Occupy Your Book Club
Here are some suggestions of movies, articles, books, websites and more from occupiers in and around Quincy and the South Shore.
Steal this Book or Steal this Movie by Abbie Hoffman
Abbie Hoffman was an activist during the 60s and 70s who engaged in subversive behavior. He protested at the Pentagon and nogotiated with officials there to levitate the Pentagon building to 5 ft. The FBI worked to demoralize and marginalize his work until he was arrested for drug possession. He was eventually aquitted and continued his fight for injustice.
"You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." - Abbie HoffmanClick here for more on Abbie Hoffman.
The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. For it he won the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for novels and it was cited prominently when he won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other "Okies", they sought jobs, land, dignity, and a future.
The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes due to its historical context and enduring legacy. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940.
When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects]." He famously said, "I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags," and this work won a large following among the working class due to Steinbeck's sympathy to the workers' movement and his accessible prose style.
The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. The best selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932, it was an influential factor in Buck winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. It is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935)
The novel of family life in a Chinese village before World War II was a best-seller in both 1931 and 1932 and has been a steady favorite ever since. In 2004, the book was returned to the best seller list when chosen by the television host Oprah Winfrey for Oprah's Book Club. The novel helped prepare Americans of the 1930s to consider Chinese as allies in the coming war with Japan.
A Broadway stage adaptation was produced by the Theatre Guild in 1932, written by the father and son playwriting team of Owen and Donald Davis, but it was poorly received by the critics, and ran only 56 performances. However, the 1937 film, The Good Earth, which was based on the stage version, was more successful.
The work aroused considerable popular sympathy for China, and helped foment poor relations with Japan prior to World War II. Hilary Spurling's book "Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth" observes that Buck was the daughter of American missionaries and defends the book against charges that the book is simply a collection of racist stereotypes. In his view, Buck deeply into the lives of the Chinese poor and opposed "religious fundamentalism, racial prejudice, gender oppression, sexual repression, and discrimination against the disabled."
What Working People Need to Know.
Fred Magdoff and Michael D. Yates
If you want to do some reading on the current economic crisis, this is a great place to start. An incredibly good primer on the economic reasons of why the US economy has reached its current state of affairs. Written in jargon-free plain English, with economic concepts and terminology carefully explained; short focused chapters cover each topic with clarity and make for great subway reading.
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Monthly Review Press(September 21, 2009) www.monthlyreview.org
Available on Amazon or from the publisher.
A seminal book describing the great changes society is going through in a plain English, highly readable style. Comparing the Internet and social media to Gutenberg's printing press, Shirky outlines the early signs of major social changes to come. He synthesizes ideas from a wide range of academic disciplines ranging from sociology to computer science. Gives great insight into how the Arab Spring (Facebook) and the Occupy movement (Wikis and email) are utilizing new methods of social organization to accomplish complex tasks that previously required large formal hierarchical institutions.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics);
Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
Widely available; Also available in Kindle edition
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