17 June 2014

This week's radical book recommendations

.@ioerror .@HJBentham .#ebook .#politics .#science .#scifi.

From now on, ClubOfINFO will be making a weekly list of recommended radical books coming from both fiction and nonfiction genres. These books will be related to our mission to talk about offbeat science and politics, and our choices at the crossroads of politics and technology. Science fiction, which is a noble exploration of how science and technology might affect society for better or worse, will always be of great interest and will be loyally recommended here.

These are ClubOfINFO's top 5 recommended ebooks available from Amazon for this week. We find each of these titles to be powerfully written and relevant to current events.

#1 No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald gives an extensive overview of the National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandal from the unique vantage point of the Guardian journalist who covered the disclosures from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. No Place to Hide discusses, perhaps better than any other book book with the exception of Assange's Cypherpunks, the kind of safeguards and oversight required to salvage democracy from the abyss of state totalitarian mass surveillance.

#2 The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski is a difficult read, by all accounts, but sales have risen since the development of the Ukraine Crisis. This book offers a detailed understanding of the self-indulgent and hawkish US policies that have given rise to the crisis in Ukraine. Most readers agree that no book gives a better account of the rationale for the US's violent obsession with distant countries and and its fixation on them as anchors for US power, favoring that power at all times over the safety or stability of other countries. This book exposes a kind of thinking among top US strategists that can only be compared with the Roman Empire or Nazi Germany. Nothing in this form of thinking is sympathetic to other nations, and everything in this form of thinking is about seizing or subordinating other nations to extend the lifespan of US military supremacy for as long as possible.

#3 Talks 2005-2013 (Free Speech) (Volume 1) by Jacob Appelbaum is a series of public talks. The author is a well-known hacker, cypherpunk, photographer and defender civil liberties. Also a co-author of Julian Assange's Cypherpunks, Appelbaum has established himself as one of the best-known defenders of internet freedom and this has culminated in repressive steps by regimes including the United States against him.

#4 Alien Fruit by Harris Tobias is the first book in a sci-fi series telling the story of a struggling colony on a hostile alien planet. Two brave teens fight against impossible odds to save their colony.

#5 Word of Other Worlds Possible by Harry J. Bentham is an fast-paced collection of short dissident essays authored by by the futurist anti-statist political commentator Harry J. Bentham. All previously published in the radical newsletter Dissident Voice, these essays explore such subjects as mass surveillance, the potential abuse of new technologies, and more importantly the period of social liberation promised by new technologies.

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