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George Monbiot: An Activist's Guide to Exploiting the Media


Those involved in the struggle against capitalism justly view the media with suspicion. Capitalists, after all, own the newspapers and TV stations and are, of course, deeply hostile to any movements which challenge their order. At best the media ignore protests. At worst they portray protesters as deranged fanatics.

Jazz: the History of America's Music


Jazz: The History of America's Music is a moving book with stunning photographs. It accompanies a documentary series that has already wowed the US and will be shown in Britain later this year. The increased sales of jazz records in the US have been credited to the power of the series.

Democratizing the Global Economy


Kevin Danaher, a key organiser of the Seattle protests, has edited a new collection of articles on "the battle against the World Bank and the IMF". Democratizing the Global Economy contains a wide range of articles and is packed with useful facts about the way institutions such as the IMF bolster corporate power across the globe.

The Claim: Frontiers of land rights and wrongs


The Claim is a big screen adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1886 novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, but with a difference.

Earth Story


On the evidence of the first episode the new series Earth Story (7.10pm, BBC2, continues from Monday 12 February) someone in the BBC has remembered the corporation's supposed commitment to "public service broadcasting".

Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years


Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years is the television adaptation of Sue Townsend's diaries of Adrian Mole. Adrian Mole is now 30 and working as a chef at Hoi Polloi, a restaurant catering for yuppies.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Chinese dragon storms screens


When the auditorium at an off the ring road multiplex is almost full on a cold midweek night, you know you are watching a box office hit. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a Chinese language epic that has captured and enthralled its audiences. But despite its stunning combat scenes this is no martial arts movie.

Under Suspicion - carnival reaction


Under Suspicion is a film set in the US-run Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. It's a hot and sticky night. People dance on the streets. It's carnival time. A successful, rich lawyer gets ready to make his speech at a glitzy fundraising charity dinner-the island has recently been devastated by a hurricane. The day before the lawyer found the body of a raped and murdered girl while out jogging. It's the second such murder in recent weeks.

Rage - rap music rebels


"This is no Hollywood movie," says film-maker Newton Aduaka about his new film, Rage. The film is about the friendship between three young men. Like so many people, Rage, G and T have a shared dream.

Book: Life and Fate


Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate has over 150 characters spread throughout war-torn Russia during the Battle of Stalingrad in late 1942 and early 1943. Grossman tells the story through the experiences of Soviet soldiers. The book also deals with the horrors of fascism. This is told in the most chilling way, as Nazi personnel build gas chambers and as a group of Jewish people are forced to journey to the camps.

La Commune - Peter Watkins film on the Paris Commune


The film is showing this Sunday in London-with all proceeds going to the "Socialist Worker" Appeal-and anyone who can should try to get along. The film is about the Paris Commune in 1871, one of the greatest ever events in working class history. For 72 days Parisian workers took control of the city. What makes the film so exciting is that it is not only about events over 100 years ago. It is also about how we can change the world today.

Rebels against British tyranny


The television drama Rebel Heart by Irish writer Ronan Bennett has provoked an outburst from Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and right wing papers like the Daily Telegraph.

In a Land of Plenty: View from top drawer


In a Land Of Plenty, which began this week, is the BBC's most ambitious drama serial for a long time. It spans ten episodes. It centres on the life of James Freeman, from his birth in 1956 to the present day. He's born into a rich family and has a comfortable childhood. But there are tensions as well.

Challenging the closed borders


ONE OF New Labour's sickest acts so far has been its relentless attack on asylum seekers. In reaction to the tabloid and government offensive a substantial number of people have started to fight back.

Gushing anger


THE BOOK Oil by US author Upton Sinclair was a bestseller when it was published in 1926. The story of the oil boom in California is told through the eyes of Bunny, an oil tycoon's son who has sympathies with workers. But the real hero is Paul, a committed socialist, who leads an oil workers' strike and returns from a visit to Russia full of excitement for what the Bolsheviks are doing.

Sanctioning mass murder


The people of Iraq have faced war on two fronts since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. Iraq Under Siege, edited by US socialist Anthony Arnove, conveys their suffering.

Vintage picture of hungry years


THE GRAPES of Wrath by John Steinbeck is an experience, not just a good read. It's about the Joad family and friends being forced to migrate in the US during the 1930s Great Depression.

No Logo: a 'bad mood rising' against the system


Naomi Klein's No Logo, a new book which rips into the giant firms that want to control our lives is reviewed by Charlie Kimber

American Beauty — the collapse of a dream


AMERICAN Beauty, which has been a huge hit in the United States, is about the collapse of the American Dream. The film revolves around the Burnhams, who are, by all appearances, the perfect family. They are attractive, well off and own a large, tasteful house in a small town. The parents' careers are well established.

Season Ticket — a novel where fans strike back


"THEY ALL think we're scum." That is the view of two young Newcastle fans, Gerry and his mate Sewell. They are the main characters in Jonathan Tulloch's great novel Season Ticket. Gerry and Sewell live in Gateshead. Sewell's dad is doing a long stretch in prison. Gerry's dad is a violent, abusive drinker.

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