“Tolstoy said that happy families are all the same and unhappy families are the most interesting,” Rosen said recently, loosely adapting the beginning of “Anna Karenina.” “Winning teams can be interesting, but they’re very rarely funny and very rarely tragic. And guys on winning teams don’t usually complain, even if they’re the 12th man.”
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Happy new year! This January, days have been dark in more ways than one, with an act of shocking brutality marring our celebrations at the start of 2015. It’s a moment to renew our commitment to struggle, to invigorate our consciences, and to cast the light of imagination into the world more brightly than ever. We’re pleased to have several books forthcoming that do exactly that.
The Up-Down by Barry Gifford January 13, 2015
In this searing conclusion to the Sailor and Lula series that has made him a cult literary icon, Barry Gifford takes us on a cross-country vision quest led by Pace Roscoe Ripley, Sailor and Lula’s son, in pursuit of the up-down, a mysterious fifth direction that forms the axis of all thought and imagination. In the hilarious yet brooding neo-noir tradition of Gifford’s best work, The Up-Down is a capstone that brings us back to beginnings, a conclusion that leaves us precisely where started, and a lyrical meditation on a world that is, as Gifford has famously written, “wild at heart and weird on top.”
Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories by Hilary Klein February 24, 2015
February 9 of this year will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Mexican army’s notorious sweep through Chiapas in violation of the ceasefire it had reached with the Zapatista movement the previous January — an infamous date in the history of the movement.
Chelsea Manning calls it “a great entry point for those in want of a more solid understanding of the history and social complexities involved in the rise of the Islamic State” that “explores how this iteration of Islamism does not form from a vacuum, but almost inevitably, and sometimes knowingly, from the circumstances and conditions of the West’s recent involvement in the Middle East.”
Journalist John Pilger praises it for “replac[ing] hysteria with illuminating and often wise analysis.”
Chris Hedges calls it “a vital contribution to our understanding of what is happening in the Middle East” that “refuses to become trapped in the easy and fatuous clichés peddled in the West about resistance and radical Islam,” “exposes the folly of empire,” and “forces us to see ourselves as others see us.”
On the evening of Tuesday, December 2nd, Chris and Loretta appeared together at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in a discussion moderated by Ted Rall, and featuring never-before-seen video from VICE Media journalist Jean-René Augé-Napoli, who presented it in person with Rocco Castoro, executive producer of VICE’s Ground Zero: Syria.