What Michael is Reading #2

With bated breath I oblige, and scribe another entry of…dum, dum, dum [kettle drum sounds]

“What Michael is Reading!”  


1.) The Declared Enemy: Texts and Interviews (of Jean Genet)

Written by Jean Genet, Edited by Albert Dichy and Translated by Jeff Fort

Jean Genet is a legend.  He was a revolutionary queer, a counter-system thief and an all around artistic genius.  It’s people like this that can pull off a post-humous book of largely interviews.  Alive, dead, in essay form or interview, Genet is punchy, smart and razor sharp.  His support of the Palestinian struggle, the militant armed segments of the American black power movement, and a general spirit of resistance and revolt make this book well worth it.  It includes some of his better known pieces, such as his accounting of the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla, and also many lesser known texts.  It’s dense at times, funny at others, but always Genet, 100%.


2.) Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police

written  by: Rob Evans and Paul Lewis

Undercover is the book length extension of Evans and Lewis’s great coverage of clandestine policing in the UK as previously published by the Guardian newspaper.  Evans and Lewis have been the strongest investigative voice in these efforts and when the UK sexual infiltration scandal began to emerge, these authors were the authoritative sources for information.  Now, in typical strategic careerist good planning, the authors decided to turn their material into a book.  I picked this book up when I was in the UK last month and nearly finished it that weekend.  Since then I have been carrying it around with my and working quite slowly.  It reads like a news magazine, so you can breeze through it…it even has color photographs for your ‘UK spy flash card’ set.


3.) The Red Army Faction A Documentary History, Volume 2: Dancing With Imperialism

Written by J. Smith and  Andre Monocourt with an Introduction by Ward Churchill
As the title implies, this is the second volume of a largely primary document compilation of the writings of the German Red Army Faction.  The first volume, subtitled “Projectiles for the People,” was by far the greatest account of this movement ever published in English.  When I first found volume 1, I devoured it ravenously despite the fact that it is the thickness of a phone book.  Here in volume 2, we have a slightly smaller book with all the same attenton to detail.  Like volume 1, the vast majority of the content is straight from the mouth of the RAF (comuniques, interviews, news media accounts, statements, manifestos…).  The authors are careful to contextualize and frame the RAF’s texts, and create a nice balance between editorializing, analyzing and interpreting.  This is part of a growing number of great, first person accounts of the RAF and its politics.  If this strikes your fancy, also check out these suggested titled…all of which are quite good:

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