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$82.95
1. The Clansman: An Historical Romance
$10.44
2. The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the
 
3. The Leopard's Spots:A Romance
$20.00
4. The Reconstruction Trilogy: The
$26.49
5. Environment, Scarcity, and Violence.
$6.03
6. Science and Religion: A Very Short
$15.95
7. Thomas Dixon Jr. and the Birth
$14.93
8. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe,
$0.99
9. Mason & Dixon: A Novel
 
10. Fire from the Flint: The Amazing
11. Environment, Scarcity, and Violence
$21.65
12. American Racist: The Life and
$29.99
13. The Man in Gray: A Romance of
$8.09
14. A Man of the People: A Drama of
$10.77
15. Carbon Shift: How Peak Oil and
$9.99
16. The Foolish Virgin
$18.12
17. West Virginia Railroads: Railroading
$24.95
18. The Man in Gray (Webster's Spanish
$18.99
19. Immanence & Transcendence
 
$15.30
20. The Life and Times of Thomas Dixon

1. The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan
by Thomas Dixon, Cary D. Wintz
Hardcover: 186 Pages (2000-12)
list price: US$82.95 -- used & new: US$82.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076560616X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

" The year was 1865. With the close of the Civil War, there began for the South, an era of even greater turmoil. In The Clansman, his controversial 1905 novel, later the basis of the motion picture The Birth of a Nation, Thomas Dixon, describes the social, political, and economic disintegration that plagued the South during Reconstruction, depicting the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the reactions of two families to racial conflict. This study in social history was alternatively praised and damned by contemporary critics. As historian Thomas D. Clark notes in his introduction, the novel "opened wider a vein of racial hatred which was to poison further an age already in social and political upheaval. Dixon had in fact given voice in his novel to one of the most powerful latent forces in the social and political mind of the South." For modern readers, The Clansman probes the roots of the racial violence that still haunts our society.

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Customer Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars Read John Hope Franklin, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom award for a true historical perspective
This is the first of a trilogy showcasing the malicious intent of a diabolical propagandist and radical racist, a member of the Southern elite and fervent [...], born of generations of slaveowners and Klansmen, who adulterated history to promote hatred, fear and murder because of the anger he felt when he saw Uncle Tom's Cabin and vowed to romanticize the Klan - his father and grandfather both being members. [...]

The Clansmen is a documentation of the American South as it provides the ruthless voice of racism, justifying racial segregation, disenfranchisement and brutal murder, much the same as Benjamin Tillman, U.S. Senator for South Carolina who served 1895 - 1918: "We of the South have never recognized the right of the [...] to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him." Such is the America at the turn of the last century.

The Clansman is a malignancy that pervades our mindset even today, illustrated by the violent, terrorist tactics of right wing militia types as the response of choice to policy with which they disagree such as the recent murder of Dr. George Tillman.

Absorbed as truth and history by a majority, The Clansman's heroic portrayal of the KKK as a special-ops-unit-4-righteousness led to its 1915 rebirth and on October 16, the men who lynched Leo Frank (a Jew) climbed Stone Mountain and burned a giant cross that was visible throughout the city. The imagery of the fiery cross, which had not existed in the original Klan, had been introduced via Dixon's The Clansman.

At the 1915 opening of The Clansman (later retitled The Birth of a Nation) in New York, Dixon, author of The Clansman, told the theater audience that he would have allowed no one but David Wark Griffith, son of a Confederate officer (and slaveowner), to direct the screenplay of his book.

In 3 years, the KKK grew from 3,000 members to 3 million. At its peak in the mid-1920s, the KKK included about 15% of the nation's eligible population - 4-5 million white men.

The film had a one year run in New York and was re-released in 1924, 1931, and 1938, so the image of Mr. Dixon's Clansman remained in the public psyche for decades. The sheer power of media immortalizing wrong as right is what Jews, Catholics, blacks and whites of good will had to overcome to achieve true religious and economic freedom, civil rights and voting rights. Many at the cost of their livelihoods or lives. The struggle continues even today because most of our failing systems were set up by people roped into Dixon's mindset.

Dixon himself describes how important Griffith's role was in the spreading of his venom to a culture already predisposed to hatred and vengeance. Griffith brought Dixon's flawed Aryan dream for white supremacists, to a larger audience (50+ million in its 1st 5 years) to create a collective memory that has exacerbated much of the misunderstanding, prejudice, fear, hate, political machinations (the Republican Party's Southern Strategy), pain, torture, death and sheer barbarism of our nation's racial history.

The Clansman's denial of political and social equality is a denial of the U.S. Constitution, America's democratic ideal and very reason for existence. A denial of the law. So don't buy it - read the digital copy if you're interested. But better yet read the works of one of our greatest historians, John Hope Franklin, who died on March 25 2009. His work is much more interesting and it's accurate.

Quoting an article by By CRAIG D'OOGE: Dr. John Hope Franklin (2 January 1915 - 25 March 2009) told an audience at the Mumford Room of the Library of Congress in April 1994, that as a young man working on his Ph.D. dissertation 65 years ago in Raleigh, N.C., that he would regularly pass a courtly gentleman outside the courthouse. The gentleman always greeted Franklin with a warm smile.

The young graduate student was forced to reevaluate the significance of the man's cordial expression, however, when he found out his identity. It was Thomas Dixon, author of The Clansman. Far from offering a smile of welcome, Franklin concluded, Dixon's smile probably was more a reflection of his secret delight at keeping "the likes of me" out of any governmental office more influential than "a Jim Crow cubbyhole in the State Archives."

But Dixon's smile would have changed to a frown had he known that a cubbyhole was all Franklin needed. It was the start of a distinguished career that would enable him, among many other accomplishments, to marshall the facts to contradict Dixon's fabrications.

"The long reach of [The Clansman] 'The Birth of a Nation' is nowhere seen and felt so much as in the picture of Reconstruction that continues today to dominate the thinking and even the writing of most lay persons and indeed too many professional historians who labor apparently under the spell of Thomas Dixon and 'Birth of a Nation,' professor Franklin said. "It is as if a certain picture of Reconstruction must be perpetrated in order to bar permanently African Americans from positions of public trust in the United States."

John Hope Franklin was a United States historian and past president of Phi Beta Kappa, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Southern Historical Association. He received his doctorate in history in 1941 from Harvard University. In 1976, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Franklin for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. He was named the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University (1983) (where many of his historical papers are housed). The John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at The University of Chicago, Franklin is best known for his work From Slavery to Freedom, first published in 1947, and continually updated. In 1995, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor and in 2006 the John W. Kluge Prize in the Human Sciences for lifetime achievement in the humanistic and social sciences to celebrate the importance of the Intellectual Arts for the public interest. He is one of the world's most celebrated historians, garnering over 130 honorary degrees. In 2008, Franklin endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama. He lived to see him become President.

4-0 out of 5 stars Laughably dated novel, badly twisted history, fascinating reading
As literature, this novel (the source of "The Birth of a Nation", the first feature-length motion picture) is laughably dated by its flowery romanticism.As history, its twisted adoration of the Klan, highly-colored and cynical condemnation of Northern abolitionism, and even fallen-hero worship of Abraham Lincoln as the would-be savior of the defeated south is execrable.But as social history (and part of "The Novel as American Social History" series from the University of Kentucky Press) it is fascinating reading.

Dixon was no wild-eyed radical, either.He was born in Shelby, NC, graduated from Wake Forest University when it was actually in Wake Forest, NC, and rose to prominence in the Democratic Party, eventually being appointed a Federal judge in eastern NC and living and dieing in Raleigh.So his fictional insight into the mind of the white Southerner is frighteningly clear.

All white Southerners were heroic knights (Lincoln, when met by the mother of a Southern boy, was declared to be a Southerner because no Northern man could be so wise and gallant), all white Southern women were saints (never more so than when they were sewing 400,000 white sheets for the Klan in total secrecy!), and of course the villain of the piece is a Northern businessman and factory owner.Freed slaves are never more than pitiful, pitiable, ignorant, fawning pawns in his game, characterized as animals with yellow eyes and thick lips.

Given these characterizations, should it be surprising the positive light Dixon casts on the foundation of the Klan, and the rightness and righteousness of its purposes by any means?

In the end, given the constraints of the genre and the language prevalent at the time (1905) Dixon was writing, he actually did a serviceable job of weaving his twisted history into readable fiction.The introduction points out that the book had modest success that was fading and would have been forgotten had Dixon not been asked to write the script for his novel for what was to become the first feature length movie, and one of the most famous ever made.

1-0 out of 5 stars Racist trash
You know, not many books can be said to have lead to have inspired people to commit or condone murder. "Mein Kampf" is certainly one such book, and "The Clansmen" is definitely on this (thankfully) short list. The racist horse excrement in this book helped to start a huge Klan revival in the early 20th century which lead to hundreds, if not thousands of black men and women to be hung. I suppose the book is useful as a way of understanding the madness and commonality of racist thought in the united states both past and, to some extent, present, but I have to say a turd like this really makes me reconsider my stance against book burning.

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth always hurts
I picked this book up out of curiosity. Although it has a slow start it soon has you hooked. I appreciated the author's use of historical fact to provide the backdrop for the story. Having watched numerous documentries on the whole reconstruction era as well as reading about it, I don't think the author took many liberties with documented facts. Having read all the other reviews, I am amused by the righteous indignation displayed by those who have had their warped view of history challenged.

This book was written 40 years after the war and even less time had passed since the end of reconstruction, so the accounts of this period were still fresh in peoples minds who had lived through this era, and I seriously doubt that it wouldhave become as popular as it did had it been lies. The southerners were and still are a proud bunch and they would not have endorsed a fantasy as fact.

I have far more faith in the record of events as told in the novel than I do in revisionist ramblings of modern liberal historians who are bent on recreating history, 150 years removed from the events. The comments I have read prove how the modern American mind has been brainwashed into believing the dilusional revision of American history. Anyone who has any doubt about the behavior of the "freedmen" in this book need only look at Africa in 2007, and they will realise that if anything the author downplayed their behavior and actions.

The biggest problem that most of the reviewers have with this book, is that it wasn't written in a world ruled by the PC police, and it gets under their skin that there is nothing they can do about it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hatred Masked as Literature
This book's history is all too well known.It indeed was the inspiration for D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation."Griffith's film was a masterpiece of cinematic brilliance, and at the same time, a disgusting excuse for the most virulent kind of racism.The latter can be said of Dixon's book. But the book does not have Griffith's artistic merits.

