The Book Shelf

Abuse Your Illusions:
The Disinformation Guide to
media mirages and establishment lies

Edited by Russ Kick

Published 2003 by The Disinformation Company Ltd.,
New York, N.Y. ISBN 0-9713942-4-5 US$24.95
Distributed in USA and Canada by Consortium Book Sales,
1045 Westgate Dr., Suite 90, St.Paul, MN 55114.
Call toll free 1-800-283-3572

By Sue Potvin

The dedicated Disinformation deducers are back with a new lineup of experts to reveal shocking information that will disturb you.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast catches the news media telling blatant lies. A former federal agent explains how the war against drugs is designed to fail. Pulitzer Prize-winner Gary Webb tells about the racial profiling of Operation Pipeline, a program that pulls minorities over on the pretext of minor traffic violations. Robert Sterling's report on fluoridation fraud may turn you to another water source. Learn of the atrocities committed against German POWs and civilians during and after WWII.

Corporations claim the "right" to lie, says Thom Hartmann, while Lucy Komisar writes about the dirty players of world finance. Distinguished writer William Blum tells us about the Cuban political prisoners being held in the United States. Another writer of renown, Howard Zinn, unearths the stories of civilians killed during the attacks on Afghanistan. You'll learn that the food drops there were a complete fiasco. Dan Barker dares to question whether Jesus really did rise from the dead. And would you believe that the nation of Panama was created as a get-rich scheme by Wall Street?

There are 46 such daring and amazing stories in this 8 1/2"x 11", 350-page book, written by a superb line-up of investigative reporters, media critics, independent researchers, academics, former government agents and others. They blow away the smoke and smash the mirrors that keep the average citizen confused and misinformed. Even those who keep themselves informed about the "untold stories" will find some here that will surprise them and make their blood boil.

If you still have illusions about this world, this book will fulfill its promise to abuse at least some of them. Be prepared.

Maquiladora
Mayhem

by Hal Sisson

Published October 15, 2003, by Salal Press,
Box 36060, Victoria, B.C. V9A 7J5
1-250-384-0305; salal@horizon.bc.ca
ISBN 1-894012-08-9 $10.99 (US$7.50)

By Sue Potvin

If you have family and friends who simply will not recognise some of the things going on in today's world without donning the blinders and spitting out the words "conspiracy theory", This book might be the perfect gift for them, for Christmas or otherwise.

This author of a few entertaining books brings back two of our favourite heroes, octogenarians (or almost so) Phil Figgwiggin and Mike Fowler, to remove those blinders. Before even beginning the adventure that will take them to Mexico's maquiladora zone to solve a murder, the reader will gain insight into the massive salaries and benefits paid to chief bank executives in this country. It is but an introduction to the information that is fed to readers as they chuckle through the actions and repartee of this amazing duo -- and the beautiful"virgin"they enrol to aid and abet them in their adventure. She just happens to be an investment expert.

Mr. Sisson has done considerable research for this work. It becomes more and more obvious as he allows his characters to discover and reveal the amazing lengths to which people and corporations will go to amass power and wealth in the "New World Disorder". He makes his facts palatable by cleverly sneaking them into this entertaining format. Those in the know will hold in awe his ability to get all this information out there and into the mind of the unsuspecting reader.

The trick will be to get the unitiated to read this book, to understand the truth in it and to accept that truth. It's really up to you to be the enabler here, and Mr. Sisson gives you the perfect package to accomplish that task.

An unusual, entertaining, and useful book.

Small is Beautiful:
Economics as if people mattered

by E.F. Schumacher

Distributed by Raincoast Books,
8680 Cambie St., Vancouver, B.C. V6P 6M9
604-323-2600 www.raincoast.com $24.95

One of the most important books of the past century, Small is Beautiful was first published in 1973. Its pure common sense caused waves of excitement and 700,000 copies sold in multiple languages. This re-release includes the commentary of 33 such contemporary thinkers as Robert Bateman, David Brower and Herman Daly, to refresh Schumacher's observations and draw in the context of these times. Such insight into the sources of global inequality and environmental destruction, with Schumacher's eminently sensible remedies, deserves and needs a wide audience today.

