Bill Blank
Poletown: Community Betrayed

a review of

Poletown: Community Betrayed by Jeanie Wylie. 1989, University of Illinois Press

For centuries, capitalism has systematically destroyed or relocated minority and ethnic groups. A particularly repulsive local example occurred during the last decade in Detroit’s “Poletown” neighborhood, where a thriving community was destroyed to build a General Motors Cadillac plant nobody needed and few wanted.

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Bill Blank
CIA Interrogation Techniques Revealed Book review

A review of:

In TERRORgation: The CIA’s Secret Manual on Coercive Questioning, edited by Jon Elliston and Charles Overbeck, illustrated, Parascope, 1430 Willamette, #329, Eugene, OR 97401, 56 pp., $5.95 or www.parascope.com

One anniversary you may have missed in 1997 was the 50-year anniversary of the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency, the secret government organization principally devoted to waging covert state terrorism. To put the spotlight on this repressive legacy, Parascope, a small publisher, has released the previously classified 1963 KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation. (KUBARK is the CIA’s code name.) Thanks is due to Elliston and Overbeck for helping make available this chilling manual used in the agency’s long-hidden crimes.

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Bill Blank
Introduction to Radical Education Theme intro

In Deschooling Society, sociologist Ivan Illich explains how “school either keeps people for life or makes sure that they will fit into some institution.” In our special section on “Unschooling the World,” the Fifth Estate maps alternatives to this institutionalized reality; the following avalanche of articles attempts to sort out the conflicts and contradictions for a radical transformation of schooling-and subsequently, revolutionary social change.

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Bill Blank
A Brief Story of The Clash, Radio & the Fifth Estate Book review

a review of

Stealing All Transmissions: The Secret History of The Clash by Randal Doane, Foreword by Barry “The Baker” Auguste, 2014, PM Press, 192 pp. $15.95 pmpress.org

In December 1979, after stumbling through my first trimester at Michigan State University, I took the allotted three weeks off in suburban Detroit. While the media began priming the struggling city as host of the upcoming Republican National Convention (and a probable Ronald Reagan presidency), a vague desperation overtook me, to search for alternatives, first on the radio and then in the press.

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Bill Blank
Busking behind the Barricades Book review

a review of

A Busker’s Adventure by David Rovics. Various e-book formats at davidrovics.com/

David Rovics hails from a long lineage of gifted topical American folk guitar singers originally birthed by Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger, with blazing torches passed on through its most notable stepchildren, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton and, of course, Bob Dylan, at least before he “went electric” (as alarmingly noted in that 1965 first issue of the Fifth Estate).

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