This book should be read as an historical artifact, to give the reader a sense how powerful people in the South thought when they turned Reconstruction on its ear.There were many things wrong with how the South was treated after the war (more so due to Lincoln's assassination).Its attempt to bring some sense of dignity and equality to the ex-slaves was not wrong.With the advent of Jim Crow laws, the South proved beyond a doubt that slavery played a major role in the Civil War, despite what some apologists of today say.

I think it is especially sad when I read reviews that equate this book with history.It is not history, it is not fact.It is an example of the type of thinking that went on when the South decided that once again African Americans were not to be considered equal.Separate But Equal always was a lie.And so is so much of what Dixon espoused in this book.As evidenced from some of the four and five star reviews for this book, racism is not dead. ... Read more


2. The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable Future
by Thomas Homer-Dixon
Paperback: 496 Pages (2002-08-13)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037571328X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Despite all of society’s advances, our problems proliferate. Wars abound, environmental degradation accelerates, economies topple overnight, and pandemics such as AIDS and tuberculosis continue to spread. The Internet and other media help to disseminate knowledge, but they’ve also created an “info-glut” and left us too little time to process it. What’s more, advances in technology have made the world so bewilderingly fast-paced and complex that fewer people are able even to grasp the problems, let alone generate solutions. That space between the problems that arise and our ability to solve them is “the ingenuity gap,” and as we careen towards an increasingly harried and hectic future, the gap seems only to widen.

As he explores the possible consequences of this gap, Thomas Homer-Dixon offers an absorbing assessment of the state of the world and our ability to fix it. Culling from an astounding array of fields–from economics to evolution, political science to paleontology, computers to communications –he integrates his vast knowledge into an accessible and engaging argument. This is a book with profound implications for everyone that we can ill afford to ignore.Amazon.com Review
As the world becomes more complex, so do its problems--and the solutions to these problems become tougher to grasp, writes University of Toronto professor Thomas Homer-Dixon in The Ingenuity Gap. "As we strive to maintain or increase our prosperity and improve the quality of our lives, we must make far more sophisticated decisions, and in less time, than ever before," he writes. Is the day coming in which our ingenuity can't keep up? Homer-Dixon fears that it is: "the hour is late," and we're blindly "careening into the future." What we face, he says, is a "very real chasm that sometimes looms between our ever more difficult problems and our lagging ability to solve them." There are moments when Homer-Dixon comes close to sounding like a modern-day Malthus, with his never-ending worries about population growth, the environment, the strength of international financial institutions, civil wars, and so on. Yet parts of this book are downright fascinating; at its best, The Ingenuity Gap reads like one of Malcolm Gladwell's stories for The New Yorker (or his book The Tipping Point).

Homer-Dixon is very good when he tackles particular problems, and his interests are wide-ranging, moving from the psychology of an airplane cockpit during a crisis to the depletion of the world's fisheries to differences between the minds of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. He also dredges up fine details. Did you know that "the largest human-made structure on the planet is not an Egyptian pyramid or a hydroelectric dam but the Staten Island Fresh Kills landfill near New York City, which has a depth of one hundred meters and an area of nine square kilometers"? There's plenty to argue with on these pages, and some readers will find Homer-Dixon's tendency to write in the first person a bit self-indulgent. Yet fans of big-think books like Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, David Landes's The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, and Robert Wright's The Moral Animal will find The Ingenuity Gap riveting. --John J. Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Key Piece in a Body of Work of Great Import
I have read and reviewed one earlier book by this author, and bought the two more recent works a week ago after realizing I had seriously under-estimated the relevance of this author's work to my holistic integrative "civilization resilience" intent.

This is a five-star book and I expect Upside of Down will be as well.

I was immediately struck by the grace with which the author credits key other minds in the body of the work rather than just as a footnote.

Here are the highlights from my flyleaf notes, and a few other recommended readings:

+ Complexity soaring, need ideas for better institutions and better social arrangements.

+ Delusion of control over complex systems we barely comprehend

+ Citing Paul Rober: ideas co-equivalent to capital and labor

+ Not enough time to reflect (I am reminded of

The Age of Missing Information
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin

+ Full credit to H. G. Wells for anticipating the need for a World Brain to manage the complex of complexes

+ Excellent overview of mistakes by the economists.I recommend as well

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

+Wealth gaps + migrations = poor global management

+ Losing 25% of our biodiversity

+ Delays in policy understanding, decisions, action, and outcomes compound losses over time

+ Mike Whitfield cited on need for holistic view, keystone species, and radical differences in compressed time scales.I am reminded of everything written by Richard Falk, Ervin Laszlo and others in the 1970's and 1980's.

+ Population factor is profound

+ Corruption is the primary obstacle to reform

+ Garbage overtaking coastlines while nitrogen leeches into water and carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere

+ Citing David Harvey, "hypercapitalism" compresses time and space while over-producing both wasted production and concentrated wealth

+ Our collective ego is blocking our collective intelligence.See the new book, Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

+ Losing our sense of place, not getting enough signals to understand the tipping point circumstances

+ Complexity goes awry (he cited Perrow, whose book Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies remains a seminal work (simple systems have single points of failure easy to diagnose and fix; complex systems have multiple points of failure that interact in unpredictable and sometimes undiscoverable ways; we live in a constellation of complex systems well beyond our ken)

+ Complex systems characterized by multiplicity; causal feedback; some tightly coupled; interdependence; openness; synergy; and nonlinear behavior.

+ Chaos theory warns us that nature will magnify the smallest perturbation from humans

+ Four stages of human perception of nature: 1) Balancing; 2) Anarchic; 3) Resilient; 4) Evolving.

+ Citing Wally Broeker: "Climate is an angry beast, and we are poking it with sticks."

+ Social systems are path dependent, delay at any point can be disastrous

+ Lessons of financial crises: governments and the IMF are out of touch with speed and breadth of financial systemic changes; computer-driven changes can accelerate and deepen mistakes

+ Citing Kofi Annan: "imbalance between economic, social, and political realms can never be sustained for long."

+ Author: social system out of synch with natural and technological systems

+ Software code doubling every two years, bugs a real problem, still in pre-industrial era

+ Information glut has a critical bottleneck, lack of a sense-making bridge from data to our cognitive absorption

+ Ingenuity is both technical and social

+ Our biggest problem is the failure of our economic institutions and policies

+ Washington DC bureaucrats, including senior CIA analysts, "largely out of their depth"

+ Pace of change, depth of ignorance, and political resistance all assume scary proportions

+ Self-organizing resilience and adapting systems could be key

+ As ingenuity gap widens "need imagination, metaphor, and empathy more than ever."

+ Afterword: relentless increase in complexity while "world economic system is profoundly dysfunctional."

+ Most interesting to me, as I have committed to publish a book on "Cultural Intelligence" in 2009, is the author's citing of Robert Boyd and Peter Richerson, saying culture is "information--skills, attitudes, beliefs, values--capable of affecting individuals' behavior."

There are other notes but Amazon imposes a word limit.This is a great book, and I honor it by listing other great and relevant works below (to my limit of ten):

The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State
The leadership of civilization building: Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

4-0 out of 5 stars What we don't know can hurt us...
This poor book, it languished for three months on a shelf while I crammed my head with political science theories but after a concerted effort in the last 24 hours it is finished. What a great read! It has sent me to Amazon and the library to find several of its references to learn more about complexity, fitness landscapes and moral communities.

To be honest, I found it kind of dragged there in the middle but I loved Parts III and IV and it certainly helps to have the background of the first two parts when Homer-Dixon brings it all together in a damning indictment of our arrogant, materialistic, modern capitalist society.

My favourite idea from this book is that of fitness landscapes - the idea that there is not merely one peak of fitness (social, cultural, physical) that a species or society can evolve to but many alternate peaks, some higher than others. The problem is that we could be at a peak that is not as high as others but in order to get to a higher peak we have to travel through a valley of low fitness which means suffering and regression before we climb back up. Cool idea. Apparently it was first proposed by Sewall Wright in 1932.

Homer-Dixon threads his discussion with the idea that one of the human brain's greatest abilities is its capacity to form metaphors and analogies. The idea of a fitness landscape which was originally developed to explain biological evolution translates wonderfully to political and social theory. Perhaps our society has reached a peak of fitness but the problem is that our social and political elites are now preventing us from trying to find a higher peak and many people suffer as a result. Fascinating.

Homer-Dixon does not claim to have answers, but he has certainly provided us with a source from which to develop inquiry and a sense of urgency about the need to continue questioning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very lucid writer.
The book is most readable and easily followed while discussing some rather complex ideas. The author's ability to use analogies to which readers can relate is most enjoyable.

1-0 out of 5 stars All metaphors but no facts
This author is nothing but a medievalist who equates modernity with evil.He has no scientificbackground (political science is not science) and he is not an economist.In fact he admits: "I have tried to elaborate an INTUITION or FEELING about the future" .Shirley MacLaine anyone?Everything to him is a metaphor for the human predicament: complexity, high speed, crises, unpredictability, confusion, despair, ad nauseum. (Maybe the author needs to read a book on chaos theory.) For those with an epistemology of reason, there is nothing to be learned from this treatise.For those who are as despondent as the author, well the good news for you guys is that life is utterly hopeless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably one of the best scholastic works I've ever read
I grabbed this book in a duty free store in Asia and read it all the way back to the US. Needless to say that despite it being an academic book, it was very engrossing and interesting to read. After the first few chapters, I felt both helpless that we're moving at such a pace and have constructed a society where our ingenuity for solving problems is far less than the complexity of the problems and yet optimistic that someone brilliant was able to write a book of this caliber and it was fairly understandable. At times I found it hard to believe I was reading an academic book because it was just a very well written book (and highly researched with dozens of pages of endnotes).

I would highly recommend this book to thinkers and public policy students and professionals and to anyone who would appreciate a better understanding of the complexity of the world around them. ... Read more


3. The Leopard's Spots:A Romance of the White Man's Burden 1865-1900.
by Thomas Dixon Jr.
 Hardcover: 469 Pages (1903)

Asin: B000GHDBRG
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4. The Reconstruction Trilogy: The Leopard's Spots; The Clansman; The Traitor
by Thomas Dixon
Paperback: 550 Pages (1994-06)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0939482487
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Historical Classic
The epic that inspired the film classic Birth of a Nation! These three gripping historical novels on the beaten South's bitter "Reconstruction" years chronicle the birth of the first Ku Klux Klan; they helped give rise to the second. Published together for the first time in this magnificent volume are three classics: The Leopard's Spots, the story of Yankee oppression in the occupied South (1865-1900); The Clansman, on white resistance to tyranny and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan; and The Traitor, which traces the Klan's fall. Born of the author's own experience, the work captures all the poignancy of the tragic post-Civil War era in the South, and all the passion with which its despoiled and disenfranchised people rose up to reclaim their rights and safeguard their heritage. No popular work has addressed America's race problem with more searing frankness. You'll marvel at the parallels between the efforts in the 1860s and 1870s of money-hungry Yankee capitalists and earnest, misguided do-gooders to throttle white Southerners, and today's still-unfolding drama of American racial politics. Long out of print, now completely reset in a modern, easy to read typeface. A new preface by attorney Sam Dickson tells of the author's life and times, including his collaboration with famed director D. W. Griffith in the making of the enduring American film classic Birth of a Nation.

