Monday, April 09, 2007

Books, Books and more books

It looks like the books link section is coming back online. These things, restoring links after a software change, in this case migrating to new Blogger, tend to happen organically. They don't necessarily happen right off the bat but eventually they develop and restore themselves.

PR! A social history of Spin, is an amazing book about the rise of the public relations industry and its attempts to control the public mind in America. Covers the use of PR in the service of government to sell war, particularly World War I, which is something that Chomsky mentions in one of his articles, covers the condescending attitude of PR people to regular Americans, workers, and how the people who developed PR thought that regular people were a sort of inert mass that couldn't make good decisions for themselves....and had to be lead by 'superior' people, i.e. the people in the PR industry, working with business and the State.

Empire's edge is a history book in the guise of a travelogue. The author travels through Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Uzbekistan, but the book presents the places the author travels in deep historical context, examing ethnic divisions, religious divisions, and social history going back several hundred years. It's not a "Hey, this town was great; there were some cool monuments" type of travelogue. Very well worth it, especially since many of the countries and topics he looks at are pretty much inaccessable, in terms of real information, in the United States. The main chapters are Romania and Turkey; Bulgaria and Uzbekistan get lesser chapters.

Turn off your Mind: The mystic sixties and the dark side of the age of aquarius, is about the best book I've encountered about the counterculture of the sixties. Focusses exclusively on counter culture, drug culture, rebirth of interest in mysticism and the occult, and generalized underground culture. Gives information about the counterculture that I've never encountered elsewhere, despite the huge amount of books available trying to describe the cleverly marketed time known as "the sixties".

Well, that's it. Enjoy.

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