J. R. McNeill, Corinna R. Unger (eds.): Environmental Histories of the Cold War (2010)

17 February 2015, dusan

“This book explores the links between the Cold War and the global environment, ranging from the environmental impacts of nuclear weapons to the political repercussions of environmentalism. Environmental change accelerated sharply during the Cold War years, and so did environmentalism as both a popular movement and a scientific preoccupation. Most Cold War history however entirely overlooks these developments, which were not only simultaneous but also linked together in ways both straightforward and surprising. The contributors to this book present these connected issues as a global phenomenon, with chapters concerning China, the USSR, Europe, North America, Oceania, and elsewhere. The role of experts as agents and advocates of using the environment as a weapon in the Cold War or, contrastingly, of preventing environmental damage resulting from Cold War politics is also given broad attention.”

Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2010
ISBN 0521762448, 9780521762441
362 pages

Reviews: Chaney (H-Net, 2011), Tucker (Michigan War Studies Review, 2012), Kinkela (Cold War History, 2013).
Conference report by Thomas Robertson (GFI Bulletin, 2007)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (5 MB)

Frank M. Snowden, Jr.: Blacks in Antiquity (1970)

16 December 2014, dusan

“The Africans who came to ancient Greece and Italy participated in an important chapter of classical history. Although evidence indicated that the alien dark- and black-skinned people were of varied tribal and geographic origins, the Greeks and Romans classified many of them as Ethiopians. In an effort to determine the role of black people in ancient civilization, Frank M. Snowden examines a broad span of Greco-Roman experience—from the Homeric era to the age of Justinian—focusing his attention on the Ethiopians as they were known to the Greeks and Romans. The author dispels unwarranted generalizations about the Ethiopians, contending that classical references to them were neither glorifications of a mysterious people nor caricatures of rare creatures.

Mr. Snowden has probed literary, epigraphical, papyrological, numismatic, and archaeological sources and has considered modern anthropological and sociological findings on pertinent racial and intercultural problems. He has drawn directly upon the widely scattered literary evidence of classical and early Christian writers and has synthesized extensive and diverse material. Along with invaluable reference notes, Mr. Snowden has included over 140 illustrations which depict the Negro as the Greeks and Romans conceived of him in mythology and religion and observed him in a number of occupations—as servant, diplomat, warrior, athlete, and performer, among others.

Presenting an exceptionally comprehensive historical description of the first major encounter of Europeans with dark and black Africans, Mr. Snowden found that the black man in a predominantly white society was neither romanticized nor scorned—that the Ethiopian in classical antiquity was considered by pagan and Christian without prejudice.”

Publisher The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1970
ISBN 0674076257, 9780674076259
364 pages
via yunus_21

Snowden’s short essay based on the book (2000)
When Greek was an African Language (Stanley Burstein, 2006)
Review (B.H. Warmington, African Historical Studies, 1971)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (46 MB, no OCR)

Richard Barbrook: Class Wargames: Ludic Subversion Against Spectacular Capitalism (2014)

6 October 2014, dusan

“Why should radicals be interested in playing wargames? Surely the Left can have no interest in such militarist fantasies? Yet, Guy Debord – the leader of the Situationist International – placed such importance on his invention of The Game of War that he described it as the most significant of his accomplishments.

Intrigued by this claim, a multinational group of artists, activists and academics formed Class Wargames to investigate the political and strategic lessons that could be learnt from playing his ludic experiment. While the ideas of the Situationists continue to be highly influential in the development of subversive art and politics, relatively little attention has been paid to their strategic orientation. Determined to correct this deficiency, Class Wargames is committed to exploring how Debord used the metaphor of the Napoleonic battlefield to propagate a Situationist analysis of modern culture and politics. Inspired by his example its members have also hacked other military simulations: H.G. Wells’ Little Wars; Chris Peers’ Reds versus Reds and Richard Borg’s Commands & Colors. Playing wargames is not a diversion from politics: it is the training ground of tomorrow’s communist insurgents.

Fusing together historical research on avant-garde artists, political revolutionaries and military theorists with narratives of five years of public performances, Class Wargames provides a strategic and tactical manual for subverting the economic, political and ideological hierarchies of early-21st century neoliberal capitalism. The knowledge required to create a truly human civilisation is there to be discovered on the game board!” (from the back cover)

Publisher Minor Compositions, an imprint of Autonomedia, 2014
Creative Commons BY-NC 3.0 Licence
ISBN 9781570272936
444 pages
via Marcell

Publisher

PDF (8 MB)
Scribd
See also Guy Debord’s ‘The Game of War’ – The Film (26 min, c2011)

Friedrich Kittler: Short Cuts (2002) [German]

29 September 2014, dusan

A collection of essays and interviews.

Dass er seit eineinhalb Jahrzehnten den Geisteswissenschaften ihren Computer-Analphabetismus vorbuchstabiert, hat Friedrich Kittler vor allen akademischen Ehren den Titel des “Enfant incompatible der Humanities” eingebracht. Aus dem Inhalt: Interviews mit Alexander Kluge, Über Michel Foucault, Computeranalphabetismus, Das Jahrhundert der Landvermesser, Der Kopf schrumpft, Der Schleier des Luftkrieges, Gespräch mit Paul Virilio, Die Zukunft auf Siliziumbasis, Interview mit Peter Weibel, Jeder kennt den CIA, Krieg im Schaltkreis, Medien und Drogen in Pynchons Zweitem Weltkrieg, Memories are made of you, Provisorische Maschinen, provisorische Moral, Rock Musik: Ein Missbrauch von Heeresgerät.

Edited by Peter Gente and Martin Weinmann
Publisher Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt am Main, 2002
Short Cuts series, 6
ISBN 3861504243, 9783861504245
288 pages

Kittler’s bibliography at Monoskop wiki

PDF

Masha Gessen: The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (2012)

7 September 2014, dusan

Handpicked in 1999 by the ‘Family’ surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience beyond having served as deputy mayor of St Petersburg, seemed like the perfect choice in the eyes of an oligarchy bent on moulding the president’s successor to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had scrapped his way through post-war Leningrad schoolyards, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as with ruthless efficiency Putin dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the country’s burgeoning business class, and decimated the fragile mechanisms of democracy. Within a few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave. As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her horrifying and spellbinding account of how this ‘faceless’ man manoeuvred his way into absolute – and absolutely corrupt – power will stand as a classic of narrative non-fiction.

Publisher Riverhead Books, 2012
EISBN 9781101560600

Video interview with the author (52 min, Sydney Writers Festival, May 2012)
Review (Luke Harding, The Guardian, 2012)
Review (Anne Applebaum, The New York Review of Books, 2012)
Review (John Ehrman, Studies in Intelligence, 2014)

Publisher

MOBI, (2)

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