Robert Reich: Fraud on the Street

April 1, 2010 Where on earth has the SEC been?

Fatima Bhutto: Notes on a Father’s Murder

March 31, 2010 Bhutto was just fourteen when her father was gunned down outside her house. Her new book, Songs of Blood and Sword commemorates that death, tells her father's and her family's story, and blames Pakistan's current president for the crime.

Norman Solomon: A Bomber Jacket Doesn’t Cover the Blood

March 31, 2010 President Obama has taken a further plunge into the kind of war abyss that consumed predecessors named Johnson, Nixon and Bush.

Meakin Armstrong: On I’m Here

March 31, 2010

This story of two robots in love asserts that sacrifice is what makes love worthwhile.

Video: Bruce Rich on Universal Health Care in Ancient India

March 30, 2010 One of the many programs established by ancient Indian emperor Ashoka was a system of universal health care for people and animals, which served the empire for close to a millennium.

Rec Room: Erica Wright: The Anthologist

March 30, 2010 This book is really a sneaky lesson on poetic forms and how great they are. Like in those commercials where parents lie about the vegetable content of a particular snack.

Tom Engelhardt: When Was the Last Time You Visited Iraq?: Exporting American Democracy to the World

March 29, 2010 Perhaps the U.S. should think twice before shipping its dysfunctional democracy abroad.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: Waking Sleeping Beauty

March 29, 2010 For those of us who feel slightly defined by Disney’s animated films, this documentary is a wonderful reminder of them, as well as an interesting look at the animation studio’s history.

Joel Whitney: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on AEI’s Openness to Dissent

March 26, 2010 In February 2007, Ayaan Hirsi Ali approached the American Enterprise Institute with a fresh gaze and found it very open to outside ideas, and found Frum a "delightful guy." My challenge to her now is, will you defend him?

Julian Assange: Something is Rotten in the State of Iceland

March 26, 2010 When Guernica saw Wikileaks’ cryptic tweets on early Wednesday just after midnight, we asked Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, what gives…

Rec Room: Katherine Dykstra: Nothing Right

March 26, 2010

Each of the women in these short stories are realistically drawn.

Wendell Potter Reacts to the Passing of the Health Care Reform Bill

March 25, 2010 Guernica editors Joel Whitney and Michael Archer recently emailed Wendell Potter, former mouthpiece for Cigna and ubiquitous healthcare commentator, about passage of the legislation.

Rec Room: Francis Reynolds: Goodbye, Dragon Inn

March 25, 2010 Tsai Ming-Liang uses the isolation of the cinema experience to beautiful and unsettling ends.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Desire

March 24, 2010 Bob Dylan’s album is at once powerful and delicate.

David Bacon: We Need a Better Alternative for Immigration Reform

March 24, 2010 The U.S. needs reform that unites people and protects everyone’s rights and jobs, immigrant and non-immigrant alike.

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: Why Translation Matters

March 23, 2010 Look out for Edith Grossman’s essay on the joys and travails of translating Don Quixote.

David Bollier: When Art Worked

March 23, 2010 How New Deal art helped remake democratic culture.

Rec Room: Elizabeth Onusko: The Art of Simple Food

March 22, 2010 Waters is not heavy-handed or preachy—she’s an expert at demystifying cooking.

Robert Reich: The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really Means

March 22, 2010 Sunday’s vote confirms our hope that we can have both strength and competence in Washington. It is an audacious hope, but we have no choice.

Rec Room: Ricardo Maldonado: Moulin Rouge!

March 19, 2010 The culture of love, Lurhmann seems to say, is as sane as the monkey house—one cannot help but check oneself in.

William J. Astore: The Pentagon Church Militant and Us: The Top Five Questions We Should Ask the Pentagon

March 19, 2010 Imagine, for a moment, if Pentagon officials, supposedly toiling in our name, actually condescended to ask us for our thoughts.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: Exit 117

March 18, 2010 This film is not a complaint about the lackluster life of New Jersey teens. It is almost the opposite—it is art.

