World Wide Work - November 2010
THIS HALLOWEEN EDITION of the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.
WORLD WIDE WORK
New and worth noting...
Railroad Noir by Linda Grant Niemann with photographs by Joel Jensen (Indiana University). Niemann writes short vignettes drawn from 20 years working as one of the first female "brakemen" on American railroads. Her accounts of how the quality of worklife has deteriorated in the era of increased corporate power could apply to many other kinds of work as well. Jensen's photos of railroad life are stunning.
Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic). An intense historical novel about a black woman who rises to become a successful writer during the Harlem Renaaissance.
No Space for Further Burials by Feryal Ali Gauhar (Akashic). In this dark novel, a U.S. army medic is captured in Afghanistan and held in an asylum for the insane. The author, a journalist from Pakistan who has been imprisoned twice by her own government, tries to capture the insanity and human cost of war.
Disaster on the Horizon by Bob Cavnar (Chelsea Green). If you want to know more about how BP's oil disaster happened in the Gulf and why the government's response was so inadequate, this oil executive-turned-critic provides the background.
Stayin' Alive by Jefferson Cowie (The New Press). This political and cultural history explores the 1970s as the transition from the end of the New Deal era to the beginning of the global corporate domination we are living with today.
Networking for People Who Hate Networking by Devora Zack (BK). A more accurate title might have been "How Introverts Can Cope and Be Accommodated." An example of the book's practical advice: in a brainstorming meeting, ask everyone to write down a few ideas before the discussion begins. That makes it more likely that introverts as well as free-speaking extroverts will participate.
A California Bestiary by Rebecca Solnit and Mona Caron (Heyday). A little book full of interesting tidbits about a dozen different creatures, with colorful illustrations. How does the bluebelly lizard help prevent lyme disease? What does a desert tortoise do all day? Which woodpecker stores acorns in holes it makes in trees?
An American in Persia: A Pilgrimage to Iran by Richard A. Kauffman (Cascadia). A Mennonite writer and theologian reports on his interactions with Iranians and their views of the United States.
Low Bite by Sin Soracco (PM Press). A novel about women in prison that sees little difference between morality inside or outside the walls.
The Horse Boy. An engaging documentary about the very likeable parents of an autistic American boy who take him to be seen by a shaman in Mongolia. The film combines an open, honest story with gorgeous scenery and a basic introduction to autism.
Letters to Father Jacob. A simple, beautifully produced Finnish feature film about a blind priest who answers letters from troubled strangers and is sent an assistant who spent many years in prison.
* Who financed the film, Waiting for Superman, and what is their agenda? See thorough and surprising research and analysis of the film on a site established by Rethink
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