1-0 out of 5 stars Note on Noontide Press
As I note in another review, the intro to this edition is explicitly white supremacist.It's not a mistake that happened to slip by the (otherwise decent) folks at Noontide Press.The Press publishes exclusively whack-job conspiracy theories about how Jews/Blacks/the Illuminati/Elders of Zion/UN fetishists/Masonic wizards,etc. are secretly running the world that oppressed Nazis/Klansman/Christian Identitarians/etc. need to take back.Buying this edition puts money in these folks' pockets, so be advised.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Clansman
Drop your preconcieved notions of the Klan's earliest days at the door.If only half of what Thomas Dixon records is true, who wouldn't have taken similar measures?It has been the same in every culture from Ireland to Israel.People will only withstand egregious oppression for so long.It is a shame the typical racist morons in the modern KKK are not like these guys.-Stonewall

5-0 out of 5 stars The Traitor
I have an original edition of this third part in the series.Itblewaway all of my preconceived notions about the Hhistorical Ku Klux klan.Itis excellent!I am ordered it for a friend and recommend it to all!

1-0 out of 5 stars poorly edited white supremacist edition
Although Dixon's work are historically significant and should be inprint, this edition is problematic for two reasons.First, theediting is awful.Second, the introduction--from the 1980s--is written by a white supremacist arguing for the validity of Dixon's vision of a racially segregated America. With good online versions of two of two of these novels at UNC's "Documenting the American South" project, save yourself some money and avoid this edition. ... Read more


5. Environment, Scarcity, and Violence.
by Thomas F. Homer-Dixon
Paperback: 272 Pages (2001-07-02)
list price: US$30.95 -- used & new: US$26.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691089795
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Earth's human population is expected to pass eight billion by the year 2025, while rapid growth in the global economy will spur ever increasing demands for natural resources. The world will consequently face growing scarcities of such vital renewable resources as cropland, fresh water, and forests. Thomas Homer-Dixon argues in this sobering book that these environmental scarcities will have profound social consequences--contributing to insurrections, ethnic clashes, urban unrest, and other forms of civil violence, especially in the developing world.

Homer-Dixon synthesizes work from a wide range of international research projects to develop a detailed model of the sources of environmental scarcity. He refers to water shortages in China, population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and land distribution in Mexico, for example, to show that scarcities stem from the degradation and depletion of renewable resources, the increased demand for these resources, and/or their unequal distribution. He shows that these scarcities can lead to deepened poverty, large-scale migrations, sharpened social cleavages, and weakened institutions. And he describes the kinds of violence that can result from these social effects, arguing that conflicts in Chiapas, Mexico and ongoing turmoil in many African and Asian countries, for instance, are already partly a consequence of scarcity.

Homer-Dixon is careful to point out that the effects of environmental scarcity are indirect and act in combination with other social, political, and economic stresses. He also acknowledges that human ingenuity can reduce the likelihood of conflict, particularly in countries with efficient markets, capable states, and an educated populace. But he argues that the violent consequences of scarcity should not be underestimated--especially when about half the world's population depends directly on local renewables for their day-to-day well-being. In the next decades, he writes, growing scarcities will affect billions of people with unprecedented severity and at an unparalleled scale and pace.

Clearly written and forcefully argued, this book will become the standard work on the complex relationship between environmental scarcities and human violence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly analysis
Thomas Homer-Dixon's "Environment, Scarcity and Violence" offers a scholarly analysis of the role environmental scarcity plays in spawning violent human conflicts. The author uses social science research methodology to isolate the independent variable of environmental scarcity in order to study the ways it may or may not contribute to violence. Importantly, Homer-Dixon has found that environmental scarcity, while insignificant in itself, is a significant factor in amplifying the underlying tensions that may in turn fuel a society's descent into violence.

The author goes on to argue that countries that possess sufficient quantities of ingenuity may be able to avert violence by curing their environmental crises through the application of advanced technological and managerial skills. On the other hand, nations that lack ingenuity -- or those who lose intellectual capital as the result of their deteriorating environments -- are more apt to descend into violence as these societies negatively respond to their crises by turning against themselves.

Although the book provides no easy answers to the stated problems, it does suggest that democracy and international cooperation will be badly needed in the struggle to create a peaceful and stable planet. I strongly recommended this outstanding book to policy makers and others who are interested in learning how we might secure a non-violent future for ourselves in an increasingly tumultuous world.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, General, Missing the Big Bang

Last year we had some exceptional works on water scarcity (de Villier), resource wars (Klare), corporate razing of the environment (Czech), among many others that I reviewed here on Amazon. This year we have two extraordinary books, this is the second of the two in my estimation (the other being Andrew Price-Smith's "The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development"- as both authors are from the University of Toronto, one can only applaud the collection of talent this organization seems to nurture).

The author is brilliant and has a longer track record than most for being both prescient and meticulous about in the arena of environmental scarcity.

His book is effective in making the point, but very candidly, did not go the full distance that I was hoping for--he is, in a word, too general and the book lacks a single chapter that pulls it all together with very specific rankings of both the variables and the countries.

The general proposition is clear-cut: environmental scarcity has social effects that lead to violent conflict. However, the author takes a side road in exploring "human ingenuity" as an ameliorating factor, and while he makes reference to crass corporate and elitist carpet-bagging and the social structures of repression, he fails to draw out more fully and explicitly the inherent association between repressive corrupt regimes with extreme concentrations of wealth and power, scarcity, and violence.

For myself, I found two gems within this book: the first, a passing comment on the crucial role that unfettered urbanization plays in exacerbating scarcity and all that comes with it (migration, disease, crime); the second, the author's prescriptive emphasis, extremely importance, on the prevention of scarcity rather than adaptation or amelioration of scarcity.

The endnotes would have been more useful as footnotes but are quite good. The bibliography and index are four star rather than five star, and I was quite disappointed to not have a single page about the author, nor a consolidated bibliography of his many signal contribution over time in the form of articles and lectures.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sources of strife
Using an amazing array of information, this book is a call for answers - a welcome departure from the usual array of studies of environment and social issues.Homer-Dixon's argues that the many works published on the impact of humanity on the environment don't even ask the correct questions, let alone provide worthwhile solutions. Realizing that the impact of environmental degradation will be difficult to forecast, he examines the relation of resource loss and social change.The underlying theme is whether the scacity will lead to violent action.With this tight focus, he proposes a straightforward formula of environmental scarcity leading through social effects resulting in violent conflict.Is this a valid chain of causation?The book examines this question with numerous case studies of nations in the "developing" world.The wealth of information presented with Homer-Dixon's penetrating analyses of the circumstances makes this book an important resource for politicians, social planners and anyone interested in our planet's future.

The author carefully defines his terms, methods and intentions at the outset.Resource availability, partcularly renewable resources, are a key foundation, since so many social actions result from whether crops, forests and fisheries are plentiful or depleted.While the author argues that wars are rarely the result of resource depletion, internal strife can often be traced to environmental degradation. He cites examples in Mexico, India, African states, Haiti and the Philippine Islands.He uses in-depth studies to present his cases.He's uncompromising in his analyses, but keeping up with his presentation isn't difficult.His prose is clear and undemanding.

A fundamental issue is the expansion of humanity over the planet.He contests the research that indicates population pressures are levelling out, noting that "the largest cohorts of girls ever been born have yet to reach their reproductive years, ensures tremendous momentum behind global population growth."This rise in world population is having local impact already.Resource depletion is causing internal strife along class and ethnic lines, but hasn't escalated into international conflicts, according to Homer-Dixon.Even so, the world is interdependent.He cites the conditions in China as a prime example: "We all have a stake in the success of the grand Chinese experiment with economic liberalization,. . . Whether and how China breaks out of the vicious cycle [of economic growth versus resource depletion] will shape much of human history for decades, if not centuries, to come."

Homer-Dixon's status as a first-rate global analyst was established with this monumental study.He sees "environmental scarcity" leading to civil unrest, with ethnic and class clashes dominating."Scarcity" refers to resources needed to sustain the growing human population - water, cropland, forest assets, fisheries.How will investing countries/firms react to these conflicts?Environmental scarcity often derided as a source of conflict, but he argues that since daily living requirements are so dependent on these available resources, they become a root cause, even when this is not readily apparent.Although these conflicts usually remain internal, resources such as depleted river water supplies may spark international clashes.He offers no policy recommendations for the lazy.However, his analyse of physical and social conditions should lead to improved policy making.He posits a strong call for more research, itself a major policy step.This book is a must-read for policy makers and those who support them - we taxpayers.It's a vivid insight into to world conditions today and a window into tomorrow.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read on the relationship of violence and scarcity...
Like most political science books, after I finished this one, I was slightly disappointed. I bought this book in hopes of a masterwork; upon turning its last page, I thought that this book was something much less than this. I thought that it begged as many questions as it sought to answer; I thought that much of what it brought forth as profound was only that in the sense of being profoundly obvious; I thought that the author opened this book with definitions that were overly broad and thus, in the end, proved nothing.

Thankfully, as time has passed, though, my opinion of this book has changed fully and completely. Many of the problems that I saw with this book stemmed from the fact that this book is essentially the first large-scale, well-publicized work of its kind. Its author puts forth a strongly written and researched work into the interrelationship between scarcity and violence on multiple levels; it is both (fairly) easy to understand while still being challenging for those who are not new to the study of conflict....

I'd recommend this book to any student of international or comparative politics-- especially those who are interested in fighting between groups of people. This is probably going to be one of the key books toward understanding what is to come in the world in the next twenty or so years; in this category (though topically somewhat unrelated) I'd suggest van Crevald's 'The Transformation of War' and 'The Rise and Decline of the State' and some of Robert Kaplan's travel books as excellent source material....

