The Book Of Calamities
By Peter Trachtenberg
What does it mean to suffer? What enables some people to emerge from tragedy while others are spiritually crushed by it? Why do so many Americans think of suffering as something that happens to other people - who usually deserve it? These are some of the questions at the heart of this powerful book. Combining reportage, personal narrative and moral philosophy, Peter Trachtenberg tells the stories of grass-roots genocide tribunals in Rwanda and tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka, an innocent man on death row, and a family bereaved on 9/11. He examines texts from the Book of Job to the Bodhicharyavatara and the writings of Simone Weil. THE BOOK OF CALAMITIES is a provocative and sweeping look at one of the biggest paradoxes of the human condition - and the surprising strength and resilience of those who are forced to confront it.
By Chalmers Johnson
This provocative & important book, with a new preface by the author written after the momentous events of 11 September, is a powerful account of the consequences of American global policies. The 21st century, Chalmers Johnson tells us, will be a payback world in which the US will reap the global resentments it is now sowing.'Blowback', a term that officials of the CIA first invented for their internal use, refers to the unintended consequences of American policies and the dangers faced by an overextended empire that insists on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms. From America's role in Asia's financial crisis, to its early support for Saddam Hussein and its actions in the Balkans, Johnson reveals the misguided actions of a hugely powerful nation. In the wake of the Cold War, the US has imprudently expanded the commitments it made over the previous forty years. In 'Blowback' Chalmers Johnson issues a warning: it is time for the American empire to demobilize before its bills become due.