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CLR Book Club – Week 4, 2017 January 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Throw out some titles there and we could vote. I’m happy with 1984 if people want that.

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1. Seanán Kerr (@seanan_kerr) - January 24, 2017

Not sure about 1984, surely everyone has read that at some stage? Some people reckon of the two great English language distopian novels of the 20th century, ‘A brave new world’, is more accurate (I.e. a world where people are controlled by genetic pedigree, distraction and drugs). And for what it’s worth Chomsky says ‘We’ is better than both.

Apparently this is quite good.

‘Days of rage: America’s radical underground, the FBI, and the forgotten age of revolutionary violence’. All about leftist groups in the 70’s and how the FBI treated them. Kindle preview link here https://read.amazon.com/kp/kshare?asin=B00LFZ84PC&id=wcSAZhcjQCmrR38AiYARGw&reshareId=EZWYP50DSWB31JCJXNFH&reshareChannel=system

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WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2017

I’d be up for Brave New World. Fair points SK.

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Liberius - January 24, 2017

Read BNW last year, I wouldn’t be up for re-reading it so soon, but would probably be able to participate with the odd comment about it.

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2. Starkadder - January 24, 2017

How about “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, to tie in with the women’s marches and the fanatical anti-feminism of
Trump & co. ?

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yourcousin - January 24, 2017

Why would we want to read dystopian novels?

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CL - January 24, 2017

To understand reality.

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CL - January 24, 2017

‘Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian drama 1984 have soared after Kellyanne Conway, adviser to the reality-TV-star-turned-president, Donald Trump, used the phrase “alternative facts” in an interview.’
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/24/george-orwell-1984-sales-surge-kellyanne-conway-alternative-facts

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Starkadder - January 24, 2017

Not the only dystopia recently enjoying a surge in sales:


“In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, copies of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 satirical political novel It Can’t Happen Here has sold out on some major online book retailers, including Amazon and Books-a-Million. The novel—which was written as Adolf Hitler rose to power in Nazi Germany—tells the story of a fascist takeover in America….

The main character, Buzz Windrip, appeals to voters with a mix of crass language and nativist ideology. Once elected, he solidifies his power by energizing his base against immigrants, people on welfare, and the liberal press. The novel has been called “frighteningly contemporary” in the wake of the Trump campaign and election.”

http://time.com/money/4573801/sinclair-lewis-it-cant-happen-here-amazon/

Also, Gollancz have republished the seminal 1937
anti-Nazi dystopia, “Swastika Night” by “Murray Constantine” (Katharine Burdekin ), with an introduction by Michael Dirda:

http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2016/08/happy-publication-day-11th-august-2016/

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benmadigan - January 24, 2017

liked that novel a lot – attwood is a great writer

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CL - January 24, 2017

-“In the late nineteenth century, there were all sorts of utopian novels, and each was coupled with a dystopian novel,” Richard White, a historian at Stanford University, told me. Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward,” published in 1888, depicted a socialist paradise in the year 2000, and became a sensation, inspiring “Bellamy Clubs” around the country. Conversely, Jack London, in 1908, published “The Iron Heel,” imagining an America under a fascist oligarchy in which “nine-tenths of one per cent” hold “seventy per cent of the total wealth….
In the first seven days after Donald Trump’s election, 13,401 Americans registered with New Zealand’s immigration authorities, the first official step toward seeking residency—more than seventeen times the usual rate. The New Zealand Herald reported the surge beneath the headline “trump apocalypse.”
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich

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3. Starkadder - January 24, 2017

“Anti-Fascism in Britain” by Nigel Copsey is out in a new Routledge edition.

https://www.routledge.com/Anti-Fascism-in-Britain/Copsey/p/book/9781138926509

Is it worth a look? There may be other histories of the anti-fascist movement worth reading ( “European Socialists Respond to Fascism”” by Gerd-Rainer Horn springs to mind).

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4. Joe - January 25, 2017

I’m reading the Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett at the moment. Really enjoying it. I read a memoir of his about his mother’s mental health problems in later life. Enjoyed that too. He writes lovely.
Anyway, the Uncommon Reader tells the story of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s accidental discovery of books and literature. And the subtle changes therefrom in the royal household and lifestyle. It’s also a great tip list of books one should read. One finds one is becoming fonder of Her Majesty the more one reads. I’d recommend it to all you republican b***ards.

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alanmyler - January 26, 2017

There must be something in the water, one’s other half has started watching “The Crown” on Netflix 😦

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