Books (and More!) by Friends – December 2008

Dear family and friends,

This holiday season there is hope and change in the air, as well as lots of planning and strategizing for hard work ahead. Books, films, poetry, music and more will come in handy for making activist plans, and also for renewing our energies and broadening our horizons. I’m blessed to have many old and new friends whose creativity and dedication have added to the store of valuable works we can choose from. I’d like to call some of them to your attention as you consider your 2009 reading and cultural experience list or are thinking of buying a gift for a friend or loved one. Take a look at the list below and enjoy!

Peace on earth, good will to all.


Speaking of peace, two hard-hitting short volumes by Phyllis Bennis are just off the press: Ending the Iraq War: A Primer and Understanding the U.S.-Iran Crisis: A Primer. For full info go to

To keep track of how the fight for peace is going next year, put a copy of the War Resister’s League Peace Calendar, The Path of Most Resistance: A U.S. Radical History Tour, on your wall. It’s edited by Judith Mahoney Pasternak, info at

The title says it all on this one: Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid, by Joe Nevins, with photographs by Mizue Aizeki. Check it out at The same with David Bacon’s fine volume: Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. Go to:

I’ve written many of you earlier about Kendall Hale’s riveting volume: Radical Passions: A Memoir of Revolution and Healing, info at . Another valuable memoir of the Vietnam era and beyond is Paul Krehbiel’s Shades Of Justice; go to For something not quite a memoir but close – an “autobiographical novel” – check out Hilton Obenzinger’s Busy Dying,

How about some music? Burton Li plays guitar with The Botticellis – – check out their CD Old Home Movies or see them play live if you can. And Rebecca Bortman rocks as lead singer in My First Earthquake; go to their great site and check out their first EP Tremors.

Maybe poetry is more your holiday style? Get a copy of The Space Between by Aimee Suzara, info at and the site for all Aimee’s excellent work is

Perhaps seeing a new film is on your agenda? Take a look at the award-winning Palestine Blues by Nida Sinnokrat. It’s not new this year, but I only met Nida in 2008, you can read a bit about him and the film at:

Back to books, here’s a special item featuring wonderful poster art put together by Lincoln Cushing: Visions of Peace & Justice: 30 Years Of Political Posters from the Archives of Inkworks Press And coming next year, by Lincoln and Tim Drescher – with whom I go back 40 years now! – Agitate! Educate! Organize! American Labor Posters

Getting well-deserved excellent reviews is Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path Toward Social Justice by Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Fernando Gapasin. Info at:

The previous books-by-friends message flagged Estella Habal’s top-notch volume, San Francisco’s International Hotel: Mobilizing The Filipino American Community In The Anti-Eviction Movement; My review of it for make/shift is here. (Elsewhere on the Revolution in the Air site you can find pictures from my 2008 Marathon for Peace, other book reviews and articles of interest).

Last, I’ve already got a growing list of books and other creative works by friends due out in 2009 – send more if you have something in the pipeline (or if there is something that I, with apologies, have missed). So look for more recommendations next year!