Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ben Strauss on Stronger Hurricanes


Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age: Stephen R. Platt

As China reclaims its position as a world power, Imperial Twilight looks back to tell the story of the country’s last age of ascendance and how it came to an end in the nineteenth-century Opium War.

“This thoroughly researched and delightful work is essential for anyone interested in Chinese or British imperial history.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)

When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. But internal problems of corruption, popular unrest, and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty–which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country’s modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today’s China seeks to put behind it.

In this dramatic, epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by Western traders and missionaries to “open” China–traveling mostly in secret beyond Canton, the single port where they were allowed–even as China’s imperial rulers were struggling to manage their country’s decline and Confucian scholars grappled with how to use foreign trade to China’s advantage. The book paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable–and mostly peaceful–meeting of civilizations at Canton over the long term that was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British, Chinese, and American individuals, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today’s uncertain and ever-changing political climate.

A Brief History of Capitalism. Yanis Varoufakis Interview

TYT Interviews
Published on May 21, 2018

Nomiki Konst (TYT Politics) interviews former Greek Finance Minister and Greek Member of Parliament Yanis Varoufakis. Get ‘Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism’ here:

Yanis Varoufakis: Is Capitalism Devouring Democracy?

Published on May 17, 2018

In is address to the Cambridge Forum in Massachusetts, Economist and fierce EU critic Yanis Varoufakis considers the need for a radically new way of thinking about the economy, finance and capitalism. WGBH Forum Network ~ Free online lectures: Explore a world of ideas (Thumbnail Photo: Marclozanobosch/Flickr)

Click here for related informaton on Yanis Varoufakis, and further links to talks and interviews through YouTube.

Noam Chomsky at St. Olaf College – May 4th 2018

Published on May 10, 2018

Original… 10:10 – Noam Chomsky starts 38:52 – Iran 46:31 – North Korea 1:01:32 – Questions

November 22, 1963 – Errol Morris JFK Assassination Documentary | Op-Docs | The New York Times

The New York Times

Published on Nov 21, 2013

In a short film by Errol Morris, Josiah “Tink” Thompson, who has been investigating the Kennedy assassination for nearly 50 years, looks to the photographic evidence.

Will we ever know the truth? Read the story here:

Click here to watch the related 2011 documentary, “The Umbrella Man.”

Provinces take on feds over environmental politics | At Issue