01 April 2011

Weekend Reading Assignment

Boy & Dog in a Johnnypump (detail), 1982 © Jean Michel Basquiet.

In the past couple of weeks, two essays by Rebecca Solnit have appeared at The Nation; one on radicalism and revolution is here and one extending her work on disaster and politics to the recent events in Japan is here.

And in the April issue of Harper's John Berger has offered an appreciation of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Unfortunately, if understandably, Harper's maintains a pretty much impermeable pay-wall. Berger counsels perseverance when approaching the artist. His first sentence: "Before you get to him,you have to walk through a lot of hot air, because he became a local and then a global legend, and you have to ignore the screeches of the vultures who deal his work." I recommend that you persevere and track down a copy of the magazine.

Finally, I recommend this piece from The Washington Post a few weeks back on the issues underlying the Republican assault on unions. I neglected to mention it at the time. It is by two political scientists Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker who are smart and insightful on American politics and power generally.

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