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Christian Parenti

Notes on the War

Along with millions of people around the globe, I have marched repeatedly against the war. Along with many of my loved ones, I have walked through the streets of Washington, DC, San Francisco, and most recently, those of New York City. Individually, each of us is but one of the mass at such events.

photo essay: Baghdad, August 2003

On the ground in Baghdad with US troops or Iraqi civilians it is hard to feel optimistic about America's latest war. These days the city is hyper-violent and chaotic; the morgue reports more than 20 corpses killed by gunfire every day. These are just a few snapshots from what will likely be a long and vexing urban guerilla war. — C.P.

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

From outer space several human-made objects are visible, including the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, and just west of New York City, the largest of them all, another monument to civilization: Fresh Kills Landfill, where Gotham dumps its garbage.

In Conversation

Ka-Pow! Bang! Crash! Down Goes Another Bubble! Doug Henwood in Conversation with Christian Parenti

Doug Henwood recently sat down with fellow Nation contributing editor (as well as Rail and Playboy contributing editor) Christian Parenti to discuss the global economic crisis.

Questions for Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali will deliver a talk, “Obama’s War,” at the School of Visual Arts on Monday, April 19, as part of the London Review of  Books’ 30th anniversary celebration.  Ali’s Night of the Golden Butterfly, the final novel in his critically acclaimed Islam Quintet, comes out this month from Verso.

In Conversation

SONGS OF CORRUPTION: Christian Parenti with Fatima Bhutto

Fatima Bhutto, the 28-year-old niece of Benazir Bhutto, has just published Songs of Blood and Sword, a memoir about the Bhutto family and their central role in the high politics of Pakistan.

The Green Nuke Lovers Are Wrong

Despite the triple meltdown at Fukushima—which has driven tens of thousands of Japanese from their homes, cast radioactive fallout across the U.S., and will likely cost the Japanese economy ¥50 trillion, or $623 billion—many desperate Greens now embrace nukes.

Baghdad Reunion: Tale of a Kidnapping

The night sky hangs low over London, Baghdad feels far away. Akeel steps from the black cab dressed in a suit, dark shirt and silk tie. He opens his long arms as if to say: can you believe this?

American-made Disaster in Iraq: A Political Autopsy

Arrogance, incompetence and racism are becoming the signature features of American military rule in Iraq. Exhibit one: the siege of Falluja, where hundreds have died. Even more are set to die at the hands of U.S. Marines.

Cop Shop: Where Dot-Com Meets Street Economy

A crisp wind pushes the smog off to Oakland as evening descends on Valencia Street. Swank SUVs double park awaiting valets, as confident blond girls in Capri pants and their khaki clad men mob the sidewalks, ramping up for another night of wining, dining and loud talk.

Why Not Wounded Knee? A Tale of Two Monuments

Custer may have died for your sins but the way the slaughter went down was entirely his fault. Arrogant, vain, and not so bright, Col. George Armstrong Custer started his military career by scoring dead last in his class at West Point, and in his ultimate engagement made almost every tactical mistake possible.

Cul-de-Sac In Context

In the winter of 1998, Garrett Scott was living in Oakland, working as a waiter and slowly putting together his first film about an unemployed plumber who stole a tank and rampaged across San Diego.

Gun Boy Acts Like a Man

I am jogging down a side street near my home in San Francisco; the sun is setting. Suddenly, a huge SUV surges up behind me. I race to get out of the way. As it careens past, I yell, “Slow the fuck down!” It’s the type of vehicle favored by the dotcom Yuppies who have nearly destroyed this town.

Journalists at Work

Journalism at its best is art, a literature of the most wantonly eclectic and rapacious style.

Why Not Wounded Knee? A Tale of Two Monuments

Custer may have died for your sins but the way the slaughter went down was entirely his fault. Arrogant, vain and not so bright, Col. George Armstrong Custer started his military career by scoring dead last in his class at West Point, and in his ultimate engagement made almost every tactical mistake possible.

What Your Boss Is Really Watching For

The AFL-CIO estimates that 50,000 people a year are illegally fired for attempting to organize unions. The role electronic surveillance plays in this can only be guessed at. But here are a few illustrative examples.

Wasteland Dreaming

In the years bracketing 9/11, I was working on a book about the history of everyday surveillance and at the time suffered recurring dreams that were something like nightmares, but more fun. I was always on the run, chased by the state or some other omnipotent force that was never well-defined.

White Line Highway

A recent trend in publishing is the rise of the single topic book that thoroughly explores one substance or idea, be it salt, cod, latitude or fast food. It’s an attractive methodology, because it simultaneously maintains focus yet sprawls leisurely across history, science and culture while casting the mundane as exotic.

The Atmospherics of Plague

From the opening scene of this short novel everything is perfectly off-center by just one degree. Life seems fine: two men in love, steady jobs, a country home and two cats named Toledo and Omaha. But seeping through the seams of this upper-middle class gay domesticity is a dangerous unease, an awful specter that reveals only pieces of itself.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

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