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Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope Paperback – 30 Apr 2008
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*** TARIQ ALI has co-written OLIVER STONE'S new film 'SOUTH OF THE BORDER' about the Latin American Revolution - THIS IS THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED THE FILM *** --Verso
Exuberant and good to read. --London Review of Books
Tariq Ali, the Johnny Depp of international comment, sails out in this little barque ... to assault the top-heavy galleon Washington Consensus, as she labours leaking through the South Seas and the Spanish Main ... --Spectator
About the Author
TARIQ ALI is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics, as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London. He is the co-writer of Oliver Stone's new film South of the Border.
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The main theme of the book is the popular, populist policies of Chavez and his regional allies. The second prominent theme is the right-wing anti-Chavez rhetoric of most of the media. The second theme is indisputable given the massive pro-military coup coverage given to the failed military coup of 2002.
If you are a reader of books by Noam Chomsky and / or David Barsamian - you will find the form and content very much in the same line.
If you dislike the person or politics of Chavez, Morales or Castro - this book will not change your mind.
If you are undecided or want a counter-view to the generally prevailing negative one of Chavez this is a good book to start with.
Five stars for being relevant, well written and overall a good rejoinder to much of the media coverage of the Bolivarian Movement.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Inside you can find that some leaders that are portrait as monsters are great people who are working for the good of their countries.
The right-wing emperors, supported by the corrupted Global Media and some dull allies, create the distortion of these governments with their lies, their manipulations and their lack of humanity.
Here you will find the truth about Chavez, Morales, Castro and Correa.
The tremendous power of the US to bring down these democratic elected presidents is out of its mind.
Capitalism is destroying the world, our only hope is to turn and see these leaders, follow their examples, and create a better and possible world.
US citizens must read this book, also Latin Americans, the empire and they allies are brainwashing us to became part of this terrible New World Order.
This book tells and shows how america influences and their proxies, fellow capitalist pigs and lackeys will do anything. After reading this book you should get the feeling that america isnt the only country that is home to the brave, and that every country like america will fight to remain the land of the free.
Other countries have aspirations too. Dont be an obstacle.
The next thing you need to know is that the author, Tariq Ali, is a leftie. So leftie, in fact, that he was purportedly the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" because of his man-the-barricades philosophy during the 60's! Since then, though, his worldview has mellowed slightly.
What I like about the author is how literate and well-educated he is. Of Pakistani descent, he frequently writes about the Middle East and the Subcontinent from a progressive angle: he is one of the editors at the "New Left Review." But he's not so left that he's unbalanced or unreadable.
This particular book is a look at the extent and the causes of the popular leftist revolutions that we have seen in Latin America in the last ten years or so, especially the doings of Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, the pro-coca, pro-nationalization, pro-indigenous rights, anti-U.S. president of Bolivia. Castro, meanwhile, lurks in the background throughout.
Ali obviously approves of these developments, but not in a fawning way, I think. The book is more of a report on what's been happening rather than a tendentious call-to-arms. Nevertheless, statements bordering on the pro-Marxist are common, such as these:
"What Castro, Chavez, and Morales have understood is that strength lies in unity . . . . Evo Morales . . . won the argument and the Presidency but the elite . . . does not yet feel demoralized and crushed. . . . It is vital that the elites are skifully detached from their base by a set of inclusive measures that benefit the bulk of the population." (p. 96)
As for the fact that the neo-liberal ideas of the Chicago School ultimately lifted Chile's standard of living to the point where, as of my writing, it is now, per capita, the highest in Latin America, the author dismisses that by pointing out that that was only possible because all the troublesome people who knew better had been liquidated: i.e., Friedman's reforms were "easy" because of Pinochet's "bloody political cleansing." (p. 33)
Statements like this seem contradictory: could these "disappeared people," these Allende supporters, really have known better if it turns out that their opponents, the "Chicago Boys" were the ones with the plan that ultimately did reduce crime, corruption, and inflation, and raise standards in health care, education, and government, and restore democracy?
Presumably, Ali would respond to this that those who were crushed by the Dirty War were morally superior full stop, even if they were wrong in practical terms. But this is to venture into territory where the author doesn't really enter.
In short, this book is a serviceable but not mind-blowing treatment of the subject.
Something else you should know: the book is divided into two parts. The first part it Ali's summary of what's been happening vis-à-vis socialism in Latin America. The second half of the book are appendices related to this, such as the full text of Hugo's speech at the UN in 2005, and various letters and essays on the subject.
By the way, it's an independent publisher, and I found the binding to be rather wonky. In fact, it fell apart before I was halfway through and I had to have it rebound.