New books from Pluto in December – brain food for the festive season

Haneen Zoabi being challenged in the Israeli parliament by an ultra-nationalist politician

Ben White, author of the best-selling Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, returns with another brilliant and forensic critique of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, this time turning his focus towards the treatment of Palestinians living in Israel. Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy is an accessible, extensively researched primer on this issue, providing the essential facts, figures and case studies.

It comes with a foreword by Haneen Zoabi, the Palestinian-Arab member of the Israeli parliament. You can watch a short clip of Ben talking about the book here:

Click here also to read Ben’s recent article on the New Statesman blog, ‘Defending the indefensible’ in which he argues that there is a climate of fear within Israel:

For Israel’s liberals, these are worrying times. The publisher and owner of Ha’aretz newspaper this week issued a warning about apartheid and democracy, while his colleagues have launched a special project on Israel’s “eroding freedoms” called “Black Flag Over Israel’s Democracy”.

Ben will be talking about the book at the Amnesty International Human Rights Centre in central London on 26th January. Keep an eye on the Pluto website for more details…

Click here to go to Ben’s website for the book which has information on events and reviews and a sample extract.

Palestinians in Israel

Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy

Ben White. Foreword by Haneen Zoabi

Argues that Israel’s insistence on declaring itself a Jewish state leads to discrimination, segregation and a guarantee of continued conflict.

“This book debunks convincingly and forcefully the myth of Israel being ‘the only democracy’ in the Middle East. As this book shows, the treatment of the Palestinians in Israel is the ultimate proof that the Jewish State is anything but democratic.” – Professor Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and Out of the Frame

“Essential reading to understand why there can never be peace unless Palestinian citizens of Israel are granted full equality, something they are systematically denied by Israel’s aggressive, and increasingly unrestrained Zionist ethnocracy.” – Ali Abunimah, Co-founder of Electronic Intifada, author of One Country

£14.99 only £13.00 on the Pluto site

Herbert Marcuse talking to students at Berlin Free University in 1967

Malcolm Miles offers a timely and refreshing take on the ideas of the great critical theorist Herbert Marcuse in Herbert Marcuse: An Aesthetics of Liberation, which is the first english language introduction to Marcuse to be published for decades.

A recent article in The Chronicle reports on the international Marcuse conference and highlights the relevance of his ideas for activists in the global ‘Occupy’ movement:

The Marcuse conference, which drew hundreds of participants and listeners, echoed often with laments over the failure of 60s protest movements to achieve their goals. It also posed a timely possibility. Might Marcuse, whose calls for resistance to and overthrow of capitalism inspired Davis, German radical Rudi Dutschke, French 68ers, and many more, remain a relevant source for social action and philosophical uplift?

For Peter Marcuse, the hope was that the “happy coincidence” of the conference and the Occupy movement converging might mean that his father’s work could aid the push toward a better society. “Over the last 20 or 30 years,” he remarked, speaking of his father, “Marcuse was totally missing. … Now Marcuse comes from the outside. That was not the case in the 1960s. He’s almost an unknown name.”

It was left to Alex Callinicos, Marcuse expert and critical theorist, to speak directly to the young people present at the closing round table, who included a number of Occupy Philadelphia participants: “Don’t just get caught up in the euphoria of the moment. What’s important is how you go on, what you do next.”

That said, the Marcuse scholars themselves preferred to feel, in the conference’s large turnout and edgy excitement, the euphoria of the moment. “For those of us who have been doing Marcuse scholarship,” remarked Kellner, “this is utopia.”

Visit The Chronicle to read the article in full.

Herbert Marcuse

An Aesthetics of Liberation

Malcolm Miles

A new introduction to the ideas of a thinker who greatly influenced the 1960s protest movements. Part of the ‘Modern European Thinkers’ series.

“Miles goes back to Marcuse’s work on aesthetics to link philosophy, art, history, political analysis, and sociological insights in a deeply humane search for the way to a better world. It deserves a very wide readership.” – Peter Marcuse, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, Columbia University

“This book presents a comprehensive critical overview and a comprehensive interrogation of Marcuse’s writings on art and aesthetics. Miles reads Marcuse as envisaging art as a way in which societies re-imagine themselves and project visions of a freer, happier, and better way of life. In these troubled times, it is refreshing to re-engage with Marcuse’s utopian visions of art and society and Miles proves a highly capable guide to this adventure.” – Douglas Kellner, UCLA, author of Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy

£22.95 only £20.50 on the Pluto site

Kerim Yildiz, who has helped to bring hundreds of cases of human rights abuses against Kurds to the European Court of Human Rights, returns with The Future of Kurdistan: The Iraqi Dilemma. You can watch Kerim talking at City University New York this year about the struggle for Kurdish self-determination here:

The Future of Kurdistan

The Iraqi Dilemma

Kerim Yildiz

Fresh look at Kurdistan Iraq today, including the role of central government and international forces, and the region’s political and economic future.

£45 only £40.50 on the Pluto site

In When the State Fails: Studies on Intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil WarTunde Zack-Williams brings together a range of academic experts, including many from Sierra Leone, to re-consider the use of international military intervention in the country. Taking place before the disaster of the Iraq war, intervention by British and other international forces in Sierra Leone has rarely been considered in detail. Was this Tony Blair’s good war?

When the State Fails

Studies on Intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War

Edited by Tunde Zack-Williams

Was western intervention in Sierra Leone a genuine case of humanitarianism? An informed and critical collection of essays which assesses this claim.

“This volume by Sierra Leonean academics offers wide-ranging insights on the causes and dynamics of the Sierra Leone conflict. It provides valuable information on security sector reform and the role of external actors in peace building.” – Yusuf Bangura, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

“This work fills a very important niche in our perception of the era of the civil war in Sierra Leone and its aftermath. Policy makers, those interested in development studies and scholars in general should pay keen attention to it.” – Magbaily Fyle, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site

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