Somehow, despite my huge interest in the topic, I only discovered Joanna Blythman recently. Not unlike fellow peer Felicity Lawrence (who works more on the abuse of workers & modern slavery in large-scale commercial food production), Blythman shares the front-line of food journalism/activism. This is her fifth book on food & deals predominantly with the hidden ingredients & deceptive stealth-feeding from an increasingly abnormal industry. Continue reading Swallow This – Serving up the food industry’s darkest secrets (Joanna Blythman)
“The rise of a major power is made up of thousands of details; like dispatching troops, mining mountains, building trading ports and skyscrapers, and most importantly entering the hearts and minds of the people without anyone noticing.”
This is a book for me that will most definitely be contending for 2016’s best title (I snatched it only this February). In this extraordinary piece, intellectual/observer/moralist/dissident/ analyst/”bad element” Xu Zhiyuan delivers an unprecedented critique & perspicacious reflection on China’s “economic miracle” & the true cost of this disastrous achievement. With remarkable clarity, Xu serves an almost sublime invective, with a grace & composure that almost contradicts the strength of the criticism & quiet outrage that he enacts. Continue reading Paper Tiger – Inside The Real China (Xu Zhiyuan)
Bit of a game changer this one. It’s a rare occasion that such a substantial blow is landed on a central pillar of tabloid tyranny (the most central in this case). It’s also an absurdly inspiring display of how just two deeply dedicated geezers (author & journalist Nick Davies & companion & former Guardian editor Allen Rusbridger) can make an unprecedented change to the unchallenged dominance of the corrupt status-quo, seriously contesting the invulnerability & unilateral hegemony of the corrupt giant & their squalid modus-operandi. Continue reading Hack Attack: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch – Nick Davies
Oh my! This is about as power-punch as it’s going to get. The “current climate” is screaming for arbitrations of this kind of antidote to depurate the thoroughly soiled hoax that shambles into ever worsening positions of contortion & contempt that would probably be comical if it were not so catastrophic & cruel.
Just listen to this for god’s sakes…
Pure badass! This woman is hard-to-the-core in the best possible sense of the expression. Bereft of any academic dryness or pretention she cuts through like a mythical sabre wielded by a veteran warrior from some ancient fable. Honestly, the first chapter/47 pages of this book have more potency/restorative clarity truth & precision not to mention immaculate critique (the facts generally do that themselves) than half the shit on my shelf (that’s a HELL of a lot kid). Continue reading Capitalism: A Ghost Story – Arundhati Roy
The Divide is one of the greatest & most salient books I have ever read! it’s also a book/subject that is screaming-out for documentary treatment, as really, everybody the world over needs this information in this kind of stark, veridical form with a cutting quality of certifiably overt-clarity, free from academic restraint or pretention.
The crux of the book is juxtaposition, between gigantic & rampant white collar-crime committed by the wealthy &, well, not so much committing crime as, quite literally, just living in poverty which is becoming, without exaggeration – an unofficial crime itself.
Well it’s about fucking time! Well-off academics recalling ancient childhood experiences of poverty & deprivation or studying contemporary penury from the must of university libraries has got a bit out of control. Oh absolutely, the genuine outrage & in depth & accurate analysis of poverty & the shitter angles of “economically deprived” & destitute communities lives can be exposed & castigated by those that observe the affliction externally rather than suffer directly from it, but the absence of those really on the receiving end in literature putting it in their own words is totally unacceptable. Continue reading Hand To Mouth – The truth about being poor in a wealthy world – Linda Tirado
Brian Turner is a poet/writer & ex US Army veteran who served for seven years with stations in both Bosnia-Herzegovnia & Iraq. This excellent book extends many ruminations & accounts during, after & prior to his deployment, defined by Turner’s starkly descriptive & stylized writing characteristic. His style is blunt & terse but also verbose, ornate & often abstruse & cryptic with many peregrine qualities. It’s evocative & can be considerably ambiguous, sometimes to extremes, I would not even be uncomfortable with christening it avant-garde on occasion, whereas at others it’s profoundly direct with a literary brutality. Some of the passages are very abstract & have a dream-like/oneiric angle. The book can easily be read for these qualities alone, irrespective of any absence of interest in modern war & conflict. but should a desire for knowledge in the inner-realities of recent conflicts be present, Turner’s accounts contain reams of salient information from his very direct experience of military conduct in Iraq & the muted phenomenon of post conflict home-coming/reintegration into the civilian sphere & demilitarization. Continue reading My Life as a Foreign Country – Brian Turner – Autobiography/Memoir
City Of Lies is the fantastic debut by British-Iranian journalist Ramita Navai. An exceptionally engrossing book that I scoffed back in a few days due to the massively captivating content and excellently evocative writing ornamentation/style of the author. The enigma that is contemporary Iran (Tehran specifically in this case) has been a focal fascination for me for some time as one of the most intriguing, ornate, tragic, exotic, and contradictory nations/cultures on earth, where essentially a draconian theocracy adnates with the madness of modernity amongst the vestiges of an early empire commingled with trace relics of a mysticism/religion (Zoroastrianism). Continue reading City Of Lies: Love, Sex, Death & The Search For Truth In Tehran – Ramita Navai – Non Fiction