Book Reviews

New from Annie Leonard and Naomi Klein

From Story of Stuff creator Annie Leonard, we now have an accessible and visually engaging outlook on the financial crisis, deficit mania in Washington, and how to shift public funds toward a greener future. She makes a few compromises in the pursuit of mainstream appeal that may not sit so well with social ecologists — focusing on electoral solutions, and simply replacing petrochemicals with “bio-based materials” – but overall this 8 minute animation does an exceptional job of illuminating the links between environmental and economic priorities for our time.

After viewing The Story of Broke, be sure not to miss […]

Dan Chodorkoff’s September book tour

Dates for Dan Chodorkoff's upcoming readings from his new novel, Fall 2011.

Brian Tokar reviews “Loisaida”

“Coming of Age in a Different Time,” by Brian Tokar

Excerpt:

Loisaida [is] a compelling coming-of-age story that describes one young woman’s journey of self-discovery and political awakening. Purple-haired Catherine … escaped a liberal but far too safe enclave in Scarsdale to live with her lover in a Lower East Side squat and work on an anarchist newspaper, the well-intentioned but rhetorically excessive Avalanche. One of those [historic] community gardens—in this case established by Puerto Rican activists but recently more frequented by the anarchists and punk rockers—is slated for demolition under the pretext of building low income housing. The neighborhood becomes […]

New review of “Remaking Society”

From U. of Toronto information & library science graduate student Ian Reddy. Interestingly, he describes first discovering Murray Bookchin's writings after reading some of his 1990s critics. The review offers a fresh look at a classic work in social ecology: http://contratexts.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-murray-bookchin-1989-remaking.html.

Janet Biehl reviews Dan Chodorkoff’s “Loisaida”

My favorite parts of Dan Chodorkoff’s debut novel are the scenes in the squat. The young bohemians who find affordable housing there have no running water and draw electricity from an extension cord running from an outdoor lamppost. Plugged into it are the hot plate on which they cook and the space heater that takes the chill off the leak-spattered room. Milk crates are their furniture, and they dumpster-dive for everything else. When they get angry, they write graffiti with spray cans on walls, and circle letter A’s, while muttering “Die, yuppie scum.” The Lower East Side of Manhattan has been home to radicals, immigrant and domestic, socialist and anarchist, for generations; these mid-1980s squatters are among the more recent. Not that they really know what they mean by anarchism: “it was more a feeling than anything else,” the narrator tells us. Full review at http://new-compass.net./node/231.

“Loisaida” reading this Friday

ISE co-founder Dan Chodorkoff will be reading from his new novel Loisaida this Friday, May 20th at Shiretown Books, 9 Central Ave, Woodstock, Vermont, starting at 7PM.  Woodstock is on US Route 4 between White River Junction and Rutland, Vermont.  All are welcome.

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“Mumford Gutkind Bookchin” – A brief review

Review of Janet Biehl’s booklet, Mumford Gutkind Bookchin: The Emergence of Eco-Decentralism (available from New Compass Press)

by Brian Tokar

The link between ecology and decentralist politics is often taken as a given, as natural a connection as between bees and pollen or tulips and Dutch gardens. But as with everything in the evolution of ideas, this link has a particular history and, in this case, its origin story is woven through the works of the pioneering social ecologist, Murray Bookchin.

In this brief but insightful booklet, Janet Biehl traces the intellectual origins of Bookchin’s earliest 1960s works on the ecology of […]

“The half-life of disaster” by Brian Massumi

ISE Director Brian Tokar recommends this article from Brian Massumi, who translated Deleuze & Guattari’s 1000 Plateaus and several later writings of theirs into English. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
As a counterweight to the conditions of precariousness fostered by disaster capitalism itself, certain key economic sectors are allowed to consolidate through mergers. These quasi-monopolistic movements are tolerated, or even encouraged, in the name of securing the economy’s future stability. This has been significantly the case in the energy sector, with policies friendly to centralised production and quasi-monopolistic ownership designed, for example, to revive the nuclear power industry or to […]

Chodorkoff’s novel “Loisaida” now available

ISE co-founder, longtime Director, and current Board member Dan Chodorkoff’s long-awaited and much-anticipated novel Loisaida (Fomite Press) is now available from Amazon. Please do also contact your local bookseller and request that they order Loisaida.

In related news, Dan reports that his Loisaida reading at the 2011 NYC Anarchist Bookfair went very well!

Here’s the novel’s description, as provided by Fomite Press:
Catherine, a young anarchist estranged from her parents and squatting in an abandoned building on New York’s Lower East Side is fighting with her boyfriend and conflicted about her work on an underground newspaper. After learning of a developer’s plans to demolish a community garden, […]

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    Chodorkoff’s novel “Loisaida” to be released April 9, 2011

Chodorkoff’s novel “Loisaida” to be released April 9, 2011

ISE co-founder, longtime Director, and current Board member Dan Chodorkoff’s long-awaited and much-anticipated novel Loisaida is set to be released next week by Fomite Press. You will be able to purchase the novel via the Fomite Press website as well as Amazon, though we do not have that information as of this writing. Please do contact your local bookseller and request that they order Loisaida.

Here’s the novel’s description, as provided by Fomite Press:
Catherine, a young anarchist estranged from her parents and squatting in an abandoned building on New York’s Lower East Side is fighting with her boyfriend and conflicted […]