California Literary Review


Book Review: Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones


July 5th, 2011

But wherever it originated, the word conjures up an instant picture of young people in cheap sportswear, swigging alcopops, brandishing knives and selling each other drugs whilst getting their fifteen-year-old girlfriends pregnant. They are a favourite subject for the right-wing tabloids, and where the term “chav” is found, the words “feral”, “benefits” and “underclass” will often be somewhere in the vicinity, not to mention “lifestyles funded by your taxes!”

Falling off the Edge: Travels Through the Dark Heart of Globalization by Alex Perry


February 16th, 2009

Perry describes a world without a middle class, a world in which, according to 2006 statistics, one percent of the world’s adults own forty percent of all global assets. The richest ten percent own eighty-five percent, while the poorest half own less than one percent.

The Patron’s Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art by Jonathan K. Nelson and Richard J. Zeckhauser


February 4th, 2009

No less than the American financier who donates a museum wing on condition it bears his name, or the merchandiser who endows a university institute named for him, the results of Renaissance patronage had to be, first of all, highly visible.

Dr. Shashi Tharoor: Understanding India


October 8th, 2008

“India is a status-quo power: it wants nothing that Pakistan has. Pakistan’s rulers, however, are obsessed with Kashmir, which they have repeatedly tried and failed to wrest from India through war and militancy, and with a desire to “cut India down to size” by bleeding it through terrorism. What needs to happen is for a new political culture to prevail in Pakistan, one that privileges peace, dialogue, co-operation, tourism and trade instead of resentment, bigotry, militarism, intolerance and violence.”

Eugene Debs and the Fight for Free Speech


June 26th, 2008

Debs was the great voice of socialism in the United States for the first two decades of the 20th century, a five-time presidential candidate for a third-party crusade against capitalism. He was a homegrown rebel, born and raised in Indiana, and a powerful speaker who knew how to translate socialism into an American idiom.

Parag Khanna Discusses The Second World


March 4th, 2008

“Around the entire world what I see is Europe and China investing into and buying greater shares of foreign economies—and thus gaining significant political and even military leverage over them—at our expense. Power has to be a fair balance among a range of tools, including the military, in order to be used effectively. We’re not doing that now, and I don’t see a good strategy coming out of Washington as to how to do it better.”

American-Made by Nick Taylor


March 3rd, 2008

Meanwhile, walls of buildings were rising, mud roads were being paved, library books were being delivered on horseback, archaeological digs were being excavated, and Orson Welles was directing an all-black version of Macbeth set in the Haitian jungle. Along with the carpenters and secretaries, painters, sculptors, writers, and actors had also joined the ranks, though with some confusion on how one measured an artist’s full working week. The WPA was feeding a need, both for the individual and the community.

Dear Minister, America is Headed Down; Can It Reverse Course?


June 13th, 2007

In my view, the Americans’ most serious problem for the longer term is the development of a new class of super-rich, while at the same time their middle and lower classes find themselves increasingly burdened by debt and worried whether their jobs will be “outsourced” to India or China.

The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic – by Chalmers Johnson


April 24th, 2007

Back in 2008 the United States had what was called a “California style” referendum. Empire or No Empire. Simple as that.

The Great Risk Shift – by Jacob S. Hacker


April 22nd, 2007

After winning reelection in 2004, President George W. Bush made restructuring Social Security his top domestic priority.

American Sucker – by David Denby


April 10th, 2007

The emotional trauma exposed a vulnerability that lay beneath all outward signs of success: a career as film critic for New Yorker magazine, a resident of New York’s upper west side, and the father of two children.

Richard Lanham Discusses the “Attention Economy”


April 3rd, 2007

“All around us we see signs of this confusion. Americans are often called a “materialistic” people and we certainly are surrounded by material possessions and revel in them. But at the same time, the “real world” of physical location seems to be evaporating before our eyes.”

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