank Wilczek’s book can be recommended as an attempt to explain to a lay person the implications of more than 50 years of particle physics. Wilczek is a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist.

A letter on George Eliot’s Adam Bede

16 January 2010

The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to “In praise of George Eliot’s Adam Bede on its 150th anniversary”.

Much further reading required: Trotsky: A Graphic Biography, by Rick Geary

By Kevin Martinez, 13 January 2010

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the life and thought of Leon Trotsky, particularly among the youth. There must be objective reasons for this.

In praise of George Eliot’s Adam Bede on its 150th anniversary

Part 1

By David Walsh, 30 December 2009

This year marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, along with Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. The publication of George Eliot’s Adam Bede in 1859 also deserves to be noted.

Considering Norman Mailer and his work: a letter

19 November 2009

A letter sent to the WSWS on the work of Norman Mailer.

In The Service of Historical Falsification: A Review of Robert Service's Trotsky

By David North, 11 November 2009

Trotsky: A Biography by Professor Robert Service, has been brought out with considerable fanfare. The British publisher is Macmillan. In the United States, Service’s book has been published by the Harvard University Press. What underlies this evident interest of British academics in Leon Trotsky, who has been dead for nearly 70 years?

The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions

A comment on The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 November 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions: Part 2

A comment on The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 November 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions: Part 1

A comment on The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 November 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

What does reality require from fiction?

Aravind Adiga and Indian society

By Sandy English, 29 September 2009

Aravind Adiga’s new book of interrelated short stories, Between the Assassinations, exhibits many of the strengths of his Booker Prize-winning novel, The White Tiger, and fewer of its defects.

Defending historical truth

Stalin’s Terror of 1937-1938: Political Genocide in the USSR, by Vadim Rogovin

By Andrea Peters, 9 September 2009

Vadim Rogovin’s Stalin’s Terror of 1937-1938: Political Genocide in the USSR is a seminal study of the purges that wiped out the entire generation of Bolshevik leaders and socialist workers and intellectuals who led the October 1917 Revolution.

A Thousand Splendid Suns: The plight of Afghan women only partially depicted

By Harvey Thompson, 8 August 2009

Khaled Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, like his first, The Kite Runner, is set against the background of Afghanistan’s recent history.

An interview with David N. Gibbs, author of First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia

By Charles Bogle and Paul Mitchell, 23 July 2009

Earlier this month, the World Socialist Web Site posted a review of First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention by David N. Gibbs, Associate Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Arizona. Professor Gibbs has been gracious in granting the WSWS an interview.

A sharp exposé of US “humanitarian intervention” in the former Yugoslavia—but some false conclusions

By Charles Bogle and Paul Mitchell, 13 July 2009

Professor David N. Gibbs is to be commended for writing the first full-length academic exposé of the “widely accepted consensus” that the Western powers intervened reluctantly in the Yugoslav conflict of the 1990s.

Book review: The Unit

Dispensable people

By Marge Holland, 30 June 2009

As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, a good many artists and writers are attempting to gauge the impact on a human level of collapsing economies and the bankruptcy of hitherto accepted solutions to society’s problems.

Book review: Death in the Haymarket

The eight-hour-day movement and the birth of American labor

By James Brewer, 19 May 2009

Death in the Haymarket by James Green is an important contribution to the early history of the American labor movement.

Questions and answers on the Hollywood blacklists—Part 2

An interview with film historian Reynold Humphries

By David Walsh, 12 March 2009

Last month the WSWS posted a review of Hollywood’s Blacklists: A Political and Cultural History by Reynold Humphries. We subsequently conducted an interview with the author, which we are posting in two parts.

Questions and answers on the Hollywood blacklists—Part 1

An interview with film historian Reynold Humphries

By David Walsh, 11 March 2009

Last month the WSWS posted a review of Hollywood’s Blacklists: A Political and Cultural History by Reynold Humphries. We subsequently conducted an interview with the author, which we are posting in two parts.

Stories from coal mining towns in Appalachia

An interview with author Ruth White, author of Little Audrey

By Jane Stimmen, 6 March 2009

The WSWS recently interviewed Ruth White, whose book Little Audrey deals with 1948 life in the coal town of Jewell Valley, Virginia.

The anti-communist purge of the American film industry

By David Walsh, 4 February 2009

Reynold Humphries, former professor of Film Studies at the University of Lille 3, has written a valuable new account of the blacklisting of left-wing writers, actors, directors and producers in the American film industry

Novelist John Updike dead at 76: Was he a “great novelist”?

By David Walsh, 29 January 2009

A major figure in American literature for the past half-century (his first full-length novel appeared in 1959), John Updike published more than 60 works—novels, collections of short stories, volumes of essays, art criticism and more.

The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

A chronicle of US war crimes

By Shannon Jones, 17 January 2009

Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side presents a detailed account of the Bush administration’s assault on democratic rights, and authorization of torture, in the name of the “war on terror.”