Reviews

1 January 2001 Melanie Jarman

Macmillan 2000, ISBN 0 333 90164 9, £12.99

“Only one thing can reverse the corporate take-over of Britain. It's you” ends Captive State and, wow,given the extent of corporate capture of public life that the book describes, what a task you will have. A long road ahead then, butat least mapped and made so much more comprehensible by Monbiot's Manifesto of Multinational Malevolence.

That's not really a fair reference - whilst the book makes compelling reading and calls for some response, Monbiot avoids painting a cliche'd picture of corporate greed and sticks to rational…

1 January 2001 Martyn Lowe

Zed Books, 2000. ISBN 1 85649 873 5 paperback, £15.95

This is a book which looks at what has traditionally been regarded as “gun running”, but which is in reality a covert aspect of many nations' foreign policy.

This covers the “small arms” (guns and rifles to you and me), which are used to fuel many of the world's civil wars. This includes arms that are also sold on, from nation to nation and from nation to insurrectionary groups, as a form of covert government activity. Plus arms which might publicly be represented as a form of aid to client states, but which are by many regarded as…

1 January 2001 Nicole Drouilly

Latin America Bureau, 2000. ISBN 1 899365 42 7, £11.99

History can be told in many ways,but this book does it with the naked honesty of personal testimonies, from different sides of the Colombian conflict. The wholebook is the process of meeting, listening to and speaking the truth. From the eyes and hearts of Gabriela, Daniel, Mercedes, Socorro, Laura, Antonia, Marcos, Alejandra, Ana Dolores and Angela, we get to know the lives of the displaced, the farmers, the guerrillas.

It reads like a very strange book of short stories but these tales are stark, like trees in winter: without…

1 January 2001 Sarah Irving

Firebrand Books, New York, 184pp. ISBN 1 56341 124 5. US$12.95

It's hard to know what the objective of this book is. The title and blurb make it sound like a book on women on death row. Actually, it's Kathleen O'Shea's autobiography, interspersed at paragraph intervals with excerpts from interviews with ten other women, all ofthem on death row in the USA.

When this format works it is very powerful; often it is a harrowing reminder that the social and psychological forces which result in some women - innocent or guilty - ending up on death row are absolutely the same as those which touch the…