Events

Book Review: Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare January 6, 2015 19:00

For those who casually have been following the story of Iran’s nuclear program and the sanctions regime imposed by the West, Manufactured Crisis will decidedly upend many long-standing assumptions. For the last decade, an unquestioning mainstream press has repeated the official narrative: Iran’s once-clandestine nuclear program is in violation of the country’s international agreements, and the Islamic Republic’s ultimate intent is to create a nuclear weapon. Award-winning journalist Gareth Porter expertly digs at the crumbling roots of this narrative, revealing how the U.S. and Israel have propagated specious intelligence to spread fear and misinformation about Tehran’s intentions. This groundbreaking work exposes the hidden political motivations driving the U.S. and Israel to block Iran from its internationally recognized right to peaceful nuclear technology.

Book Review: Gertrude January 5, 2015 14:00

The provocative Moroccan poet, journalist and translator Hassan Najmi has written an absorbing, speculative tale of Gertrude Stein’s real-life visit to Tangier. The book’s narrator, a poet and journalist from modern-day Morocco named Abu Hasan, relates the deathbed confessions of Muhammad, who claims to have had an affair with Gertrude Stein in his youth. Using a narrative style that veers between emotive poetry and understated minimalism, Abu Hasan describes Muhammad’s burgeoning affair with Stein in Tangier.

Book Review: The Mouse Who Saved Egypt January 4, 2015 13:00

Alrawi’s expertly crafted narrative voice in The Mouse Who Saved Egypt conjures a timeless atmosphere as he tells the story of a young prince who rescues a mouse caught in a thorn bush. That evening the prince dreams of the sun god Amon-Ra, whose rhyming pronouncements lead the prince to discover a giant stone sphinx buried in the sand. The prince soon becomes a pharaoh and Egypt flourishes under his reign. Even the mice eat well! When an army appears on the kingdom’s doorstep the pharaoh prays to Amon-Ra and discovers that his act of kindness so many years ago has the power to save his people.

Book Review: Jerusalem Unbound: Geography, History, & the Future of the Holy City January 3, 2015 11:43

Michael Dumper opens his latest book on Jerusalem with the important question, “Why another book on Jerusalem?” Given the plethora of literature on the Holy City and its context within the larger Palestinian conflict, the question is valid. Interestingly, Dumper justifies Jerusalem Unbound, his third book on the city, by citing his recent work on the interdisciplinary project titled “Conflict in Cities and the Contested State,” which has pulled together scholars in sociology, architecture, urban studies, engineering and political science to cultivate new perspectives on Jerusalem as an urban space. The results, claim Dumper, influenced his desire to write another book on Jerusalem, this time focusing on it as a divided city with competing and contesting borders.