Long Beach Greens

Book Reviews

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.
- Groucho Marx

Please support your local independently owned bookstore.

Stupid White Men, and more recently, Dude Where's My Country?, both by Michael Moore. More political humor form the writer/producer of Roger and Me, TV Nation and Downsize This. 

Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, is an account of the 2000 presidential campaign.

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast, Investigative Reporter. Exposes the truth about globalization, corporate cons, and high finance fraudsters.

the New Moosewood Cookbook, Sundays at Moosewood and  Enchanted Broccoli Forest 
Great recipes to help you go vegetarian

Mad Cowboy -  Plain Truth From the Cattlerancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard Lyman
After the first two pages, I was not in the mood to eat meat for weeks.

Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe
The book that taught America the social and personal significance of a new way of eating; recipes for protein-rich meals without meat.

Ancient Futures-Learning from Ladakh
by Helena Norburg-Hodge

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson  
A 35 years old book  examining the effects of insecticides and pesticides.
Also by Rachel Carson: 
The Sea Around Us
The Edge of the Sea
Under The Sea Wind

All of Rachel's Scientific Narratives about her education of the Sea life in her ocean travails. Dry reading if you don' know your biology, but excellent natural history, and sets a standard for narrative natural history for her time in the 1950's.

Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold 
Written decades ago while working as a forest ranger, this book is still a classic.

Legacy of Luna-the story of a Tree, a Woman, and the struggle to save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill

The Laughing Sutra by Mark Salzman
A boy, aided by a mysterious friend,  travels from mainland China to San Francisco,  to track down an elusive Buddhist scripture.

Cutting Corporate Welfare by Ralph Nader

The Ralph Nader Reader by Ralph Nader & Barbara Ehrenreich

The Straw Bale House by Athena Swentzell Steen
Bale houses are eco-friendly and easy for amateur builders.

Downsize This! by Michael Moore

Adventures in a TV Nation by Michael Moore & Kathleen Glynn

Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency  by Al Franken

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

No Logo-Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein

Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian  

Rogue States- The Rule of Force in World Affairs by Noam Chomsky  

Manufacturing Consent- the Political Economy of the Mass Media by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

Missile Envy- the Arms Race and Nuclear War by Dr. Helen Caldicott  A look into why we still have nukes, the language behind the industry for nukes, and the possible solutions to the problem that seem to evade even the most effective of politicians. Good Activist reading and education on the machinery of war.

Sidewalks on the Moon: The Journey of a Mystic Architect through Tradition, Technology and Transformation  by Nader Khalili
With the moon as a metaphor, Khalili takes us from the poetic moon of the ghettos of his childhood to the scientific moon of his presentations to NASA for lunar base construction using on-site earth and ceramics. He chronicles his own transformation renouncing traditional architecture  and voyaging into the desert, ultimately firing and glazing the first Ceramic Houses. Inspired by the mystic poetry of Rumi, and the unity of the universal elements of earth, water, air, and fire.

The Lorax by Theodore Geisel aka Dr. Seuss.
Banned from the Oregon public schools. Cutting edge population biology when it was written, settled science today. Predicted the modern feller-buncher machine.

The Phantom Tollbooth  by Norton Juster.
Kids should read this as soon as they're ready for it to show them that reading doesn't suck. Alice in Wonderland is more literary but kids can't identify with a child of 19th Century British aristocracy.  They can see themselves as Milo.

Nature's End by Whitley Streiber and another guy. Written in '88 but not out of date yet. Implausible artificial intelligence plot elements, so software developers won't like it. Otherwise it's a great eco disaster novel with the pace of a James Bond movie and a heroic movement that sounds like the Greens.

The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke. 
This is an engineering proposal with a novel wrapped around it, by the guy who invented the geosynchronous satellite and architected the Apollo program. (He pitched the moon shots in novels, too.) It's got some Green themes. Mostly the proposed project is a way to keep the industrial economy from destroying the earth in the long term.  Unfortunately it's not going to be available in the 21st Century because the economy won't be big enough to do it. Greens are often so busy thinking about how we're gonna get through the next fifty years that we don't stop to daydream about the next thousand. The project used to be on the last page of NASA's "blue sky" list until they decided publishing a "blue sky" list was politically unwise. Keep it around for the folks who say the Greens don't have any technological vision.

