March & April 2008 Non-Fiction Suggestions
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Author:  bradams [ Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:44 pm ]
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Towards the Light - Another plug.

I started reading this one yesterday and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Grayling has just taken me from the Inquisition and Torquemada, to the Renaissance and Erasmus to Calvin and the execution of Michael Servetus and the response of Sebastian Castellio and the campaign for freedom of religious belief. I had never heard of Castellio before but he seems like an admirable and sensible man.

Author:  Dissident Heart [ Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:19 pm ]
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I ran across David Graeber's Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire at the bookstore this weekend and was able to sample some of its treasures. I think it would be an excellent book for our non-fiction discussion: global in reach, radical in application, down to earth in presentation, and a rich summary and synthesis of the leading anthropologists and sociologists of the last century in pragmatic debate with activists from around the world. I think it will be a fruitful invitation for us to describe the kind of world we want to live in: if we are demanding change, then what will it look like, where will we turn for models, who will provide leadership, how will we organize ourselves, how will we confront the status quo?

Here is the table of contents:


1 Manners, Deference, and Private Property: Or, Elements for a General Theory of Hierarchy
2 The Very Idea of Consumption: Desire, Phantasms, and the Aesthetics of Destruction from Medieval Times to the Present
3 Turning Modes of Production Inside-Out: Or, Why Capitalism Is a Transformation of Slavery (short version)
4 Fetishism as Social Creativity: Or, Fetishes Are Gods in the Process of Construction

5 Provisional Autonomous Zone: Or, The Ghost-State in Madagascar
6 Dancing with Corpses Reconsidered: An Interpretation of Famadihana (in Arivonimamo, Madagascar)
7 Love Magic and Political Morality in Central Madagascar, 1875-1990
8 Oppression

9 The Twilight of Vanguardism
10 Social Theory as Science and Utopia: Or, Does the Prospect of a General Sociological Theory Still Mean Anything in an Age of Globalization?
11 There Never Was a West: Or, Democracy Emerges From the Spaces in Between
12 On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets: Broken Windows, Imaginary Jars of Urine, and the Cosmological Role of the Police in American Culture

Author:  Ophelia [ Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:42 pm ]
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Possibilities, by David Graeber: I've read what is written at amazon, and I'd like to read the book.

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:30 am ]
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How about we narrow it down now and try to select the next non-fiction book within the next week or two. Look over all the suggestions made so far and make some comments on what you've read about each book.

Would you read and discuss the books suggested?

Do any stand out as poor discussion books in your opinion?

Do you think any of them would be ideal for our group?

Author:  MadArchitect [ Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:08 pm ]
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"Ten Theories of Human Nature" is about the only one that really interests me, but it doesn't much matter to me whether or not it's chosen as a BookTalk selection. I plan on reading it either way.

Author:  JulianTheApostate [ Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:24 pm ]
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I'd prefer one of my suggestions, since I already plan to read them. Since there are so many books on my to-read shelf, I'm reluctant to add more (though I may read Heart of Darkness, since it's short).

Author:  Dissident Heart [ Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:59 pm ]
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1st Choice: Graeber's Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire . I am interested in learning more about the fields of anthropology and sociology, to see them applied toward current issues that I think are social hierarchy, resistance, activism, democracy, international and grass roots organization, and how desire converges with politics. I also think it will prove valuable as we (in the States at least) enter another election period- helping us to articulate an alternative beyond the candidates, and imagine an entirely different way to do governenace.

2nd Choice: Ten Theories of Human Nature. I think a solid, sweeping summary of the foundational thinkers and their ideas would be an excellent way for Booktalk to better adopt a common language and shared perspective when discussing human nature. Since we would have just completed Pinker's The Stuff of Thought , largely a description of human nature through exploring how language is used, I think we should move to a different arena of experience. No doubt Ten Theories will probably touch on darned near every aspect of human experience, I think Possibilities will offer a sharper focus.

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:19 pm ]
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I just made a post in my "Concerning Chris O'Connor" thread in the "Introduce Yourself!" forum that I'd appreciate you guys reading. It is a "sticky topic" in the "Introduce Yourself" forum right now.

Once you read that post please use this thread for discussing and selecting the next book. Thanks guys.

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:35 am ]
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I'm going to go through this thread soon and select the next non-fiction book. I'm amazed that I didn't see any replies to this thread after I asked for some help.

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