Review: Decline and Fall – The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America

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John Michael Greer

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Primer, July 8, 2015

I come at this book with something most readers do not have, over 2,000 non-fiction book reviews here at Amazon, and I mention it only because there are some negative reviews that I think are lacking in the larger context one gets from very broad reading. From my perspective, this book is an extraordinary primer and the author is gifted — truly gifted as a teacher and an explainer of complex ideas in simpler captivating terms.

There are many other books that go into greater detail on specifics, and I will begin by listing just four of them:

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Jul 10

Review: Transforming the Dream – Ecologism and the Shaping of an Alternative American Vision

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Charles Bednar

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Synthesis, Starting Point for Anyone Who Wishes to Think Holistically, July 4, 2015

The author taught me most of what I retain in the way of political science fundamentals during our time together at Muhlenberg College, where he was former Chair of the Department of Political Science and an Associate Dean. We had not kept in touch since I left Muhlenberg in 1974, but in 2014 I reached out to him and bought this book immediately upon learning of its existence.

Published in 2003 by the State University of New York Press, this book was evidently not marketed at all, and little noted. That is a sad commentary on our times, because I find that the author has distilled multiple literatures into one coherent presentation, augmented by an original model that tells a vital story beyond Ecological Economics into Ecological Political Economy (in essence, politics), into Ecological Ethics and Ecological Pedagogy, two topics rarely covered by others.

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Jul 5

Review: Wages of Rebellion – The Moral Imperative of Revolt

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Chris Hedges

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.

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May 10

Review: Occupy the Economy – Challenging Capitalism

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Richard Wolff with David Barsamian

5.0 out of 5 stars SIX STAR Primer on the Necessary Socio-Economic Revolution, February 28, 2015

SIX STAR (my top 10% across 2000+ non-fiction book). This is an extraordinary book full of straight talk and common sense that sets the stage for a socio-economic revolution, first in the USA and then elsewhere. It does not address the many isolated incidents of collaborative capitalism and the commons that are in motion around the world — for that look up Michel Bauwens and the work of others on the economic commons — and it neglects the coincident need for a political revolution which is what my latest book on Open Power is about — but on balance this is easily a six-star offering.

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Feb 28

Review (Guest): The American Deep State – Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on US Democracy

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Peter Dale Scott

5 Star  Connecting the Dots

By The Peripatetic Reader on December 13, 2014

Peter Dale Scott has written many books about the Deep State at work in the U.S. government. Scott depicts American society as structurally and inherently schizophrenic. Just as there is the public government and the deep government, and ordinary events and deep events, there are two dominant forces permeating United States history: One egalitarian, believing in fairness, inclusion, and free expression, and the other militaristic and exclusionary, which is only interested in social control.

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Jan 3