Thursday, December 21, 2006
Don't Try to Lay No Bookie Woogie on the King of Rock & Roll
Not all of the following books came out in 2006, nor is this a "best of 2006" list. These are just books I've found worth perusing in the waning month of the year.
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers and other Pagans in America by Margot Adler (Revised and updated edition, 2006) Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 9780143038191. Arguably the most comprehensive overview of Neopagan "new religions" and their various strains. Originally published in 1979, it remains both a classic and, with revisions, a remarkably current document. If you listen to National Public Radio (NPR) with any regularity, you've probably heard Adler reporting since that's her "day job". (Guess my age: When I became interested in this stuff, it was usually described as "occultism".)
Lawless World: The Whistle-Blowing Account of How Bush and Blair Are Taking the Law into Their Own Hands by Philippe Sands (Updated paperback edition, 2006) Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 9780143037828. Despite its rather breathless subtitle, it's still a serious look at exactly how the Bush and Blair administrations have repeatedly ignored or broken international agreements and laws on an unprecedented scale.
The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror by Christian Parenti (2004) Basic Books, New York, NY, ISBN: 9780465054855. A couple of years old but it hasn't aged much. From data mining to thousands of closed-circuit cameras in Manhattan, this has lots of interesting points to make. And, of course, it predates the discovery of the government sifting through millions of Americans phone records.
Now I'm tired. I need to slowly build my blogging muscles back up.