David Bollier: Our Psychic Connections to Nature

March 18, 2010 Now there is a name for the emotional distress caused by ecological destruction.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: The BLDGBLOG Book

March 17, 2010 A stunning book filled with some of the most intriguing ideas about constructed space I have ever read.

Robert Reich: The Sham Recovery

March 17, 2010 So what happens when the stimulus is over and the Fed begins to tighten again? Where will demand come from to get Main Street back, create jobs, raise middle class wages?

A Guernica Reading, Mac McClelland of Mother Jones

March 16, 2010 An evening of friends and a powerful, fresh voice.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: The Big Short

March 16, 2010 Inevitably, Michael Lewis’s new book will be a cracking read.

Lewis Lapham: The Great White Whale in San Francisco Bay Or How the “Lively Arts” Became “the Media”

March 16, 2010 Truth as synonym for liberty isn’t a collectible. It is the joyous discovery of the enlarged sense and state of being that is the change of heart induced by the presence of a work of art.

Meakin Armstrong: On the Greatest Living Director (You Never Heard Of)

March 15, 2010

The greatest living filmmaker you’ve never heard of.

Norman Solomon: War in a Box

March 15, 2010 You can’t keep a war in a box any more than you can deliver a government in a box.

Rec Room: David Xia: Paul Romer on Charter Cities

March 12, 2010 His talk might sound fantastical and nuts at first, but Romer may have a valid point...

Rec Room: Elizabeth Onusko: Rex Ray: Art + Design

March 11, 2010 An exuberant survey of the artist’s career.

Robert Reich: Bail Out Our Schools

March 11, 2010 Over the longer term, incentives must be shifted away from financial capital toward human capital.

Rec Room: Katherine Dykstra: The Pride

March 10, 2010

That the conversations about The Pride have mostly been concerning the confusion about the story’s setting is a shame, as the ideas that drive the play are important.

Carole Joffe: The Billboard Circus and the Abortion Wars

March 10, 2010 The only lesson to be drawn from this whole mess appears to be that the abortion wars show no signs of abating.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: The Art of Construction

March 9, 2010 Should architecture be a blank wall that we stare at as we pass by, or an interactive surface that is as much designed as it is ever-changing?

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: Burma VJ

March 8, 2010 This Oscar-nominated documentary is one of those works where the process of making it is as extraordinary as the film itself.

Robert Reich: Why the Continuing Bad Job Numbers Make it Harder (But Even More Important) To Pass Health Care Reform

March 8, 2010 Americans desperately need health care reform. They also desperately need jobs. Even if it’s difficult for many to make the connection, it’s still possible for the nation to try to do two important things at the same time.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: E-Reading

March 5, 2010 I have been borrowing my girlfriend’s Barnes & Noble Nook for more and more of my trips...

John Feffer: Pacific Pushback: Has the U.S. Empire of Bases Reached Its High-Water Mark?

March 5, 2010 The current pushback in Japan is the surest sign yet that the American empire of overseas military bases has reached its high-water mark and will soon recede.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: Jim the Boy

March 4, 2010 As we were (or are?) in what has been called the second Depression, a read like this is immensely enjoyable, necessary, and important.

Tom Engelhardt: How to Fight a Better War (Next Time)

March 4, 2010 Three fixes for the American way of war.

Rec Room: Francis Reynolds: “The Hack”

March 3, 2010 How Gabriel García Márquez discovered the ways in which “the novel and journalism are children of the same mother.”

Steven Hill: The Myth of Europe’s High Taxes

March 3, 2010 Americans pay just as much—and receive far less in benefits.

Rec Room: Erica Wright: Fur

March 2, 2010 This imaginative film is touched with just the right amounts of humor and pathos.

Norman Solomon: War Politics: Numb and Number

March 1, 2010 Many in Congress who say they don’t support the war keep voting to fund it—and keep their voices muffled.

Meakin Armstrong: Orson Welles, Rightful King of All-Media

March 1, 2010

Orson Welles, the true king of all-media.

Margaret Regan: A Shallow Grave in the Desert

February 26, 2010 It seems no matter how many walls are built to keep migrants out of Arizona, they keep coming. And the more miles are built, the more people die.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: “No Shame”

February 25, 2010 Femi Kuti on immigrant pride.

