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"This is an impressive collection: well-informed, well-written, covering highly important topics over an impressive range, with no hesitation about taking an honest stand that gets right to the heart of the matter in case after case." Noam Chomsky A frequent columnist in Z magazine, Black Commentator, and other magazines, Paul Street has closely monitored the deterioration of civil liberties since 9/11. In his new book, Street challenges the widely accepted notion that 'everything changed' on 9/11. The event of 9/11 changed the lives of thousands of people in tragic and lasting ways, but some things it did not drastically alter were the long-term goals of the Bush administration. Rather, the terrorist attacks offered a way for them to fully realize these goals, through waging war against fictional enemies abroad and against civil liberties at home. By pointing out rampant injustices in society and doggedly pursuing the blatant contradictions in current government policies, Street reveals a very different America than the government or media portray. Empire and Inequality shows how the jetliner attacks provided a windfall opportunity to accelerate pre-existing trends towards greater global and domestic hierarchy, inequality, and repression. Street shows how the elites of American government and business used classic propaganda mechanisms in pursuit of this regressive and authoritarian agenda in the "post-9/11 era." Street offers a cogent critique of the myth of the powerless state, showing that U.S. government's cup runs over when it comes to serving the wealthy and privileged few and is empty only when it comes to meeting the needs of the non-affluent majority. Empire and Inequality is a powerful reflection on the inseparable, deepening, and mutually reinforcing relationships that exist between empire abroad and inequality and repression at home in the "post 9/11 era."
Many Americans believe Barak Obama represents a hopeful future for America. But does he also reflect the American politics of the past? This book offers the broadest and best-informed understanding on the meaning of the "Obama phenomenon" to date. Paul Street was on the ground throughout the Iowa campaign, and his stories of the rising Obama phenomenon are poignant. Yet the author's background in American political history allows him to explore the deeper meanings of Obama's remarkable political career. He looks at Obama in relation to contemporary issues of class, race, war, and empire. He considers Obama in the context of our nation's political history, with comparisons to FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton, and other leaders. Street finds that the Obama persona, crafted by campaign consultants and filtered through dominant media trends, masks the "change" candidate's adherence to long-prevailing power structures and party doctrines. He shows how American political culture has produced misperceptions by the electorate of Obama's positions and values. Obama is no magical exception to the narrow-spectrum electoral system and ideological culture that have done so much to define and limit the American political tradition. Yet the author suggests key ways in which Obama potentially advances democratic transformation. Street makes recommendations on how citizens can productively respond to and act upon Obama's influence and the broader historical and social forces that have produced his celebrity and relevance. He also lays out a real agenda for change for the new presidential administration, one that addresses the recent failures of democratic politics.
Many Americans believe Barak Obama represents a hopeful future for America. But does he also reflect the American politics of the past? This book offers the broadest and best-informed understanding on the meaning of the "Obama phenomenon" to date. Paul Street was on the ground throughout the Iowa campaign, and his stories of the rising Obama phenomenon are poignant. Yet the author's background in American political history allows him to explore the deeper meanings of Obama's remarkable political career. He looks at Obama in relation to contemporary issues of class, race, war, and empire. He considers Obama in the context of our nation's political history, with comparisons to FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton, and other leaders. Street finds that the Obama persona, crafted by campaign consultants and filtered through dominant media trends, masks the "change" candidate's adherence to long-prevailing power structures and party doctrines. He shows how American political culture has produced misperceptions by the electorate of Obama's positions and values. Obama is no magical exception to the narrow-spectrum electoral system and ideological culture that have done so much to define and limit the American political tradition. Yet the author suggests key ways in which Obama potentially advances democratic transformation. Street makes recommendations on how citizens can productively respond to and act upon Obama's influence and the broader historical and social forces that have produced his celebrity and relevance. He also lays out a real agenda for change for the new presidential administration, one that addresses the recent failures of democratic politics.
"This is an impressive collection: well-informed, well-written, covering highly important topics over an impressive range, with no hesitation about taking an honest stand that gets right to the heart of the matter in case after case." Noam Chomsky A frequent columnist in Z magazine, Black Commentator, and other magazines, Paul Street has closely monitored the deterioration of civil liberties since 9/11. In his new book, Street challenges the widely accepted notion that 'everything changed' on 9/11. The event of 9/11 changed the lives of thousands of people in tragic and lasting ways, but some things it did not drastically alter were the long-term goals of the Bush administration. Rather, the terrorist attacks offered a way for them to fully realize these goals, through waging war against fictional enemies abroad and against civil liberties at home. By pointing out rampant injustices in society and doggedly pursuing the blatant contradictions in current government policies, Street reveals a very different America than the government or media portray. Empire and Inequality shows how the jetliner attacks provided a windfall opportunity to accelerate pre-existing trends towards greater global and domestic hierarchy, inequality, and repression. Street shows how the elites of American government and business used classic propaganda mechanisms in pursuit of this regressive and authoritarian agenda in the "post-9/11 era." Street offers a cogent critique of the myth of the powerless state, showing that U.S. government's cup runs over when it comes to serving the wealthy and privileged few and is empty only when it comes to meeting the needs of the non-affluent majority. Empire and Inequality is a powerful reflection on the inseparable, deepening, and mutually reinforcing relationships that exist between empire abroad and inequality and repression at home in the "post 9/11 era."
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