Open Sources O'Reilly Associates. This is a Green essay collection.
Richard Stallman and Larry Wall are Greens. Their vision is Green.  They just don't know it. We have to rescue them from the Libertarians, and we have to rescue the Greens from Microsoft. "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" isn't about software, it's about grassroots organizing.

Spell of the Sensuous   David Abrams explains what we are missing in life, the connectivity to nature, and why we have that hole in our lives still. He talks a lot about his travels to shamans in other countries, and exposes what he has learned from other cultures throughout the world. He suggests some things that westerners can do to change our psyches, and to make the ecological perception of the world part of our subconscious dreams, so that it can become a reality. What we don't see if often reality, and a stretch for our 
western minds to accept, but Abrams makes a good case on how we can learn to see beyond our own misapprehensions.

by Fritjof Capra
The Turning Point
The Tao of Physics
The Web Of Life

His works inspired the Movie MINDWALK, another must see if you haven't seen it - Capra's work does good justice in exposing the hows and why of what is going on in systems theory and chaos theory in science today. Good overviews with relatively useful explanations of the patterns of the sciences. The patterns and understandings of chaos and quantum mechanics, and systems theory all lead Capra to suggest that a connected and communal, and ecological society is a natural thing. Nature is truly interconnected, as physics suggest in systems theory. The push towards ecological conscience is also part of his overview, and he pushes the need for environmental programs, a cultural change, and an ecological psyche for the future.

Gyn/Ecology  by Mary Daly
For all of you Radical EcoFeminists out there, this is the first read for many of you. Daly is about as out there as you can get, and very forceful, tactful, and wryly entertaining with her wordplay. The Herstory 
(sic) of feminism is turn on it's side with Daly. She espouses the need for all queer Spinsters to unite, and overthrow the male dominant paradigm of domination, control, and scientific manipulation of life. Her critique of western Eurocentric male society is scathing, and an incredible read for its own sake on how one can take ordinary ideas and language and transform them into something radical, ethereal, and quite different in its message.

Reweaving the World- the emergence of Eco-Feminism   Essays by Irene Diamond, Gloria Feman Orenstein, Charlene Spretnak,, Carol. P. Christ, Vandana Shiva and Starhawk. 

Staying Alive by Vandana Shiva
Shiva keeps along on her push against the globalization of life from multinationals. She focuses on the Chipko movement's history in India, and give lots of critique of the western mindset in and outside of India that exacerbates the problems. Her push against genetically modified organism, and against all patents on agricultural products is a tip of the iceberg. She really envisions how we need to respect life in its entirety, not to commodify it, and to develop an ethic that is localized and indigenous. Moreover, the indigenous values of life are key and primal to developing important agricultural progress, and to literally sell off the products of centuries of biological indigenous knowledge takes away the process by which it was created. Her critique on how the Indian government manages lands, and words the lands as "wastelands" to be taken over, is scathing and accurate. Excellent and inspiring read on how we in America, affect the lives of indigenous cultures throughout the world, from large multinational taking over farming areas in the third world. A must read for agricultural ethics and indigenous rights.

Neccessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies by Noam Chomsky. Kind of a downer, but we have to face it or we'll never escape. This is what "The Matrix" was really about.

Anything but Mexican by Dr. Rudolfo Acuna.  History of LA the premiere historian of Chino History in the US, and founder of Cal State University Northridge's Chicano Studies Department.

Occupied America by Dr. Rudolpo Acuna  History of the Southwest the premiere historian of Chino History in the United States, and founder of Cal State Northridge's Chicano Studies Department.

The Campaign Manager
by Catherine Shaw - currently Mayor of Ashland Oregon. It's how to run a local grass roots campaign without a ton of money. Lots of great tips. Highly recommended by LA City Council candidate Denise Munro Robb.

The Tipping Point   The author, Malcom Gladwell, looks at why major changes in our society so often happen  unexpectedly and how little things can make a big difference. It will the change the way you think about many things and hopefully stimulate your ideas on registering voters and signing up volunteers!  Why did crime in New York drop suddenly in the mid-nineties? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes Sesame Street good at teaching kids to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, whey they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point. 

Help me build this list, send book recommendations to Gabrielle.

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