Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Adam Hochschild’s War Resisters

  • October 23, 2014
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Last night I was lucky enough to catch a talk in Derby from Adam Hochschild based on his book   To End All Wars: How the First World War Divided Britain.     Hochschild once declared his interest in ‘ writing about times and places when people felt a moral imperative to confront evil’,   and his talk was mainly concerned with the experience of the men and women who opposed World War and sometimes actively resisted it.

They included well-known anti-war activists such as Jean Jaures, Rosa Luxemburg and Keir Hardie, and also names...

Islamic State and the Spectacle of Terror

Islamic State and the Spectacle of Terror

  • September 20, 2014
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In Don de Lillo’s 1991 novel Mao II, the writer-protagonist Bill Gray declares: “Years ago I thought it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture.   Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken over that territory.   They make raids on human consciousness.”

De Lillo was writing at a time when...

The Eyes of Richard Cheney

The Eyes of Richard Cheney

  • August 26, 2014
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Some years back, Faye Dunaway starred in a kinky thriller called The Eyes of Laura Mars.    Dunaway plays a glamorous fashion photographer who specializes in taking pictures of stylised violence, only to develop a second sight that enables her to see actual murders through the eyes of a real-life killer.   At first sight...

Why ISIS Eyes are Smiling

Why ISIS Eyes are Smiling

  • August 22, 2014
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You can loathe the Islamic State (IS) all you like, and an organization that beheads prisoners and posts videos boasting about it, rapes women, crucifies Christians and uses its primitive interpretation of Islam as a justification to murder anyone with impunity, deserves all the loathing and disgust that it receives.

But that doesn’t mean you should...

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

  • August 16, 2014
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The response of  the police of Ferguson, Missouri in response to protests at the apparent extrajudicial execution of black teenager Michael Brown has once again drawn attention to what the Economist has called the ‘hyper-military culture’ of the US police.

This culture has drawn the attention of civil liberties campaigners for some time,   in over-the-top...

Silencing Israel’s Critics: a new McCarthyism?

  • August 13, 2014
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Israel has always depended heavily on emotional and moral blackmail to influence public debate internationally and neutralize its critics.     Few supporters of South African apartheid ever openly defended the system itself, whatever they believed privately.     Even when governments were broadly supportive of the apartheid regime,   such as the British government...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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