Posts tagged zed books

The Crises of Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism has come under increasing attack in the past two decades. It began with a backlash against affirmative action in the US in the 1990s, and intensified after 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks in Europe. Now it’s routine to see multiculturalist excess derided and mocked. In this book, Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley do a good job of charting the process, and also exposing the true reasons for it. Multiculturalism is a straw man, the authors argue. Despite what you read all the time in outraged newspaper columns, there was… Read More

Where are the Women?

Palestinian Women by Fatma Kassem This book is a series of accounts by Palestinian women who lived through the ‘Nakba’ of 1948, in which they lost their homes and were either forced to leave the newly-formed state of Israel or were internally displaced within it. Except that it’s not. Not really. We don’t really hear much from the women themselves – only short quotes in certain places, to illustrate a particular point. We don’t get to know each woman clearly enough to feel the full power of her story from… Read More

“Chocolate Nations” by Orla Ryan

This is a comprehensive view of the chocolate industry, following the chain from African farmers to European consumers and explaining exactly why the cocoa farmers receive just 4% of the price of the average UK bar of milk chocolate.  It’s well written and well researched, mixing history with present-day politics to great effect, and illustrating it all with carefully chosen personal stories. I thought the chapter on Fairtrade was a little, well, unfair. Fairtrade gives a guaranteed fair minimum price to farmers, and Ryan shows how in practice this is… Read More