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Chris T. Dot
Senior tranceaddict



Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada

Don't know if this has yet been mentioned:

Fast Food Nation

Awesome book outlining all aspects of the fast food industry, from the mistreatment of workers and profit squeezing of farmers to the unsafe meat and big business lobbying against food safety regulations. Really makes you think twice about eating a big mac.

Another awesome book I'm almost finished with is:

Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson

Johnson talks about the past 60 years of American imperialism around the world. Very eye opening book on how the american government interferes with global politics around the world, and warns of impending backlash by various peoples in the future. Written before 9/11, and how prophetic his warnings became.


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Old Post Jun-11-2006 14:01  Canada
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Marc Summers
I must behave



Registered: Jan 2005
Location: 13th legislative district, NJ

quote:
Originally posted by Chris T. Dot
Don't know if this has yet been mentioned:

Fast Food Nation

Awesome book outlining all aspects of the fast food industry, from the mistreatment of workers and profit squeezing of farmers to the unsafe meat and big business lobbying against food safety regulations. Really makes you think twice about eating a big mac.


Is it as good as "The Jungle"?

That was a very interesting read.

Old Post Jun-11-2006 14:05 
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Chris T. Dot
Senior tranceaddict



Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada

quote:
Originally posted by Marc Summers
Is it as good as "The Jungle"?

That was a very interesting read.


actually, i haven't read The Jungle just yet, but have heard a lot from it, and it's actually mentioned in this book. but it exposes a lot


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Old Post Jun-12-2006 12:11  Canada
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Marc Summers
I must behave



Registered: Jan 2005
Location: 13th legislative district, NJ

quote:
Originally posted by Chris T. Dot
actually, i haven't read The Jungle just yet...


Old Post Jun-12-2006 23:13 
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Lebezniatnikov
Stupidity Annoys Me



Registered: Feb 2004
Location: DC

Paul Rusesabagina - An Ordinary Man

A retrospective by the man featured in the film Hotel Rwanda. This book is very intimately written in a way that handles the Rwandan genocide fairly gently, but leaves you with no doubt about the nature of it. What makes it fairly unique is the personal manner in which someone who survived the genocide firsthand expresses how good and evil interact within society. I had the pleasure of spending a day with Paul, and he really is the most humble human being I have ever met. If only there were a billion "ordinary men" like him.

Some great lines from the book:

"At the end, the best you can say is that my hotel saved about four hours' worth of people. Take four hours away from one hundred days and have an idea of just how little I was able to accomplish against the grand design."

"I am not a politician or a poet. I built my career on words that are plain and ordinary and concerned with everyday details. I am nothing more or less than a hotel manager, trained to negotiate contracts and charged to give shelter to those who need it. My job did not change in the genocide, even though I was thrust into a sea of fire. I only spoke the words that seemed normal and sane to me. I did what I believed to be the ordinary things that an ordinary man would do. I said no to outrageous actions the way I thought that anybody would, and it still mystifies me that so many others could say yes."

"I wondered how many of the dead bodies I might have known in the time before, perhaps people who had come into the Mille Collines for drinks, or relatives of friends that I'd met. Perhaps I'd only passed them in the markets without looking. Whoever they were, each one was irreplaceable, as irreplaceable to the people they loved as I was to my wife, or she was to me, or us to our children. Their uniqueness was gone forever, their stories, their experiences, their loves -- erased with a few swings of a cheap machete. Ah, Rwanda, why?"

"We cannot change the past, but we can improve the future with the limited tools and words that we have been given."

"A sad truth of human nature is that it is hard to care for people when they are abstractions, hard to care when it is not you or somebody close to you. Unless the world community can stop finding ways to dither in the face of this monstrous threat to humanity those words Never Again will persist in being one of the most abused phrases of the English language and one of the greatest lies of our time."

"Kindness is not an illusion and violence is not a rule. The true resting state of human affairs is not represented by a man hacking his neighbor into pieces with a machete. That is a sick aberration. No, the true state of human affairs is life as it ought to be lived. Walk outside your door and this is almost certainly what you'll see all around you. Daily life in any culture consists of people working alongside each other, buying and selling from one another, laughing with each other, ignoring each other, showing each other courtesy, swearing at each other, loving each other, but hardly ever killing each other as a matter of routine. In the total scope of man's existence collective murder is a rare event and should never be considered the 'real' fate of mankind.

