"Fred Hampton dead body" by Chicago Police Department - from the documentary film The Murder of Fred Hampton Image © Public Domain via Commons

The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI’s Secret Wars Against Dissent in the U.S.

Ward Churchill and Jim Van der Wall

Fascinating dissection of the war against “subversives,” everything from assassinations to fomenting race wars.

Publisher: South End
Paperback: 468 pages


Platteland: Images From Rural South Africa

Roger Ballen

Haunting portraits of the white underclass of the flatlands of South Africa, abandoned by their more affluent white countrymen. Poverty, despair and often inbreeding mark these Afrikaners whom apartheid dealt a raw deal.

Publisher: St. Martin's
Hardback: 144 pages

Popular Alienation: A Steamshovel Press Reader

Edited by Kenn Thomas

“Anthology of nine issues of the highly acclaimed ‘conspiracy theory’ journal—a multidisciplinary course on JFK and other politicial assassinations, UFOs, fringe science, secret technology, biowarfare, espionage and various related avenues of research.” Topics include: esoteric conspiracism, Kalifornia prisons, presidency-as-theater, JFK’s LSD mistress, the prison files of Wilhelm Reich, Bill Clinton’s conspiratorial mentor Carroll Quigley, destruction of the Library of Alexandria, Danny Casolaro and the INSLAW Octopus, biospherian waste and more Beat-inspired non-linear historical research and speculation.

Publisher: IllumiNet
Paperback: 342 pages

Prisoner of Peace

Rudolf Hess

“Rudolf Hess’ daring, fruitless peace-flight to Britain was one of the outstanding episodes of World War II… The letters describe the years in English imprisonment, the months in the dock at Nuremberg, and Hess’ thoughts and conversations behind the walls of Spandau Prison, where he was incarcerated in solitary confinement from 1947… As the letters unfold it will be seen how Hess reconciles himself to his fate in spite of political and human disappointments. One senses the deep affection for England even after years of imprisonment. There is not a bitter word in this book, but it nevertheless passes judgment on the politicians of destruction of 1941, on the Tribunal of 1946 and on the gaolers of today.”

Publisher: Institute for Historical Review
Paperback: 151 pages

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

Daniel Yergin

“Recounts the panoramic history of oil—and the struggle for wealth and power that has always surrounded oil. This struggle has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars and transformed the destiny of men and nations. The Prize is as much a history of the 20th century as of the oil industry itself… The cast is enormous: from wildcatters and rogues to oil tycoons, and from Winston Churchill and Ibn Saud to George Bush and Saddam Hussein.”

Publisher: Touchstone
Paperback: 887 pages

Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

Victor E. Marsden

Claims to be the transcript of an actual meeting, sometime in the 19th century, of Jewish “Elders” who do some heavy-duty conspiring. Widely used before the Russian Revolution by czarists to show how Masons, liberals, Bolsheviks and Catholics were dupes of the Jews.

Publisher: Noontide
Paperback: 72 pages

Race: The History of an Idea in the West

Ivan Hannaford

A whole panoply of racial witticisms may be gleaned from the pages of this scholarly book, such as the following: “Best explained that the Devil caused Ham to transgress the laws of inheritance and to indulge in carnal copulation. Thus his sons were marked with a black badge to symbolize loathsomeness and banished to the cursed and degenerate voids of Africa, where they lived as idolaters, witches, drunkards, sodomites; and enchanters.” Particularly interesting is the amount of space devoted to the descriptions of the peoples of the earth by the Italian Giovanni Florio (1553-1625) whose book bore the curious title First Fruits, and has a kind word for all: “The Ethiopians are a certaine people of Caria, they are simple, foule, and slaves; the Carthaginians are false and deceivers; those of Babylon, are malicious; and the corrupted Persians are gluttonous and drunkardes; the Cicilians are very niggards, yet faithful; those of Caspia are cruel; they of Lesbia, filthy; the Scithians lawlesse; the Corinthians, fornicatours; the Boctians, very rude; the Simerians, very beastly…” and so on. Hannaford’s book is well researched and well written, and offers more than enough rare and entertaining material to satisfy either the most ardent racist or anti-racist. Most scholarly books of this type are dry and insipid, yet this particular offering is an exception to the general rule. JB

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 448 pages

Rebels Against the Future

Kirkpatrick Sale

Retells the history of the Luddites, a group of disgruntled textile workers who at the start of the English Industrial Revolution rebelled against the industrialization of their traditional cottage industry. Using the history of the Luddites as a precursor, the author employs them as the model for resistance against the present second Industrial Revolution: the Information Revolution. SC

Publisher: Quartet
Paperback: 320 pages

The Rhythms of Black: Race, Religion and Pan-Africanism

Jon Michael Spencer

Argues that African rhythm, and specifically African rhythm in the New World, gives rise to the distinctive qualities of black culture. These particular rhythms differentiate black culture from others, and constitute the primary essence of religion and dance, which are both dependent on black music. Through music, black people glean what Spencer calls “rhythmic confidence,” an equivalent to “soul.” Spencer also explains how this rhythmic confidence can be either casual, or explicit and insurgent, as in rap. SC

Publisher: Africa World
Paperback: 206 pages

Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps

Emmett Grogan

During the Summer of Love, the Diggers combined street theater and thievery to feed the hoards who had made their way to San Francisco, tantalizing the media who wished to pigeonhole their activities and most of all to find out about their mysterious spokesman Emmet Grogan. In his autobiography Grogan reveals all, although one suspects this master trickster is being selective and creative in his revelations. From playing ringolevio (an elaborate and violent game of tag) on the streets of New York, to teen-junkiedom, cat burglary, life on lam in Europe, and a brief stint with the IRA, to his arrival in San Francisco in the mid-’60s, Emmet Grogan’s is a life lived on the liminal edge of society. NN

Publisher: Citadel
Paperback: 500 pages

The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era

Michael J. Neufeld

An astonishing journey into the production and history of one of war’s most devastating weapons. During the course of World War I and II, the German research laboratory known as Peenemünde designed some of the most marvelous weapons of the time. One was the V-2, the most accurate, long-distance and destructive missile up to that point, later to become copied and modified by other war-driven countries. TD

Publisher: Harvard University
Paperback: 369 pages