Joel Whitney: Haitian History As Told by Madison Smartt Bell

February 25, 2010 A truthier take on Haiti’s past.

Rec Room: Catherine Foulkrod: It’s Not Funny: Laughter as Ululation in Beckett and Moore

February 24, 2010 Sometimes we laugh when we mean to cry.

Michael T. Klare: Avatar, the Prequel: Earth’s Last Stand

February 24, 2010 Klare’s imaginings of scarce resources and international strife on Earth in 2144 stay uncomfortably true to the direction in which we’re headed today.

Rec Room: David Xia: The Maltese Falcon

February 23, 2010 The plot is secondary. It’s the characters and the mood that drive this film noir.

Jake Whitney: Money Talks: How Advertising Has Hurt Everyday American Life

February 23, 2010 The effects of advertising in the U.S. conveys a powerful and disturbing message: nothing is as important as the almighty dollar.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: Boomsday

February 22, 2010 Satire that tours a gallery of Washington types: pompous politicians, corrupt aides, venal lobbyists, venal and horny holy rollers.

Tom Engelhardt: Explain Something to Me: Fixing What’s Wrong in Washington… in Afghanistan

February 22, 2010 Why does a country that is convinced it’s becoming ungovernable think itself so capable of making another country governable?

Rec Room: Alex Smith: Contemplating the Void

February 19, 2010 Artists and architects bring the Guggenheim’s iconic void to life.

Dana Sachs: Learning from Past Mistakes: Operation Babylift and the Haitian Orphan Debate

February 19, 2010 Placing Haitian children in loving homes may indeed seem like a happy story among so many tragic ones, but adoption remains a complicated process.

Meakin Armstrong: On Extras

February 18, 2010

Cringe comedy as only the British can do it.

Adaeze Elechi: Back Into the Pit

February 18, 2010 Don Belton’s “Voodoo for Charles,” is a moving depiction of the lesson my father taught me to fight to save loved ones from the trappings of poverty.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: Zee Avi and Leah Siegel

February 17, 2010 A breathtaking pair of crooners.

Robert Reich: A Thought on Evan Bayh and Partisan America

February 17, 2010 Partisan anger undermines the capacity of American democracy to do the public’s business.

Rec Room: Rachel Somerstein: Artists in Government

February 16, 2010 Contrary to popular belief, they are just as capable as anyone else in public office.

Norman Solomon: Dollars for Death, Pennies for Life

February 16, 2010 No shortage of bombs in Afghanistan; a lethal shortage of tents in Haiti. Such priorities—actual, not rhetorical—are routine.

Nicholas Sautin: On “The Pleasure of Flinching”

February 15, 2010 Further reading and viewing suggestions from the author.

Luc Sante: Modern Art

February 15, 2010 On the melancholic nature of Impressionist postcard photography.

Rec Room: Katherine Dykstra: Irm

February 12, 2010

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck’s combined sound and energy is a complete success.

Steve Fraser: The New Deal in Reverse

February 12, 2010 How the Obama Administration ended up where Franklin Roosevelt began.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Pimp Anthropology

February 11, 2010 They don’t teach this in classrooms.

Jay Walljasper: Who Says Public Opinion Makes Tax Hikes Impossible?

February 11, 2010 Votes in Oregon show taxes are popular when invested in public services, and when the rich pay their share.

Rec Room: Austin Allen: The First Poets: Lives of the Ancient Greek Poets

February 10, 2010 Michael Schmidt’s depictions of the poets in this collection of biographies are so compelling that you’ll want to seek out their work, making First Poets twenty recommended books in one.

Adele Barker: Disaster’s Aftermath

February 10, 2010 If the disasters themselves are not preventable, sometimes the way we handle the aftermath is.

Rec Room: Elizabeth Onusko: Herb & Dorothy

February 9, 2010 Part history and part love story, this documentary is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Rec Room: David Xia: The Smartest Guys in the Room

February 8, 2010 When you’re hungry for tales of hubris, greed, and corporate drama…

Robert Reich: Who’s Killing Financial Reform?