I am certain that there are going to be many who dislike what this book says-- but as to how it is written, and how it is researched, it seems to me to have been in large measure flawless. Buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seminal thoughtpiece, masterfully written
This book offers brilliant and carefully argued insights into the nexus of relations that the title suggests.Homer-Dixon has made a case for environmental conern all the more powerful by steering away from thedogmatism that so often accompanies such work.Instead, he has presented abook that is the result of years of academic research in a way that anyonewill enjoy reading it. Homer-Dixon is a great writer who knows an enormousamount about this subject and has as a result written an incredible book. Buy it! Read it!Get your professor to put it on the core reading list ofany course about world politics, international relations, environment, andmore! ... Read more


6. Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Thomas Dixon
Paperback: 144 Pages (2008-08-01)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199295514
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The debate between science and religion is never out of the news: emotions run high, fuelled by polemical bestsellers like The God Delusion and, at the other end of the spectrum, high-profile campaigns to teach "Intelligent Design" in schools. Yet there is much more to the debate than the clash of these extremes.As Thomas Dixon shows in this balanced and thought-provoking introduction, a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be found on this complex and centuries-old subject. He explores the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlights the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made the tensions between science and religion such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. Dixon emphasizes how the modern conflict between evolution and creationism is quintessentially an American phenomenon, arising from the culture and history of the United States, as exemplified through the ongoing debates about how to interpret the First-Amendment's separation of church and state. Along the way, he examines landmark historical episodes such as the Galileo affair, Charles Darwin's own religious and scientific odyssey, the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Tennessee in 1925, and the Dover Area School Board case of 2005, and includes perspectives from non-Christian religions and examples from across the physical, biological, and social sciences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A conciliatory, agnostic middle-ground
A refreshing aspect of this book is it's even-handedness. There are so many books that seem to not only say that religious belief and science are incompatible, but these books do so in a very rude manner that doesn't do much but preach to the choir. Dixon himself seems to take a conciliatory middle ground, where the disagreements are made to stem from politics, as well as from particular interpretations of scriptures or difficult ideas of god. For instance, Dixon discusses how religious sentiment fires a unique set of areas in the brain, leaving the possibility for something beyond our understanding without necessarily endorsing a purely natural or supernatural explanation. I thought the strongest part of the book was on the politics of science and belief. I learned how the Catholic Church censored Galileo for promoting an understanding of the universe opposed to the Church's views, as Rome was trying to assert itself in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. Dixon also notes how the Creationist/ID debate is based in challenging the 1st Amendment as much as it is about what constitutes "good" science. I personally wished he would cover more about miracles and focus on the use of science to explicitly prove or disprove the existence of god. Given that this is a "Very Short Introduction", I would recommend this as a stepping stone into a very difficult topic.

4-0 out of 5 stars personal library
An addition to personal library, do not know when chance will arise to read as seminary still requires another year of reading, no time for personal pursuits at this time.

1-0 out of 5 stars Author's attitude towards subject topics seems random; apparent understanding of religion and science community consensus weak
Besides the varying attitudes towards various religion and science topics, its section on further reading suggests that the author does not keep up with journal reviews and general consensus of the religion and science community.Skip this book. A book with a much greater degree of integrity is Exploring Science and Belief (Questions of Faith).

3-0 out of 5 stars mixed review
This short introduction does have a number of the virtues listed in earlier reviews, for which we are in the author's debt.But there were two significant problems with Dixon's attempt to be even-handed presenting conflicting views on the topic.First, since Dixon isn't writing to reach any conclusions on the topic, he doesn't feel compelled to fill out opposing arguments in sufficient detail to really join the issues.Perhaps this is asking too much for such a short treatment, but without it, much is lost.Second, when he gets to the section on Intelligent Design, Dixon comes across with the same sneering contempt of a partisan, and again, without sufficiently detailed argument to warrant this posture.I.e. the treatment doesn't remain even-handed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Serves Very Well as a Very Short Introduction
While not perfect, this book serves as an excellent introduction to this subject.Dixon proves to be well informed of the issues and manages to cover quite a lot of ground, and he's also sufficiently fair and balanced in presenting the competing arguments.

Perhaps the broadest lesson one can glean from the book is that science and religion have always had a messy multidimensional relationship, with many areas of potential agreement and disagreement.Part of the reason is that both science and religion are unavoidably framed in sociocultural and historical contexts, dialectically both affecting those contexts and being affected by them.Moreover, science and religion both have fuzzy boundaries, and both face many similar epistemic difficulties with respect to justifying their beliefs (despite the common but mistaken notion that science is purely objective whereas religion rests purely on faith and subjectivity).

The book lays all of this out with the help of many examples, and thereby gives a sense of how complicated matters are, but doesn't provide any final answers.This gives the impression that some disagreement and tension will probably always exist between science and religion, despite whatever progress might be made in finding reconciliations.However, if one wishes to be optimistic, there is still the prospect of finding (creating?) more and more common ground between the two, possibly resulting in worldviews which increasingly draw on the strengths of both, and of course there's already much precedent for this.

I say the book isn't perfect mainly because "religion" is mostly taken to mean Western monotheisms, especially Christianity, as Dixon acknowledges up front; I would have preferred to see Eastern views included as well, and I think that would have considerably reshaped the book.I also would have preferred a deeper treatment of the philosophical issues Dixon touches on, in exchange for a bit less time spent on detailing historical cases.

But these "imperfections" are largely matters of (my) preference, and again the bottom line is that Dixon has done an excellent job of presenting this subject at an introductory level.I highly recommend the book, and those who enjoy it may want to move on to the extensive The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology) edited by Philip Clayton. ... Read more


7. Thomas Dixon Jr. and the Birth of Modern America (Making the Modern South)
Paperback: 224 Pages (2009-08)
list price: US$21.50 -- used & new: US$15.95
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Asin: 0807135321
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Thomas Dixon Jr. (1864-1946), best remembered today as the author of the racist novels that served as the basis for D. W. Griffith's controversial 1915 classic film The Birth of a Nation, also enjoyed great renown in his lifetime as a minister, lecturer, lawyer, and actor. Although this native southerner's blatantly racist, chauvinistic, and white supremacist views are abhorrent today, his contemporary audiences responded enthusiastically to Dixon. In Thomas Dixon Jr. and the Birth of Modern America, distinguished scholars of religion, film, literature, music, history, and gender studies offer a provocative examination of Dixon's ideas, personal life, and career and in the process illuminate the evolution of white racism in the early twentieth century and its legacy down to the present. The contributors analyze Dixon's sermons, books, plays, and films seeking to understand the appeal of his message within the white culture of the Progressive era. They also explore the critical responses of African Americans contemporary with Dixon. By delving into the context and complexity of Dixon's life, the contributors also raise fascinating questions about the power of popular culture in forming Americans' views in any age. ... Read more


8. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization
by Thomas Homer-Dixon
Paperback: 448 Pages (2008-01-31)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$14.93
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Asin: 1597260657
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Environmental disasters.Terrorist wars. Energy scarcity.Economic failure.Is this the world's inevitable fate, a downward spiral that ultimately spells the collapse of societies?Perhaps, says acclaimed author Thomas Homer-Dixon - or perhaps these crises can actually lead to renewal for ourselves and planet earth.

The Upside of Down takes the reader on a mind-stretching tour of societies' management, or mismanagement, of disasters over time. From the demise of ancient Rome to contemporary climate change, this spellbinding book analyzes what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls "synchronous failure."But, crisis doesn't have to mean total global calamity. Through catagenesis, or creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to reinvent our future.

Drawing on the worlds of archeology, poetry, politics, science, and economics, The Upside of Down is certain to provoke controversy and stir imaginations across the globe.The author's wide-ranging expertise makes his insights and proposals particularly acute, as people of all nations try to grapple with how we can survive tomorrow's inevitable shocks to our global system.There is no guarantee of success, but there are ways to begin thinking about a better world, and The Upside of Down is the ideal place to start thinking.




... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

2-0 out of 5 stars Could have been a contender...but isn't.
To paraphrase T. E. Lawrence who was, at one point, a bit critical of the Arab irregulars who fought under him in the desert: "The Howeitat shoot much but hit little."

There was already a rich literature on transnational threats prior to this publication, i.e., by the Organization for Economic Development and Co-Operation (OECD), in "The Shield of Achilles" by Phillip Bobbitt, by most of the Big-4 consulting companies, and half of Princeton University (at least the half dealing with National Security), to say nothing of the Santa Fe Institute, Booz-Allen-Hamilton, and two Chinese Army Colonels in a 1999 treatises titled "Unrestricted Warfare."So we have a pretty good idea of threats and amplifiers (as I call them) that exacerbate those threats. I am not sure we have gained anything new here.

H-D does a good job in writing about the essentials of complexity theory.And that's not a small accomplishment. But so has "everybody" involved in complexity, save perhaps my dog, Mickey. And that's only because he doesn't have thumbs (making writing a tad difficult).

Bravo for the C. S. Holling interview.H-D should have dedicated much more space to Holling and his theories than proposing "wacky" theories about the fall of Rome and "high end" energy.

Department of Wacky Theories - energy at the brink.Need I say more? One Thomas Friedman a century is one too many.

There is an irony at work. If complex systems are non-linear and, by their nature, unpredictable, how can H-D predict our demise based on a diminishing pool of high end energy and consumption? Do we conveniently suspend those properties of CAS to make use of H-D's theoretical mask? Look folks, there is darn little empirical evidence in this book, about... well...anything. The yarn about ancient Rome was based on a model developed by a grad assistant. H-D should have either formally state the deductive theory or show the inductive evidence.If you haven't got either of those the book becomes normative prose.

And even though I fawningly agree with C. S. Holling about the adaptive cycle, how can we reconcile his deterministic model with the emergent and unpredictable properties of complex-adaptive-systems?The answer is provided in Kauffman's "At Home In The Universe," is that we give up precision for generality.Indeed, as systems become more complex they become more rigid and prone to failure...we just don't know when (Kauffman) or under what circumstances or thresholds (Per Bak, "How Nature Works"). And there in lies the rub....catastrophic change (meaning sudden and discontinuous change) can be caused by darn near anything. Energy is H-D's personal favorite, but it could be a variety of things that initiate a catastrophic change.

H-D would have been better served to elaborate on complexity theory and ecological theory than to join Friedman in the deep end of the climate risk pool.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing..
This is the second book (printed in 2006) by professor Homer-Dixon that I have studied. In the very innovative way, among other topics, he uses EROI (Expected Return on Investment) to assess health and sustainability of societies !
It is not in the book, but planet booming POPULATION is set to put demand not only on oil but on other materials like rare metals. And some technologies are not worth pursuing long term (solar panels technology may not be available soon). Uranium for nuclear plants: if the world consumes it at today's rate it is estimated 59 years before uranium is gone.
If oil peak is true, it is not energy issue, butPLASTICS and many types of fertilizers (cosmetics as well but one can live without them) will be only available from the coal.

In his first book "Ingenuity Gap" (2000) he PREDICTED terrorists' attack on major cities..and we got it in 9/11. Now he predicts financial crisis 2009!
We better pay attention, cause he knows what he writes about!