ONE BIG PARTY:
To Keep Canada Independent

by Paul Hellyer
Chimo Media Inc., 99 Atlantic Ave., Suite 302,
Toronto, Ont. M6K 3J8 (416) 535-0514

By John Lambersky

One Big Party: To Keep Canada Independent is the Hon. Paul Hellyer's newest exciting treatise on Canadian politics. In it, Hellyer takes on the key political and social issues of our time, ranging from the war on Iraq, to the IMF and the World Bank, to the problems of poverty at home and abroad. Hellyer exposes the fundamentals of these problems: that national democracies have been subverted by a formidable brand of unelected world leaders, power brokers and investment bankers. This global consensus of market values has seeped into Canada, eroding our democratic institutions and threatening our independence.

What is to be done? The conclusion is obvious: Canada should chart its own course, abandon the neo-conservative consensus and restore Canada to a place of prosperity. Rather than 'unite the right,' the war-cry of many Canadian politicians, Hellyer seeks to 'unite the rest' to oppose the insidious creep of market fundamentalist values.

Hellyer, one of Canada's most respected politicians, recalls a time when Canadians pursued excellence, independence and prosperity - prosperity for all Canadians, not simply the wealthiest few. Hellyer recalls a time when leaders did something other than simply cut taxes for the rich - a time when governments invested in essential services for all its citizens. Yet, One Big Party is not simply a critique of 20 years of Canadian decline; indeed, Hellyer argues that we have a unique opportunity to set things right and make Canada a world leader once again.

One Big Party is a spirited defense of an independent Canada. But more than that, it is a call to arms. Hellyer urges the formation of a big new broadly-based progressive pro-Canada party which would provide a real alternative to a Liberal regime content to sit idly by while Canada drifts further and further towards impotence and mediocrity.

Mel Hurtig, one of Canada's most dynamic nationalists, writes: "This is an excellent book. Paul Hellyer lists the many very important reasons why the current proposals for further economic and military integration with the U.S. would be a fatal route for Canada."

John Lambersky earned an M.A. at the University of Toronto where he specialized in Canadian political history.

The Death Game:
Capital Punishment
and the Luck of the Draw

by Mike Gray

Common Courage Press,
1 Red Barn Rd., Munroe, ME 04951
(207) 525-0900 gbates@commoncouragepress.com
ISBN 1-5751-191-0 US$19.95

There is a rapid shift on the U.S. political landscape on the issue of capital punishment -- particularly in the State of Illinois where its governor, George Ryan, issued the largest commuting of the death sentence in history as he left office.

The Death Game is a documentary on the death penalty in which the author clearly shows why justice and capital punishment just don't mix. He zeroes in on issues of police brutality, pressures that are put on prosecutors and judges who are seeking career advancement, and the unpredictability and untrustworthiness of eyewitness accounts. Gray puts you in the murder scene on page one and won't let you go until the final riveting paragraph. The Death Game is destined to transform the terrain of criminal justice.

Lesbian and Gay Rights in Canada:
Social Movements and Equality-seeking,
1971-1995

by Miriam Smith

University of Toronto Press ISBN 0-8020-4391-7

Despite the efforts of society to keep lesbians and gays hidden comfortably away in the closets of the world, they are emerging into that very society and demanding the equality to which they are entitled. Published in 1999, this is the first book-length treatment of the lesbian and gay rights movement in Canada. It makes a serious advance in state-of-the-art research in fields of political science and homosexual and feminist studies. The author's focus on the Charter and its effects is both fresh and original. She asks crucial questions about the direction taken by Canada's sexual diversity activists and provides incisive, thought-provoking answers. A highly readable and engaging study.