February 8, 2010 Congress isn’t doing a thing about Wall Street because it’s in the pocket of Wall Street.

Rec Room: Jake Whitney: “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”

February 5, 2010 Penned in 1964 with the ‘50s political climate in mind, Hofstadter’s influential essay has an uncanny relevance today.

Norman Solomon: Don’t Call It a “Defense” Budget

February 5, 2010 For the United States, an epitaph on the horizon says: “We had to destroy our country in order to defend it.”

Rec Room: Francis Reynolds: “Writers, Plain and Simple”

February 4, 2010 Gender imbalances in publications and prize lists make it no easier for female authors to be recognized for their work and to make a living as writers.

John Sevigny: Twilight of the West

February 4, 2010 Anselm Kiefer’s grim 1980s painting resonates with the West’s past, present, and possible future.

Rec Room: Erica Wright: The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine

February 3, 2010 Mark Yakich’s poems are like state fairs—they offer amusement but also moments that will stop you cold.

Robert Reich: Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy

February 3, 2010 It seems as if more and more decisions that should be made democratically are being shunted off somewhere to a few people who make them in back rooms.

Rec Room: Alex Smith: Interactive Spaces

February 2, 2010 Have we lost a sense of each other in buildings?

Tom Engelhardt: Seven Days in January: How the Pentagon Counts Coups in Washington

February 2, 2010 American life is being sacrificed to the very infrastructure meant to provide this country’s citizens with “safety.” That’s what seven days in January really means.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: A 1920s Valentine’s Eve

February 1, 2010 This Valentine’s season, immerse yourself in the swingin’ ‘20s.

Rec Room: Katherine Dykstra: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009

January 30, 2010

The writers’ wise observations make this collection worthwhile.

Robert Reich: Obama Needs To Teach the Public How To Get Out Of the Mess We’re In

January 29, 2010 If the public learns the wrong set of lessons, there’s no hope for getting wise policies out of Congress.

Meakin Armstrong: On Harpo Speaks! and My Wicked Wicked Ways

January 29, 2010

Neither book requires its readers to be a fan of the star—and that’s why they are great reads.

Anand Gopal: Obama’s Secret Prisons

January 28, 2010 Night raids, hidden detention centers, the “Black Jail,” and the dogs of war in Afghanistan.

Rec Room: Joel Whitney: Antenna

January 28, 2010 Video: Sonic Youth’s Antenna.

Adele Barker: Jaffna Rebuilds: After the Tsunami in Sri Lanka

January 28, 2010 After the war and after the tsunami, Jaffna, Sri Lanka is ready for peace.

Rec Room: David Xia: Random Family

January 27, 2010 Adrian LeBlanc takes us into a world where the most relevant forms of currency other than cold, hard cash are heroin and bodies.

Luc Sante: Hooliganism and Literature

January 27, 2010 David Carluccio produced the sort of thing that sits unsold in bookstores for years, and then suddenly is changing hands for four figures, and eventually cannot be obtained at all unless some major collector dies.

Rec Room: Elizabeth Onusko: The American Painter Emma Dial

January 26, 2010 This novel stares at the most frustrating experience an artist can have and renders it honestly.

Robert Reich: Obama’s Tiny Jobs Ideas for Main Street, A Big Spending Freeze for Wall Street

January 26, 2010 Like Clinton’s, Obama’s package of middle class benefits is small potatoes. They’re worthwhile but they pale relative to the size and scale of the challenge America’s middle class is now facing.

Rec Room: Austin Allen: How Fiction Works

January 25, 2010 If you like good criticism, deprive yourself no more and read this book.

Rec Room: Adaeze Elechi: Efuru

January 24, 2010 Though the Western world has seriously damaged Africa, I have its education to thank for my freedom as a woman.

Rec Room: Francis Reynolds: Alan Lomax in Haiti

January 23, 2010 These recordings of Haiti are more than just music—they are documents from a long-gone era.

Carole Joffe: Health Reform, Violence, and Blanket Warmers: The Status of Abortion on Roe v. Wade Day

January 22, 2010 Nearly 40 years after Roe v. Wade, the struggle for abortion rights continues.