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Old 12-27-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
Soldim
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Posts: 841
Karma: 8026755
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Zurich
Device: Sony PRS-505, Kindle 4, iPad, Kobo Glo 4
Goal: Read 75 books in 2014

Being a geneticist in training and profession, I have always been more than slightly wary of philosophy -- I intend to change that and read at least 5 philosophy books in 2014.

January

1. In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall
I had read later books by her, but never the story of the start of the project. A classic, and highly recommendable, even though some of the research and certainly the employed methods are dated. 7/10
2. Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard
A good, honest book. More about markets and less about farm than I liked, but nothing less than promised. Definitely recommended to those interested in food and agricultural politics. 7/10
3. The Village Against The World by Dan Hancox
A flourishing communist endeavor in crisis bitten capitalist and royalist Spain, what can be a better subject for a successful journalist from the Guardian? I don't quite know, but I hope there are some, because this book by Hancox was a severe disappointment.

Hancox writing style and story-line are rather tiring, there's no chronological or other order with regards to the chapter outline, nor within the chapters. There's a lot of jumping back and forth, with as logical consequence both omissions and repetitions all over the place. The most disturbing, however, is the lack of objectivity towards Marinaleda's major, Gordillo. Without doubt a charismatic leader, his flaws and political scheming are either not discussed at all, or brushed aside.

When one reads between the lines, and does some further research, it turns out that the success of Marinaleda rather depends on governments subsidies than the collective farm and associated collective industries that employ most of the village citizens. As briefly mentioned in the book, work at the farm of industries depends on active participation on unpaid Red-Sunday labor for the 'collective good'.

Many of the practices described in the book are a more than subtle reminder of a Stalinist society (fortunately without the Gulags, but with the intimidation). And indeed, the book seems to fit in nicely as Stalinist propaganda. 3/10
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Last edited by Soldim; 01-06-2014 at 10:17 AM.
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