Written fluently and easy to read, full of information, book contains addition of Notes worth for perusal as well.Fodder for the brain !!

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I read this on my holiday through Egypt and it really put a slant on things.Very worthwhile.

I did find that the analysis of collapse was very focused on energy as opposed to land, soil, ecosystem and water degradation (which we are facing now).These are implied but less explicit than I would have thought.

I agree with the previous comment that it talks more about wht happened, rather than proposing solutions, but that's okay because it does provide a powerful platform to get people thinking about these things.It's definiely provoked some of my thinking on resilience at RFN.

Todd Davies
www.resilientfutures.org

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Synthesis, Signals Emergence of Collective Intelligence
I learned a great deal more about this author when two chapters in a book I just published, Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace featured histhinking: an interview of him by Hassan Masum; and his interview of the Rt Hon Paul Martin on the important topic of the Internet and democracy.

Consequently, I may place more value on this book than some of the other reviewers, but I choose to give it a solid five stars.In combination with his earlier book The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable Future, and the work of many, many people on emergent collective, peace, commercial, gift, cultural, and earth intelligence, all subsets of the emerging discipline of public intellligence (self-governance founded on full access to all information to produce reality-based balanced budgets), I regard the author as one of a handful of individuals exploring the possibilities of cognitive collective integral consciousness.

I have a note: superb single best overview.I cannot list all the books I would like, being limited to ten links, the ones I do are a token.See my 1100+ other reviews and my many lists for a more comprehensive stroll through the relevant literatures.

Highlights from my notes:

+ Five stresses (population, energy, environmental, climate, economic)

+ I have a note, what about mental, cultural, physical stress (e.g. dramatic increases in mental illness, blind fundamentalism, and obesity).

+ See the image on predicting revolution, the author observes that revolutions come from synchronous failures with negative synergy.

+ Connectivity and speed are multipliers, and I am reminded that virtually all US SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems in the US are connected to the Internet and hackable (meanwhile, the Chinese have figured how to hack into systems not connected to the Internet, but drawing electric power from the open grid).

+ Synchronous failures get worse when they jump system boundaries and created frayed less resilient networks.

+ He write of the thermodynamics of empire and the declining return on investment from energy discovery and exploitation.

+He writes of migration getting much much worse in the future, which confirms my own view that border control is not the answer, stabilization & reconstruction of the source countries is the longer-term sustainable answer.

+ He credits George Soros with having the first intuitive understanding of the asymmetries of wealth in relation to destabilization of the world.

+ He observes that we have transformed and degrades half the Earth's land surface, and is particularly concerned with the washing away of entire nations of topsoil (compounded by agriculture that does not do deep-root farming).

+ As the book winds to a conclusion, the author discusses massive denial and the loss of resilience that gets worse each day.

+ "Non-extremists have a formidable 'collective action problem.'"

+ Need alternative values (I am reminded that the literature points out just two sustainable approaches to agriculture and community: the Amish and the Cuban).He notes that fundamentalists are especially ill-equipped by their myopia to be adaptive or resilient.

+ He covers the polarization between rich and poor.While other books listed below are more trenchant, the author has done a superb job of integrating historical, economic, social, and cultural works.This is a very fine book.

+ He adds a useful snippet on Cultural Intelligence, distinguishing between utilitarian values (likes and dislikes), moral values (fairness and justice), and existential values (significance and meaning).

+ Violence is discusses as stemming from motivation, opportunity, and framing--all of which can be found in the eight stages of genocide as defined by Dr. Greg Stanton of Genocide Watch.

+ He ends the book with praise of the open source model (search from my Gnomedex 2007 keytone, "Open Everything") and concludes that the Internet is not living up to its potential as a platform for large-scale problem solving.I agree, and I condemn Google for choosing to become an illicit vacuum cleaner of other people's information, rather than an open source platform for allowing every person to be a collector, processor, analyst, producer, and consumer of public intelligence (search for my book review of "Google 2.o: The Calculating Predator."IBM ando the Google partners are literally BLIND and refusing to assimilate documented early warnings on how Google is preparing to scorch banking, communications, data storage, entertainment, and publishing, all without respect for privacy or copyright, and without regulatory oversight.

I list below eight books I recommend for reading as an expansion of this elegant synthesis.At Earth Intelligence Network you can find a table of 1000+ books I have reviewed, sortable by threat, policy, or challenger.

A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility--Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political--Citizen's Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption
Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
Five Minds for the Future
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)

4-0 out of 5 stars Eye opening read.
without repeating points well-made by the other reviewers here, this book was an eye opener for me, and laid out clearly many things that have been concerning me for some time, but which I have mostly seen only intuitively; Homer-Dixon quantifies and qualifies many of these concerns.

My main problem with this book, and the reason I don't give it five stars, is that Homer-Dixon's grasp of history is Eurocentric and fairly shallow, so using the Roman empire as his only major comparison point is not presenting the historical picture at all well; he should have drawn on Persian history, especially the Sassanid empire, India and China, as a wider context would have shown that the Romans were at least as much borrowers as innovators, and when they ran out of ideas to borrow it harmed their solution-finding ability immensely.

The "Elephant in the room" that Homer-Dixon and others ignore (and he never squarely addresses it in this book) is that our biosphere probably cannot support the current number of humans indefinitely, let alone the expected population growth to come, even if the effects of looming resource shortages and global warming are ignored. In the event of a major breakdown of global networks and fragmenting of societies as they look out for themselves first and last, starvation on an enormous scale looms. This is a problem that also needs to be addressed, but perhaps has no socially acceptable solution.

Despite these minor reservations, I would recommend this book as a starting point that pulls together ideas from many disciplines, leading into deeper research from specialists in the fields Homer-Dixon touches on. ... Read more


9. Mason & Dixon: A Novel
by Thomas Pynchon
Paperback: 784 Pages (1998-04-15)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805058370
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Charles Mason (1728-1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line. Here is their story as re-imagined by Thomas Pynchon, featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political, major caffeine abuse. We follow the mismatch'd pair--one rollicking, the other depressive; one Gothic, the other pre-Romantic--from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revolutionary America and back, through the strange yet redemptive turns of fortune in their later lives, on a grand tour of the Enlightenment's dark hemisphere, as they observe and participate in the many opportunities for insanity presented them by the Age of Reason.Amazon.com Review
A sprawling, complex, and comic work from one of the country'smost celebrated and idiosyncratic authors, Mason & Dixon isThomas Pynchon's Most Magickal reinvention of the 18th-centurynovel. It follows the lifelong partnership and adventures of theEnglish surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon (of Mason-DixonLine fame) as they travel the world mapping and measuring through anuncharted pre-Revolutionary America of Native Americans, whitesettlers, taverns, and bawdy establishments of ill-repute. Fans of thepostmodern master of paranoia will recognize Pynchon's personality inthe novel's first phrase: "Snow-Balls have flown theirArcs," a brief echo of the rockets that curve across the skies inthe writer's masterpiece Gravity's Rainbow. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (140)

3-0 out of 5 stars "Mason and Dixon"
The book I received did not look new at all. The sides had something on them, I was not 100% satisfied with my purchase. But now I know for next time.

3-0 out of 5 stars a difficult read
Had a hard time reading this book by thomas Pynchon.For me it was difficult and had to keep slogging through to finish it.For me the book could have been about half the size and would have been better.I know that this is the style now but for me it just didn't work as well as it could.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

2-0 out of 5 stars Love Pynchon, but...
...this one had my mind wandering. I am going through all of Pynchon's novels chronologically right now, and this was my least favorite of the bunch.

Pynchon seems to have 2 stylistic forms: a straightforward narrative (Crying of Lot 49, Vineland) and a multi-layered, semi-rambling complex of plots and sub-plots with numerous characters (V, Gravity's Rainbow). Mason & Dixon obviously falls in the latter category, but falls short IMHO. You don't really care about the characters. It's not as funny. And while he usually ties up just a few loose ends, here almost all the plots and sub-plots are left without endings. Plus the motives for the characters were not as captivating. You care about Tyrone Slothrop and Oedipa Maas because they were put into situations that compelled them (and you) to find out what was going on. Here, Mason & Dixon were assigned a job, so they did it and then went home. I could've seen the same plot on Bob the Builder.

The writing style was, surprisingly, not a problem for me. Neither was the countless historical references. My love for Pynchon's other books makes me feel I'm missing something, so any comments would be greatly appreciated. I'd suggest getting Crying of Lot 49 first, then Gravity's Rainbow to experience Pynchon at his best.

5-0 out of 5 stars It was a Pleasure
A great source to buy a book.An excellent transaction all around - as described and very quick.Thanks.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Waste of Time
I read it slow, I reread pages in an effort to understand what was going on.To this day I do not know what the book was about and what was going on.It is a very rare book I will not read until the bitter end but I just had to let it go because it was confusing jumbled and seemed to have no real plot.I have read the other reviews for this book and am amazed by what people saw in it.I thought it was just frustrating and would recommend time better spent doing something else. ... Read more


10. Fire from the Flint: The Amazing Careers of Thomas Dixon.
by Raymond Allen. Cook
 Hardcover: Pages (1968-01)
list price: US$7.95
Isbn: 0910244510
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11. Environment, Scarcity, and Violence
by Thomas F. Homer-Dixon
Kindle Edition: 272 Pages (1999-02-16)
list price: US$30.95
Asin: B0047BHYOS
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Earth's human population is expected to pass eight billion by the year 2025, while rapid growth in the global economy will spur ever increasing demands for natural resources. The world will consequently face growing scarcities of such vital renewable resources as cropland, fresh water, and forests. Thomas Homer-Dixon argues in this sobering book that these environmental scarcities will have profound social consequences--contributing to insurrections, ethnic clashes, urban unrest, and other forms of civil violence, especially in the developing world.

Homer-Dixon synthesizes work from a wide range of international research projects to develop a detailed model of the sources of environmental scarcity. He refers to water shortages in China, population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and land distribution in Mexico, for example, to show that scarcities stem from the degradation and depletion of renewable resources, the increased demand for these resources, and/or their unequal distribution. He shows that these scarcities can lead to deepened poverty, large-scale migrations, sharpened social cleavages, and weakened institutions. And he describes the kinds of violence that can result from these social effects, arguing that conflicts in Chiapas, Mexico and ongoing turmoil in many African and Asian countries, for instance, are already partly a consequence of scarcity.

Homer-Dixon is careful to point out that the effects of environmental scarcity are indirect and act in combination with other social, political, and economic stresses. He also acknowledges that human ingenuity can reduce the likelihood of conflict, particularly in countries with efficient markets, capable states, and an educated populace. But he argues that the violent consequences of scarcity should not be underestimated--especially when about half the world's population depends directly on local renewables for their day-to-day well-being. In the next decades, he writes, growing scarcities will affect billions of people with unprecedented severity and at an unparalleled scale and pace.