I do not at all mean to downplay the role of politicized mass murder. It is a pathology of civilization and it will certainly happen again, probably before the decade is out. My point here is to say that it is not -- and should never be seen as -- the default state of mankind. These things are not supposed to happen, and when we write them off as Darwinist spectacles, inevitable by-products of war or worse, to ancient tribal animosities, we have lost sight of the most important thing: the fundamental perversion of genocide. We will have played into the hands of those who excited racial hatreds as a device to acquire more power. We will have been duped by the cheapest trick in the book. Human beings were designed to live sanely, and sanity always returns. The world always rights itself in the long run. Our collective biology simply refuses to let us go astray for long. Or as the French philosopher Albert Camus put it: 'Happiness, too, is inevitable.'

This is why I say that the individual's most potent weapon is a stubborn belief in the triumph of common decency. It is a simple belief, but it is not at all naive. It is, in fact, the shrewdest attitude possible. It is the best way to sabotage evil."

"Wherever the killing season should next begin and people should become strangers to their neighbors and themselves, my hope is that there will still be those ordinary men who say a quiet no and open the rooms upstairs."

Check it out, it is a very moving read.


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Old Post Jun-16-2006 19:23  United Nations
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Marc Summers
I must behave



Registered: Jan 2005
Location: 13th legislative district, NJ

quote:
Originally posted by Lebezniatnikov


sounds amazingly interesting. I loved the movie, and reading a book written by the main character (Paul Rusesabagina) sounds like it will give you that connection you need to truly understand the genocide. I'll by it this week.

Old Post Jun-17-2006 22:58 
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rustyryan
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Cambridge, MA (Indianapolis, IN)

The Capitalist Manifesto by Andrew Bernstein

An Economic, Historic, and Philosophical argument for laissez-faire


it's quite a good read I certainly suggest it


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Old Post Jul-25-2006 19:38  United States
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Marc Summers
I must behave



Registered: Jan 2005
Location: 13th legislative district, NJ

History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani.

Fairly good. A bit broader than I would have liked. If you want a good introduction to arab history, I definately recommend.

Old Post Aug-09-2006 22:25 
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tathi
wanderlust



Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney

Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace

the first 150 pages are very dry because there are so many characters (there are over 500 in the entire book) and its hard to keep up with them all, but if you persevere its very rewarding and fascinating book, i'm about 300 pages through

Old Post Aug-15-2006 03:09  Australia
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Chris T. Dot
Senior tranceaddict



Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada

Confessions of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins

Spectacular book on the life of John Perkins, working as an economic forecaster in the last 60s and 70s, and how he was involved in helping secure American economic interests while enslaving and bringing misery to millions of people and third world nations. He outlines how American economic forecasting companies such as MAIN, the one he worked for, would go into a 3rd world country, inflate numbers on the returns creditors would get from investing in infrastrature in the country(which would justify the World Bank and other agencies to lend billions), how these loans would always be way too much so that the country wouldn't be able to repay the loan and be indebted forever, making the country poorer, etc.

Powerful book that exposes how the world's corporatacracy works and how the American economic empire was built. A book 20 years in the making, well worth the read.


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Old Post Aug-20-2006 20:03  Canada
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Yoepus
Neo-condimist



Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Ketchup fields, Texas

quote:
Originally posted by tathi
Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace

the first 150 pages are very dry because there are so many characters (there are over 500 in the entire book) and its hard to keep up with them all, but if you persevere its very rewarding and fascinating book, i'm about 300 pages through


Yea, its good till about page 900 then it gets really slow and boring....




But tolstoy brings up some great philosphical motifs later in, such as what determines victory that have stuck with me since the book.

I think he has done the best job of describing the randomness of war I have ever read.


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Old Post Aug-20-2006 21:27  Israel
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tathi
wanderlust



Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Sydney

yeah some chapters are very banal and excruciatingly hard to get through, other chapters are gripping and very philosophical. have you read Anna Karenina?

Old Post Aug-24-2006 01:12  Australia
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