Monday, October 25, 2010

The Coke Machine - An Interview with Michael Blanding

Tara Lohan at Alternet talks with investigative journalist Michael Blanding about his new book, The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink:

People ask me why I singled out Coke, and in some ways I did that because it is such an iconic brand and such a symbol of capitalism, but I think the lessons I drew from investigating Coke are not specific to Coke -- it's not some evil corporation that is somehow worse than all the others. In fact, a lot of the lessons about how and why the company does what it does and how people have ultimately been able to hold Coke accountable are just as applicable to BP or Halliburton or other major corporations. I think of the Coke Machine as in some ways a metaphor for the darker side of corporate capitalism and I hope that my book can be seen as a way of exposing that. more
Don't miss the book's nicely done website, The Coke Machine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Important News from Food For Thought Books

Please take a moment and read this letter we have written to our community about the future of Food For Thought Books:

Dear friends,

We are writing to you today to share an important update about what is happening with us because you are part of the community that has always made our collective a special place. We are writing you today because that is what friends do when they need help: they turn to their friends first and ask for it. We want you to know that we need your help now and that we are thankful for all the support that you have given to us in the past.

On Teaching the Graphic Novel

Alexander Chee muses on his experiences at Amherst College teaching a seminar on graphic novels.

... an Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Kuniyoshi, is one of the pieces of art that led me into my interest in the graphic novel. The visual pun at its center emits a narrative force, a dramatic irony—you are drawn into the story about to happen, the idea that the fox has cast this illusion around it and has not yet been caught by anyone except the artist and the reader. Comics and graphic novels at their best play with this and the other forces a visual pun brings to bear. It’s one of the things a comic or graphic novel can do that prose alone has to play catch-up with—creating in the mind of the reader simultaneous contrasts, the fox as woman as fox as illusion. more
The rest is full of such excellent insights. Be sure to check out the excellent & varied reading list at the end.

And did we mention that his novel Edinburgh is an eloquent, powerful, and deeply moving read? Here, read the prologue and you'll see.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Homophobia is Killing our Youth

Today is Spirit Day, a day when gay, lesbian and queer organizations are asking folks to wear purple in honor of the LGBT youth who have committed suicide in recent days due to homophobic abuse in their homes and schools.

MakeItBetter Amherst has organized a candlelight vigil on the Amherst Common tonight to commemorate this new holiday at 6:30pm. Be there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wesbite Temporarily Down for Upgrade

From 6:00am until about 4:00pm today our main website will be down while the good folks at Indiebound give it a nice upgrade and fine tuning.

Both our search engine and our shopping cart are going get some new features and tweaks and we expect them both to be even faster and easier to use than ever. Huzzah!

In the meantime, check out our fabulous Flickr and Facebook pages.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Interview with author Isabel Wilkerson

"The biggest underreported story of the 20th century" - author Isabel Wilkerson speaks with Marjorie Kehe about her new book: The Warmth of Other Suns

Between about 1910 and 1970, some 6 million blacks left the Jim Crow South and moved to cities in the north and west of the United States. This mass migration reshaped America's northern cities, forced change in the South, and helped to fuel the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Yet for Isabel Wilkerson, award-winning New York Times correspondent and the child of parents who participated in the "Great Migration," this huge population shift has remained perhaps "the biggest underreported story of the 20th century." She hopes that her new book, "The Warmth of Other Suns," will change that. read more...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reconsider Columbus Day

This country can be pretty much summed up by noting that we have exactly two federal holidays commemorating individuals: one for a man who dedicated himself to healing the soul wounds that have plagued this country for so long, the other a man who inflicted the first wound in what was to be a long war of extermination & bloody conquest.

This Columbus Day, please reconsider what you know:

More resources for thinking about Columbus Day can be found at Rethinking Columbus...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food Justice = Nuestras Raíces

Hey, look who's on the cover of the recently released Food Justice from MIT Press! You got it - those are the mighty & beautiful youth of Nuestras Raíces!

Only too appropriate we think. Those kids in Holyoke have been showing everyone how it's done for some time now.

Click on the image to see a bigger picture.

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