Clearly written and forcefully argued, this book will become the standard work on the complex relationship between environmental scarcities and human violence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly analysis
Thomas Homer-Dixon's "Environment, Scarcity and Violence" offers a scholarly analysis of the role environmental scarcity plays in spawning violent human conflicts. The author uses social science research methodology to isolate the independent variable of environmental scarcity in order to study the ways it may or may not contribute to violence. Importantly, Homer-Dixon has found that environmental scarcity, while insignificant in itself, is a significant factor in amplifying the underlying tensions that may in turn fuel a society's descent into violence.

The author goes on to argue that countries that possess sufficient quantities of ingenuity may be able to avert violence by curing their environmental crises through the application of advanced technological and managerial skills. On the other hand, nations that lack ingenuity -- or those who lose intellectual capital as the result of their deteriorating environments -- are more apt to descend into violence as these societies negatively respond to their crises by turning against themselves.

Although the book provides no easy answers to the stated problems, it does suggest that democracy and international cooperation will be badly needed in the struggle to create a peaceful and stable planet. I strongly recommended this outstanding book to policy makers and others who are interested in learning how we might secure a non-violent future for ourselves in an increasingly tumultuous world.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, General, Missing the Big Bang

Last year we had some exceptional works on water scarcity (de Villier), resource wars (Klare), corporate razing of the environment (Czech), among many others that I reviewed here on Amazon. This year we have two extraordinary books, this is the second of the two in my estimation (the other being Andrew Price-Smith's "The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development"- as both authors are from the University of Toronto, one can only applaud the collection of talent this organization seems to nurture).

The author is brilliant and has a longer track record than most for being both prescient and meticulous about in the arena of environmental scarcity.

His book is effective in making the point, but very candidly, did not go the full distance that I was hoping for--he is, in a word, too general and the book lacks a single chapter that pulls it all together with very specific rankings of both the variables and the countries.

The general proposition is clear-cut: environmental scarcity has social effects that lead to violent conflict. However, the author takes a side road in exploring "human ingenuity" as an ameliorating factor, and while he makes reference to crass corporate and elitist carpet-bagging and the social structures of repression, he fails to draw out more fully and explicitly the inherent association between repressive corrupt regimes with extreme concentrations of wealth and power, scarcity, and violence.

For myself, I found two gems within this book: the first, a passing comment on the crucial role that unfettered urbanization plays in exacerbating scarcity and all that comes with it (migration, disease, crime); the second, the author's prescriptive emphasis, extremely importance, on the prevention of scarcity rather than adaptation or amelioration of scarcity.

The endnotes would have been more useful as footnotes but are quite good. The bibliography and index are four star rather than five star, and I was quite disappointed to not have a single page about the author, nor a consolidated bibliography of his many signal contribution over time in the form of articles and lectures.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sources of strife
Using an amazing array of information, this book is a call for answers - a welcome departure from the usual array of studies of environment and social issues.Homer-Dixon's argues that the many works published on the impact of humanity on the environment don't even ask the correct questions, let alone provide worthwhile solutions. Realizing that the impact of environmental degradation will be difficult to forecast, he examines the relation of resource loss and social change.The underlying theme is whether the scacity will lead to violent action.With this tight focus, he proposes a straightforward formula of environmental scarcity leading through social effects resulting in violent conflict.Is this a valid chain of causation?The book examines this question with numerous case studies of nations in the "developing" world.The wealth of information presented with Homer-Dixon's penetrating analyses of the circumstances makes this book an important resource for politicians, social planners and anyone interested in our planet's future.

The author carefully defines his terms, methods and intentions at the outset.Resource availability, partcularly renewable resources, are a key foundation, since so many social actions result from whether crops, forests and fisheries are plentiful or depleted.While the author argues that wars are rarely the result of resource depletion, internal strife can often be traced to environmental degradation. He cites examples in Mexico, India, African states, Haiti and the Philippine Islands.He uses in-depth studies to present his cases.He's uncompromising in his analyses, but keeping up with his presentation isn't difficult.His prose is clear and undemanding.

A fundamental issue is the expansion of humanity over the planet.He contests the research that indicates population pressures are levelling out, noting that "the largest cohorts of girls ever been born have yet to reach their reproductive years, ensures tremendous momentum behind global population growth."This rise in world population is having local impact already.Resource depletion is causing internal strife along class and ethnic lines, but hasn't escalated into international conflicts, according to Homer-Dixon.Even so, the world is interdependent.He cites the conditions in China as a prime example: "We all have a stake in the success of the grand Chinese experiment with economic liberalization,. . . Whether and how China breaks out of the vicious cycle [of economic growth versus resource depletion] will shape much of human history for decades, if not centuries, to come."

Homer-Dixon's status as a first-rate global analyst was established with this monumental study.He sees "environmental scarcity" leading to civil unrest, with ethnic and class clashes dominating."Scarcity" refers to resources needed to sustain the growing human population - water, cropland, forest assets, fisheries.How will investing countries/firms react to these conflicts?Environmental scarcity often derided as a source of conflict, but he argues that since daily living requirements are so dependent on these available resources, they become a root cause, even when this is not readily apparent.Although these conflicts usually remain internal, resources such as depleted river water supplies may spark international clashes.He offers no policy recommendations for the lazy.However, his analyse of physical and social conditions should lead to improved policy making.He posits a strong call for more research, itself a major policy step.This book is a must-read for policy makers and those who support them - we taxpayers.It's a vivid insight into to world conditions today and a window into tomorrow.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read on the relationship of violence and scarcity...
Like most political science books, after I finished this one, I was slightly disappointed. I bought this book in hopes of a masterwork; upon turning its last page, I thought that this book was something much less than this. I thought that it begged as many questions as it sought to answer; I thought that much of what it brought forth as profound was only that in the sense of being profoundly obvious; I thought that the author opened this book with definitions that were overly broad and thus, in the end, proved nothing.

Thankfully, as time has passed, though, my opinion of this book has changed fully and completely. Many of the problems that I saw with this book stemmed from the fact that this book is essentially the first large-scale, well-publicized work of its kind. Its author puts forth a strongly written and researched work into the interrelationship between scarcity and violence on multiple levels; it is both (fairly) easy to understand while still being challenging for those who are not new to the study of conflict....

I'd recommend this book to any student of international or comparative politics-- especially those who are interested in fighting between groups of people. This is probably going to be one of the key books toward understanding what is to come in the world in the next twenty or so years; in this category (though topically somewhat unrelated) I'd suggest van Crevald's 'The Transformation of War' and 'The Rise and Decline of the State' and some of Robert Kaplan's travel books as excellent source material....

I am certain that there are going to be many who dislike what this book says-- but as to how it is written, and how it is researched, it seems to me to have been in large measure flawless. Buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seminal thoughtpiece, masterfully written
This book offers brilliant and carefully argued insights into the nexus of relations that the title suggests.Homer-Dixon has made a case for environmental conern all the more powerful by steering away from thedogmatism that so often accompanies such work.Instead, he has presented abook that is the result of years of academic research in a way that anyonewill enjoy reading it. Homer-Dixon is a great writer who knows an enormousamount about this subject and has as a result written an incredible book. Buy it! Read it!Get your professor to put it on the core reading list ofany course about world politics, international relations, environment, andmore! ... Read more


12. American Racist: The Life and Films of Thomas Dixon
by Anthony Slide
Hardcover: 264 Pages (2004-09-10)
list price: US$37.50 -- used & new: US$21.65
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Asin: 0813123283
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Thomas Dixon has a notorious reputation as the writer of the source material for D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking and controversial 1915 feature film The Birth of a Nation. Perhaps unfairly, Dixon has been branded an arch-conservative and a racist obsessed with what he viewed as "the Negro problem." As American Racist makes clear, however, Dixon was a complex, multitalented individual who, as well as writing some of the most popular novels of the early twentieth century, was involved in the production of some eighteen films.

Dixon used the motion picture as a propaganda tool for his often outrageous opinions on race, communism, socialism, and feminism. His most spectacular production, The Fall of a Nation (1916), argues for American preparedness in the face of war and boasts a musical score by Victor Herbert, making it the first American feature film to have an original score by a major composer. Like the majority of Dixon’s films, The Fall of a Nation has been lost, but had it survived, it might well have taken its place alongside The Birth of a Nation as a masterwork of silent film. Anthony Slide examines each of Dixon’s films and discusses the novels from which they were adapted. Slide chronicles Dixon’s transformation from a major supporter of the original Ku Klux Klan in his early novels to an ardent critic of the modern Klan in his last film, Nation Aflame. American Racist is the first book to discuss Dixon’s work outside of literature and provide a wide overview of the life and career of this highly controversial twentieth-century southern populist. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Scholarly Analysis of a very Complex Figure
I initially wrote this review for a film journal which shall remain nameless. It insisted that I slant my review by casting insinuations of racism on an author who is a very distinguished film scholar and a fine human being who has a track record of publications for the past thirty years and more. While CINEASTE saw no problem in publishing an objective review, this nameless journal did. I will not engage in such scurrillous activities merely to gain another publication credit and present my review for readers as follows.

During the early 1980s I acquired a copy of THE CLANSMAN (1905) by Thomas Dixon. Familiar with D.W. Griffith's feature film version THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915), I scanned the opening pages with some interest but the purple nature of its prose and a virulent racism far exceeding anything found in the notorious film version prevented any further excavation on my part. The book is now missing since my move across the Atlantic and until I read this recent biography I believed both Dixon and his works worthy of consignment to oblivion. However, this is a misguided judgement. If Anthony Slide neither wishes to praise Dixon nor to bury him, he has instead provided a highly insightful study into an author whose ideology requires appropriate undersdtanding rather than immediate rejection.

Slide's book places Dixon's work in a relevant socio-historical context necessary to understand a writer who, though promoting repugnant ideals, often reflected certain dominant ideas of his era. Dixon was also a lawyer, minister, playwright, and contemporary auteur responsible for the production of some eighteen feature films between 1914 and 1937, the most famous being THE BIRTH OF A NATION. Yet his racism was contradictory. Although sharing views similar to those of Leni Riefenstahl concerning African-Americans, he never deigrated Jews and he respected Native Americans. He never supported the Southern cause in the Civil War but espoused reconciliation and union instead. However, like Griffith, Dixon was influenced by the dark myth of Reconstruction and feared the supposed Negro threat to American life. But, as Slide shows, these views differed little from those held by Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson. They would certainly not receive unqualified approval from today's Aryan Nation since Dixon's ideology contained several contradictions that Slide analyzes throughout his study.

