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Mark Crispin Miller is professor of media studies at New York University, and the author of the book: Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections, Boxed In: The Culture of TV, Seeing Through Movies, and Mad Scientists, a study of war propaganda.
He has a new project we're going to discuss-- the forbidden bookshelf
Rough Interview Notes
Books that have disappeared.
Books aren't banned outright in the US, but (they're) killed with threats of corporate litigation, reviewers not touching them with a ten foot poll or more often, being treated as conspiracy theory.
Being re-released as e-books with new introductions.
They're not just books that the mainstream and the right want to see repressed but they even get a frosty reception from people on the left.
What criteria did you use
startling, timely, would grab people's attention
Blowback-- US recruitment of Nazis and fascists after WW2
The Phoenix program in Viet Nam that let to tens of thousands killed
Organized crime in the National Football league
Early history of the One Percent-- robber barons.
Search for an Abortionist-- written before Roe V. Wade-- what women had to do to cope with unwanted pregnancies.
So, tie these to contemporary events--
Christopher Simpson's book Blowback-- about CIA's recruitment of Nazis after WW2.-- Best of those written on the subject-- gets in the disastrous effect of this large scale absorption of those elements has had on our domestic and foreign policy-- like what's going on in Ukraine today. Blowback gets into how the US has cultivated Nazis in Ukraine since WW2. Ukrainians were so bloodthirsty they even shocked the Nazis. Blowback helps us get a handle on the US tendency to
it gives me pause because I've been writing and interviewing about psychopaths-- and Blowback details how the US systematically took the worst, most successful psychopaths from one of the most evil empires in human history, and gave them power and influence on our strategic planning.
Phoenix-- Combining police and intelligence agencies-- used intelligence to identify targets for assassinations, long sessions of torture, basically annihilating them, using sadistic, bloodthirsty Vietnamese soldiers. They were, by any definition, psychopathic killers. The whole purpose was not fight communism as much to make sure that the the government of South Vietnam was not threatened.
We've seen the contra programs, the death squads in Honduras-- it's frightening how our own government is treating its own people-- like, it's okay for the military to detain people to order assassinations by drone on American citizens"
Do you have on you would suggest that people start with and read first?
The Lords of Creation is a terrific book to give us a perspective on what's happening to us now, economically. it talks about the robber barons (and the early 1%) All of the author's books, except for this one, are still in publication. This book has not been print. It has a great introduction by Gretchen Morganson of the NY Times, easily their best financial reporter. Discusses how people like JP Morgan built economic power.
The next book-- The Search for Abortion
over 100 women who dealt with unwanted pregnancies. Abortion was illegal and woman had to do what they could. We brought it back because the far right has made abortion as good as illegal. The book sh owe that illegality did far more harm than good.
Rob: So your goal is not only to make the books available on their digital readers, but to make people aware of them.
Conspiracy theory in America by Lance DeHaven Smith-- book. rarely heard that phrase in American journalism until the late sixties.
CIA instructed its assets to use friends in the media to discredit accusations as conspiracy theory.
Rob:Does this tie in with bottom-up?
I think about What will happen when powers that are not used to being challenged
We have been cut off from the concept of class consciousness.
We live in a m omen of unprecedented apocalyptic possibility, not only in the economic mode, but also in the ecological mode.
Rob: What is your main focus at the University--
propaganda, media criticism,
We live in a moment of emergency that our media is under heavy siege by forces that want to insure that our media remain top down for the"
Media policy has to be changed.
You just brought up a new angle-- the need for education to prepare students to better understand top-down and bottom-up.
It's amazing how much of the furniture in their heads are put there by Hollywood-- It's a very comforting picture. There'a a kind of mass amnesia that's set in, a huge forgetting-- the purpose of education is to cure some of that amnesia. it means to reclaim the essential democratic process that was only fragmentarily realized by the founders. it was also betrayed by slavery. That kind of utopian moment is invaluable and needs to be rediscovered. The job of education is to prepare students to become real citizens of a functioning democratic republic.
Education is not just getting a ticket to a profession. It is also learning how to determine the difference between truth and lying.
Rob: Who could work at Goldman Sachs who has their eyes open.
The final book is titled Interference, about involvement of organized crime in the National Football League-- by Dan Moldea one of the NYTimes reviewers tried to kill the book-- fight went up to supreme court and author lost. He claimed that that reviews should have to be based on facts.
Dave Zirin is also great on sports from a left perspective.
Suggest other books that have been killed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob: How do you get the rights to these book?
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