This month’s titles cover a breadth of subjects, from Islam, media studies and social movements; to ethnicity, Zionism and current affairs:
Nathan Lean’s The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims is a brilliant exposition of the Islamophobic propaganda machine, drawing the reader into a world of conservative bloggers, right-wing talk show hosts, and religious and political evangelism. Anthony Lerman’s The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist: A Personal and Political Journey is a powerful autobiographical account of the author’s relationship with, and eventual estrangement from the Zionist cause and Israeli policy. Andre Vltchek’s fascinating, yet unsettling account explores the trajectory of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, in Indonesia: Archipelago of Fear. Finally, Nirmalangshu Mukherji’s highly engaging The Maoists in India: Tribals Under Siege shines a light on one of the most intractable but under-reported insurgencies in the developing world – the decades long battle between the Indian state and Maoist groups who control significant parts of the country.
How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims
Nathan Lean. Foreword by John L. Esposito
“This concise, accessible and illuminating book meets one of the most urgent needs of our time. Lean has provided a compelling counter-narrative that reveals the vested interests and highly organized networks of those who preach the virulent Islamophobia that is not only endangering world peace but is also corroding the tolerance and egalitarian ethos that should characterize Western society. This book should be required reading.” – Karen Armstrong
“Islamophobia is not only about ignorance and fear. Some people purposefully nurture it and use it as a political strategy. Nathan Lean’s The Islamophobia Industry shows what is happening behind the scenes. It is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the rationale and objectives behind those who foster this new racism against Muslims.” – Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University and author of The Quest for Meaning
A Personal and Political Journey
Powerful memoir of the personal and political journey of a leading figure in the UK’s Jewish community, from idealistic Zionist to critic of Israel.
“An honest and moving account of how Antony Lerman – like so many Jewish liberals of his generation – fell in and out of love with the Zionist dream as translated into Israeli reality. A singular figure of principle in the grubby world of communal politics, Lerman retells factually and with a commendable lack of bitterness his shameful treatment at the hands of the British Jewish establishment.” – Rabbi David J. Goldberg author of This Is Not the Way: Jews, Judaism and Israel (2012)
“In this very courageous, personal yet intellectual exposé, Antony Lerman, who, unlike many of his peers, refused to cross the red lines into the ideological territory of ethnocentric particularism, explores his journey to and from Zionism. His critique contains sharp insights and the inspiration of an optimistic prophet who believes that peace, justice and human rights are the true Jewish values.” – Avrum Burg, former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and author of The Holocaust is Over: We Must Rise From its Ashes (2008)
Archipelago of Fear
Andre Vltchek. Foreword by Noam Chomsky
A fascinating journey into the world’s most populous Muslim nation as it struggles to emerge from dictatorship and corporate exploitation.
“A country whose population numbers nearly as high as the U.S., Indonesia is almost hidden from consciousness in the U.S. However, Vltchek turns on a powerful spotlight, using vast stores of thorough research and years of direct contact, to redress our ignorance. Chomsky’s forward contextualizes the endeavor. That Vltchek’s spotlight gives substance and texture to the lives of Indonesians is a wonderful contribution. That it generalizes to insights bearing on all lives around the globe makes the book that much more relevant and important.” – Michael Albert, co-founder of Z Communications and author of Parecon: Life After Capitalism (2003).
“Andre Vltchek provides a comprehensive account of Indonesia and its internal socio-economic and political dynamics through the eyes of lay people from the colonial era till now. He manages to portray and thoroughly analyse what has been experienced by most Indonesian people today: poverty, fear and the humiliations created by corrupt and greedy elites. His special chapter on women’s rights provides an added value to this important book.” – Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, National Coordinator of Indonesian Legal Aid Society for Women and former Indonesian MP
Tribals Under Siege
Delves deep into the intractable but under-reported struggle between the Indian state and Maoist groups who control swathes of the Indian countryside.
“Nirmalangshu Mukherji is a careful, judicious scholar, and his inquiry into these intricate and often shattering issues is sensitive and I think persuasive. For India, these are topics of central concern, but the implications are far broader. Throughout the world the search for resources and modern industrial and agricultural development are coming into conflict with indigenous societies and infringing on their fundamental rights. The Indian case is a particularly dramatic example, but with far-reaching implications.” – Noam Chomsky
“Mukherji’s book intensely debates the writings of Maoist ideologues and sympathizers, on issues relating to the Maoist movement in India’s tribal regions. He develops a serious critique of state polices and the violent response to these, preferring the large social movements in India that advocate an alternative path of development through non-violent resistance. A must read for all those that follow the intense, ongoing debates on politics and development in India.” – Anuradha M. Chenoy, Professor in the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, co-author of Maoist And Other Armed Conflicts (2010).