Although Griffith's film revived the fortunes of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, Dixon never supported its rebirth and even condemned it as his 1907 novel THE TRAITOR and his last screen credit NATION AFLAME (1937) show. Like Griffith, he idealized a remove historical image of an organization that was actually disbanded by its creator Nathan Bedford Forrest two years after its foundation in 1867 as John Wyeth mentions in his still classic study THAT DEVIL FORREST (1899). Slide's chapters emphasize that "Dixon is a complex character, and while his on-screen commentary on race, on miscegenation, on women's uffrage, on socialism, and on communism may appear outmoded, one should never doubt Dixon's integrity or his supreme faith in his Southern philosophy." (7) He saw the South as being representative of any American state espousing common conservative values against elements felt to be alien such as the Negro, feminism, and socialism. In other words, Dixon had much in common with the contemporary ideas examined by Richard Slotkin in THE FATAL ENVIRONMENT: THE MYTH OF CUSTER IN THE AGE OF INDUSTRIALIZATION, 1800-1890 (1988)

Like Griffith, Dixon saw motion pictures not just as entertainment but more as a means for promoting serious ideas. Thus Slide concentrates on Dixon in terms of his role as a member of the contemporary film community rather than as a literary figure. The first four chapters place Dixon within the necessary historical context to understand his beliefs as well as his reproductions of Southern history on print, stage, and film. After THE BIRTH OF A NATION, Dixon concentrated more on cinema. But, despite his racial views, he was often ahead of his time on other issues such as supporting animal rights (like Jack London in his posthumous 1917 novel MICHAEL, BROTHER OF JERRY, opposing capital punishment, and protesting against scientific involvement in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction as his unproduced one-act play THE HOPE OF THE WORLD (1924) reveals. Yet despite espousing segregation and opposing miscegenation, Dixon never held any personal animosity against blacks like later twentieth century racists; instead Dixon believed in separate development allowing the race to follow its own particular cultural and historical destiny as he saw it, one that could never match the achievements of white civilization. However, in the opening chapters, Slide suggests that Dixon may have struggled against repressed sexual feelings involving black males and white females manifesting themselves in badly written purple prose passages in novels such as THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS (1902) and THE CLANSMAN (1905). Slide cites a telephone conversation he had with James Zebulon Wright during 2003 concerning Dixon's first sexual experience with his black friend Dick (33). In 1996, Wright wrote an unpublished doctoral dissertation on Dixon and had access to many of the author's private papers which his widow later destroyed. In his 1984 study, THE CRUCIBLE OF RACE, Joel Williamson states that Dixon wrote THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS believing that his mother has been sexually molested when a child by a black man. Slide also reveals that Dixon entered into negotations for a Kinemacolor version of THE CLANSMAN in 1911 but it is unlikely that any footage was shot. But THE BIRTH OF A NATION boosted the status of both Dixon and Griffith leading to the former directing THE FALL OF A NATION the following year. The film encouraged a developing pro-war mood in America. and doing quite well at the box-office. Since the film (like other Dixon collaborations)has not survived, it is difficult to judge the quality of this work. These missing films result in Slide undertaking a necessary, but problematic, reconstruction by secondary sources which often hinder the necessity of having complete access to all the relevant evidence needed to evaluate fully the historical implications of the material.

Dixon's views on female emancipation were also antiquated as Slide shows in his comparison of the two film versions of THE FOOLISH VIRGIN (1916, 1924). Socialism was also a threat to the fabric of American society as Dixon's second novel THE ONE WOMAN (1903) and its 1918 film version reveals. But although Dixon shared contemporary anti-Red sentiments displayed in his novels COMRADES (1909) and THE ROOT OF EVIL (1911), contradictory elements also appear in the text especially in the latter work. Slide believes that this book "is better identified as an attack on capitalism, and there are many passages that might well be regarded as appopriate to the early years of the twenty-first century rather than the early years of the twentieth." (127) Dixon also attacks slavery in this novel which Slide argues "almost compensates for the worst excesses of racism to be found elsewhere in Dixon's writings." (130)

Slide also shows that the 1920s represented Dixon's most productive period as a journeyman scenarist before the Wall Street Crash. Dixon later failed to change with the times despite his early support for the New Deal and he tended to repeat formulas. However, Dixon contributed storylines to four contemporary Westerns and several melodramas. He also returned to directing and scripting THE MARK OF THE BEAST (1924), one of the first American films to deal with psychoanalysis long before LADY IN THE DARK (1944) and SPELLBOUND (1945. The con cluding chapters deal with the last adaptation of Dixon's anti-Klan novel NATION AFLAME (1937), the final obscure years before his death in 1946, and Raymond Rohauer's attempts to gain exclusive copyright of THE BIRTH OF A NATION.

AMERICAN RACIST is a pioneering work. In many ways, it illustrates important issues of character complexity and tensions affecting certain historical eras that also appear in Maureen 0'Hara's TIS HERSELF (2004)and Julie Gottlieb's 2000 study FEMININE FASCISTS. 0'Hara discusses dark Ford's contradictory and his hidden bi-sexuality while Gottlieb traces the role of former suffragettes in Oswald Mosely's British Union of Fascists in the 1930s. People and historical events are often not as monologic as politically correct academics, attempting to control information and silence alternative voices in ways resembling totalitarian governments, wish. Anthony Slide's book is a welcome addition to the many informed and scholarly studies written outside the mainstream that this particular press has encouraged. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Stephen Youngkin's exellent biography of Peter Lorre, THE LOST ONE (2005). The long awaited Orson Welles biography by Joseph McBride will soon add to the prestigious list of publications that this company has issued over the past ten years.

... Read more


13. The Man in Gray: A Romance of the North and South
by Thomas Dixon
Paperback: 458 Pages (2009-04-27)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$29.99
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Asin: B002IFT4EI
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This volume is produced from digital images created through the University of Michigan University Library's preservation reformatting program. The Library seeks to preserve the intellectual content of items in a manner that facilitates and promotes a variety of uses. The digital reformatting process results in an electronic version of the text that can both be accessed online and used to create new print copies. This book and thousands of others can be found in the digital collections of the University of Michigan Library. The University Library also understands and values the utility of print, and makes reprints available through its Scholarly Publishing Office. ... Read more


14. A Man of the People: A Drama of Abraham Lincoln (Classic Reprint)
by Thomas Dixon
Paperback: 174 Pages (2009-08-03)
list price: US$8.09 -- used & new: US$8.09
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Asin: 1440038236
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While the popular conception of Lincoln as the Liberator of the Slave is true historically, there is a deeper -view of his life and character. He was the savior, if not the real creator, of the American Union of free Democratic States. His proclamation of emancipation was purely an incident of war. The first policy of his administration was to save the Union. To this fact we owe a united Nation to-day. It is this truth of history which I try to make a living reality in my play.
The scenes relating to the issues of our National life have been drawn from authentic records. The plot of the action is based on the letter of Colonel John Nicolay to Major Hay, dated August 25, 1864, in which the following opening paragraph is fovind:
"Hell is to pay. The New York politicians have got a stampede on that is about to swamp everything. Raymond and the National Committee are here to-day. R. thinks a Commission to Richmond is about the only salt to save us; while the President sees and says it w

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, History, Folklore and Mythology.

Forgotten Books' Classic Reprint Series utilizes the latest technology to regenerate facsimiles of historically important writings. Careful attention has been made to accurately preserve the original format of each page whilst digitally enhancing the difficult to read text. Read books online for free at www.forgottenbooks.org ... Read more


15. Carbon Shift: How Peak Oil and the Climate Crisis Will Change Canada (and Our Lives)
by Thomas Homer-Dixon
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-04-13)
list price: US$18.50 -- used & new: US$10.77
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Asin: 0307357198
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"We are now so abusing the Earth that it may rise and move back to the hot state it was in fifty-five million years ago, and if it does, most of us, and our descendants, will die."
-James Lovelock, leading climate expert and author of The Revenge of Gaia

"I don't see why people are so worried about global warming destroying the planet - peak oil will take care of that."
-Matthew Simmons, energy investment banker and author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy

The twin crises of climate change and peaking oil production are converging on us. If they are not to cook the planet and topple our civilization, we will need informed and decisive policies, clear-sighted innovation, and a lucid understanding of what is at stake. We will need to know where we stand, and which direction we should start out in. These are the questions Carbon Shift addresses.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Ingenuity Gap and The Upside of Down, argues that the two problems are really one: a carbon problem. We depend on carbon energy to fuel our complex economies and societies, and at the same time this very carbon is fatally contaminating our atmosphere. To solve one of these problems will require solving the other at the same time. In other words, we still have a chance to tackle two monumental challenges with one innovative solution: clean, low-carbon energy.

Carbon Shift brings together six of Canada's world-class experts to explore the question of where we stand now, and where we might be headed. It explores the economics, the geology, the politics, and the science of the predicament we find ourselves in. And it gives each expert the chance to address what they think are the most important facets of the complex problem before us.

There are no experts in Canada better positioned to explain the world that awaits us just beyond the horizon, and no better guide to that future than this collection of their thoughts. Densely packed with information, but accessibly written and powerfully timely, Carbon Shift will be an indispensable handbook to the difficult choices that lie ahead.

David Hughes is a former senior geoscientist with the Geological Survey of Canada

David Keith is Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment, University of Calgary

Jeff Rubin is Chief Economist, Chief Strategist and Managing Director, CIBC World Markets

Mark Jaccard is professor of environmental economics in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

William Marsden is an investigative reporter and author of Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn't Seem to Care)

Jeffrey Simpson is a Globe and Mail national columnist and author, with Mark Jaccard, of Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge

With a foreword by Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress and What is America?


From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Carbon: Where We Are and Where We May Be Headed
This consists of a series of essays on the issue of carbon usage. The essays cover a range of issues from the amount of carbon based fuels left on earth, to the economic implications of extracting those carbon based fuels and what the implications will be to the environment and the economy if we don't stop using carbon based fuels in the future.

While I did not necessarily agree with every point presented in the book, I found the essays to be thought provoking and these essays caused me to ask questions that hadn't occurred to me previously. I would recommend this book to all who have an interest in the status of fossil fuels, as well as climate change. This is not a book for a beginner in either subject, but rather an extension of the readily simplified material that is already available.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting science and economics
Civilizations are constructed of population, energy and knowledge. All three of these dimensions are under significant threat from the relationship between our species and our surrounding world. Success over the last hundred years, industrializing much of the world, has been borrowed from the future rather than sustainably building on the past. Ignoringthe achievements of industrial society would be irresponsible. Little more than one billion people could exist on the agriculture of the pre-hydrocarbon economy, we now support more than six billion, but crop yields subsidized by oil and gas for a century have their consequences. An all-encompassing depletion ofEarth's oil resources is not a likely path because the economics of the situation will drive the cheap reserves we've built our world on to extinction. Our societies will follow. Yet, we may not have time to experience a reality without cheap oil. For more than a century scientists have understood the effects of radiative forcing on the products of combustion. Concentrations of methane (due to population) and levels of carbon dioxide (due to industrial process) have been slowly increasing the Earth's temperature since human population has been growing exponentially.

