Naim Stifan Ateek
5 Star — The Bible As Jesus Intended — for All, Not Some
From the Foreword by Walter Brueggemann:
QUOTE (xv): Thus, almost all of the information (misinformation that we receive in the West is filtered through Zionist ideologicial interest that holds in thrall much of the Christian community in the United States and consequently that holds in thrall US policy as well. In that articulation the current plight of Palestinians is kept invisible and the legitmate claims of Palestinians, ground in historical and social reality, are left without articulation.
QUOTE (xvii): Ateek’s reading of the Christian gospel is a move from “some” to “all,” a rejection of privileged tribalism, and a prospect for a just peace in which all parties may participate.
QUOTE (xix): This book is a venture in truth-telling advocacy.
6 Stars – A Most Extraordinary Uplifting Account of the Reinvention of America One “Flyover” Town at a Time (42 Specific Towns Visited)
I know James Fallows — he is best-known as a former speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and as an author for The Atlantic. I met him after reading three of his books, Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq; National Defense; and Free Flight: Inventing the Future of Travel.
5 Stars A Bishop Bears Witness in Palestine
Riah Abu El-Assal
From God’s lips to my ears. His Grace is both an Arab and a Christian whose life over several generations has been defined, on the one hand, by the love of God and on the other by the perfidy of the Zionists looting and destroying Palestine, and now including Jerusalem, a corpus separatum by any rational understanding.
Gary Fields, ENCLOSURE: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror (University of California Press, 2017), Paperback, US$29.85, Kindle $16.17.
This is easily a six-star work of history, political economy, human rights & atrocities, and cultural engineering.
Absolutely Recommended, Some Flaws, But Many Illustrations and an Easy Read, September 29, 2016
I rate this book as a solid five because it is a very important collection of insights — including a buried but all important indictment of Saudi Arabian Wahhabism and Western Imperialism as the true roots of ISIS. The graphics are so exceptional that I urge the author to offer this book in Kindle form where color graphics and the easy jumps from picture to brief test to picture will make this book twice as valuable as its present form limited to black and white photos.
There is absolutely no question about the author’s erudition or integrity. This is a man deeply steeped — as an observing Westerner — in Arabic culture, history, and language; in the political-economic history of the region; in the role of Islam as the foundation and the glue for society and the Islamic economy; and in the contributing factors including the US invasion of Iraq and the US dismantling of the Sunni officer corps in Iraq leading to ISIS. A solid five on intent and substance.
Pedro B. Ortiz
6-Star Guide to Saving Every City in Every Country — a World-Changing Book
This is an extraordinary book, easily five stars but I am elevating it to 6 stars (my top ten percent across over 2000 reviews, all but a handful non-fiction) because the author is not just a genius, but he explains his deep multi-level knowledge brilliantly. I have never seen a collection of complicated nuanced topics presented in such a compelling, easy to understand, well-illustrated manner. The case studies abound. The publisher is to be complemented for the purity of the presentation — a stunning book with perfectly laid out pages, glossy color on every page, and a superb index, which is where most publishers fail their authors.
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Brilliant with One Possible Flaw and Some Minor Oversights, May 10, 2015
I am a huge fan of Chris Hedges and consider Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle one of his most interesting works, a real complement to David Korten’s The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.
This book can be seen as a logical follow on to The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, among other works.
This is a five star book with one major point: revolutions don’t succeed from mass power, they succeed when mass power is no longer confronted by the armed power of the state because the individual soldiers and police stop defending the status quo. Since I myself have studied revolution extensively, and < Graphic: Preconditions of Revolution in the USA Today > is easily found online, I am both impressed by the author’s blend of journo-scholarship, and a tad disappointed that he missed some key bits.