Peak oil and climate change have epic implications for continuity of the human species. If one of the two possibilities is in our future, as the leading Canadian scientists within Thomas Homer Dixon's Carbon Shift argue, our lives will change forever. If they both occur (to varying degrees), Homo Sapien Sapien's role on the Earth will change past the point of familiarity over the next decade.

Carbon Shift is amust read for forward thinking people. One great example from the book demonstrates how economist Robert Solow tried to predict GDP growth in 1956. Solow argued that because 70% of costs were labor related and 30% of costs were capital related, GDP would grow .7% for every 1% in increased labor and .3% for every 1% increase in capital. But a study of growth shows that GDP has grown much faster. This is the Solow Residual that was later explained by Reiner Kummel. Demonstrated by Kummel, the discrepancy between predicted growth and actual growth was because Solow had left out energy. Kummel modeled energy inputs on a per joule basis and nearly perfectly reproduced the growth curve of the last few decades. A 1% rise in energy inputs led to .5% increases in GDP, but this revelation came with a damning realization. We are paying for energy about a tenth of what it is worth. Eventually the cost and the value will equalize. In Robert Ayers and Benjamin Warr's recent paper, Economic Growth Models and the Role of Physical Resources, they take it a step farther with the following conclusions,

The first is that exergy is a major factor of production comparable in importance to labour and capital. The second is that the empirical work/exergy ratio f is an important measure of technical progress in the long run. Similarly, and third, the output/work ratio g can be regarded as a useful indicator of the extent to which the economy is "dematerialising" (if it is) or "informatising"66 in some sense. Third, it is possible that technical progress as traditionally defined can be approximated reasonably well by mathematical expressions involving ratios of capital, labour and exergy inputs. Source: Ayres and Warr
Essentially this work demonstrates that we each have the equivalent of many energy slaves (the average US citizen having ninety of such slaves). The average US citizen has the benefit of work equivalent to 90 human slaves to support our lifestyle because of cheap energy. Basically, we are completely dependent on inexpensive fossil fuel energy. Some argue that a peak in oil production will look like: a spike in oil prices, followed by global recession, followed by more spikes in the cost of oil. A repeating cycle. Eerily similar to what the world is now experiencing. In fact, James Hamilton of the Brookings Institute presented in a recent paper that the current recession was caused by oil price shocks.

In a nutshell: Higher oil and gasoline prices whacked the U.S. auto industry, the effects of which cascaded through large swathes of the rest of the economy and helped curtail spending. Energy prices also pummeled consumers' disposable income and confidence. To the extent that the housing meltdown did play a huge part in the recession, that too can be partially chalked up to higher oil prices: Cheap digs in the distant suburbs went underwater with $4 gasoline. Source: Keith Johnson of the Wall Street Journal

All of the above occurring while we are beginning to understand the role of feedbacks in climate change.

Carbon Shift may be frustrating for someone looking for an absolutist description of our current situation. The scientists within, David Keith, J. David Hughes, Mark Jaccard, Jeff Rubin,William Marsden, and Jeffery Simpson, aren't necessarily in agreement on our needed course of action. They each advocate differing approaches, each presenting solid cases on why we should be concerned about peak oil and/or climate change with varying degrees of urgency. However, this book serves as an excellent primer to intelligent thought about these issues.I learned a tremendous amount from spending time with each of these thinkers through Thomas Homer-Dixon's editing. The only essay that might fall short for some is the discussion of Canadian policy by Jeffery Simpson. I found this intriguing because I'll soon be a Canadian immigrant and because there are lesson learned for the United States political approaches. Yet, I could see why many would want to skip this one. Every essay is spot on with relevance and importance.

This is the kind of hard hitting, heavy thinking journalism lacking in major media and public space discussions of the issues that will change our lives forever within the next generation. ... Read more


16. The Foolish Virgin
by Thomas Dixon
Paperback: 186 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YHBF1E
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The Foolish Virgin is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Thomas Dixon is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Thomas Dixon then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more


17. West Virginia Railroads: Railroading in the Mountain State
by Thomas W Dixon Jr
Paperback: 128 Pages (2010-02-15)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$18.12
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Asin: 0939487934
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book outlines the history of railroading in West Virginia from the earliest entry of Baltimrore & Ohio into what was then western Virginia up to the 1960s.  In addition to B&O, Chesapeake & Ohio, Western Maryland, Norfolk & Western, and Virginian have major chapters.  Smaller sections cover the New York Central, short lines, logging railroads, and others that had only a smaller presence in the state.  Coal mining and lumbering, of course, tie in directly with most West Virginia railroads.  Photos, maps, and illustrations tell the story in addition to history that links the various parts of West Virginia railroading into a coherent narrative.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost Heaven?
TLC consistently produces high-quality railroad books and though "West Virginia Railroads" focuses on operations from the Allegheny Mountains westward, and thus gives rather short shrift to the state's eastern pandhandle, the book is a worthwhile start to a planned full-length series of volumes about Mountain State railroads by author Thomas W. Dixon, Jr.

As a native West Virginian and someone born in the 1940s-1960s period the book covers, Iwas fascinated by the numerous photos, especially those depicting railroad stations (in my birth city of Huntington and elsewhere) and the splendid photos of trains chugging up and over the state's rugged terrain.

However, I very much hope in future books in this series, the author candidly discusses the darker side of West Virginia railroads. This includes how rapid expansion of logging railroads was partly responsible for all but wiping out the state's red spruce, hemlock and other forests in a mere 30 years (as reported in the March 27, 2010 edition of the Charleston Gazette).And while all the book's great photos of steam locomotives recall the romance of an earlier era, the photos also vividly demonstrate that steam railroads and their related coal operations (especially the coking ovens)were major polluters.

Enviornmental exploitation and degradation partly resulting from the railroad industry in the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries is at best tacitly mentioned in most railroad books, and has only begun to be discussed in some railroad magazines.If TLC's upcoming volumes on West Virginia railroads cover this aspect of the industry, the series should be a very important contribution to railroad history in the Appalachians and the eastern U.S. ... Read more


18. The Man in Gray (Webster's Spanish Thesaurus Edition)
by Thomas Dixon
Paperback: 470 Pages (2008-06-04)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001CV87CE
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of synonyms and antonyms for difficult and often ambiguous English words that are encountered in other works of literature, conversation, or academic examinations. Extremely rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority in the notes compared to words which are ¿difficult, and often encountered¿ in examinations. Rather than supply a single synonym, many areprovided for a variety of meanings, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of the English language, and avoid using the notes as a pure crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not noted on a page, chances are that it has been highlighted on a previous page. A more complete thesaurus is supplied at the end of the book; synonyms and antonyms are extracted from Webster's Online Dictionary.

PSAT¿ is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT¿ is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE¿, AP¿ and Advanced Placement¿ are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT¿ is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT¿ is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Southerner's view of slavery and the Civil War
Thomas Dixon was a minister, lecturer and racist whose books include a trilogy glorifying the KKK. He felt that slavery was morally wrong, but he also saw blacks as far inferior to whites. That view is elaborated in the first quarter of this book. The opening scene on Robert E. Lee's plantation is so idyllic it's practically a propaganda piece about Southern life. The slaves sing happily in the fields as they work and they have more possessions than they know what to do with. Dixon contends that a slave is better off than a poor Southern white person, and also better off than a Northern "wage slave," which is someone who makes 80 cents for a 12-hour work day in a factory and lives in squalid conditions. He calls Southern slavery, "the mildest and most humane form of labor ever fixed by the masters of man."

Nearly half of the book follows John Brown's violent efforts in Kansas and Virginia to free the slaves. Using Brown as an example of an Abolitionist is like using Scott Roeder as an example of a pro-lifer. The last quarter of the book gives a Southern view of the Civil War as it follows Lee battle by battle. Dixon makes Lee the ultimate hero, even in defeat.

After reading the book I was amazed to find that it was written in 1921- I had been thinking that it was written soon after the Civil War. If you're sensitive to racism, you'll probably find this book offensive, especially the part set on Lee's plantation. ... Read more


19. Immanence & Transcendence in Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon: A Phenomenological Study (Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, Stockholm Studies in English, 97)
by Joakim Sigvardson
Paperback: 169 Pages (2002-12)
list price: US$54.00 -- used & new: US$18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9122019626
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The investigation studies Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon as a novel that comes to giveness in terms of three strata of manifestation: the arty, the rhizomatic, and the acosmic. Utilizing a affective turn implemented within the phenomenological movement by Michael Henry, the study proposes that alongside a rhizomatic mode of accessibility promoting transcendence, Mason & Dixon manifests a withholding of transcendence.

The study investigates the manifestation of this ontological withholding by carrying out the phenomenological reduction established by Edmund Husserl, and by elucidating the phenomenon of immanence in the literary text by means of a theory of auto-affection rooted in - but not reducible to - such methodological reduction. The study proposes that the thematization of anomaly in Mason & Dixon may be unconstructed by means of phenomenological moves that uncover strata of phenomenalization that are not apparent on a thematic or merely playful level. These strata, with their promotion of immanence at the expense of transcendence, are found to be complexly affective in nature. The affectivity governing the withholding of transcendence in these strata is discovered to be instrumental in the work's critique of colonial modes of spatialization, of logocentric modes of transcendence, and of post-Nietzschean modes of affective mastery.

Mason & Dixon discloses a tension between a mode of anomaly that is part of a normal/anomalous dichotomy and a mode of anomaly that is doubly anomalous. Manifested as a nonspatial zone, the doubly anomalous becomes manifested on the hither side of oppositional structures in the novel, such as truth/untruth. The doubly anomalous in Mason & Dixon is identified as an "acosmic" zone of affectivity in which mastering intellectualizations fall short of their telos. Insofar as the "acosmic" occurs within logocentric cartography, it implies an unsettling of every horizontal subject, of nature as the property of man, and of freeplay as the medium of will to power. ... Read more


20. The Life and Times of Thomas Dixon 1805-1871
by Stafford Linsley
 Paperback: 256 Pages (2006-11-15)
list price: US$27.63 -- used & new: US$15.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0953844366
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