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book review – literature

MODERN TIMES is as a commentary at the same time a book review with around 40 books mentioned in each issue (March, June, September, December). We discuss (preferably in an essayistic way) nonfiction Interior political, ecological and philosophical literature, but also literature in our time "big tech".
The newspaper of around 100 pages also includes the theme supplement ORIENTERING and / or the documentary film magazine MODERN TIMES REVIEW.
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Ethics in the time of the climate crisis

ECOLOGY: Arne Johan Vetlesen, Jan-Olav Henriksen: Ethics in the time of the climate crisis
Despite this book's general critique of anthropocentrism, one could go even further in practicing an ecocentric ethic.

The Mystery of Vladimir Putin

SPIN DICTATOR: Sergei Guriev, Daniel Treisman: Spin Dictators. The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century
After dictators left their mark on the 20th century with indescribable crimes, it can be difficult to understand how the authoritarian forms of government have made an apparent return in our time.

In the direction of the totalitarian

PRE-FASCISM: Timothy Snyder, illustrator Nora Krug, translates John Grande: About tyranny: Twenty things we can learn from the twentieth century
Timothy Snyder's little textbook on tyranny – written for society "between Hitler and Stalin" – lies between patriotic obedience and political disobedience. The book is still current.

Eternity policy

UKRAINE: Timothy Snyder, translator John Grande: ABOUT UKRAINE (FROM THE ROAD TO FREEDOM). Putin claims the legacy of World War II
What is the influence of the philosopher Ivan Ilyin on Putin's politics? Today, information warfare is at least as important as military warfare.

"The New Jew"

MESSIANIAN THOUGHT OF VIOLENCE: Shaul Magid: More Kahane. The Public Life and Political Thought of an American Jewish Radical
From Jewish identity in New York to messianic racism in the West Bank: The controversial rabbi Meir Kahane, whose thoughts live on with certain radical settlers in the West Bank, is the subject of a new and thorough biography.

Self-sufficient, financially sustainable community with low cost of living

ECOVILLAGE: Frederica Miller ,: Ecovillages around the world: 20 regenerative designs for sustainable communities
Communal house, own organic farming, a professionally run livestock farm, various network models in permaculture and economics.

The danger of modified nature

ECOLOGY: Elizabeth Kolbert. Translated from English by Ulrike Bischoff: How man creates the nature of the future
With technological measures in all directions, researchers are faced with sky-high challenges. One of them is human ignorance linked to indifference.

A gigantic loss project

THE DISCLOSURES: Craig Whitlock: The Afghanistan Papers. A Secret History of the War
For 20 years, US authorities lied about the war in Afghanistan.

Challenging climate sobriety

ECOLOGY: Holly Jean: Ending Fossil Fuels: Why Not Zero Is Not Enough
We need such voices as Holly Jean Buck, who criticizes wishful thinking – precisely to help bring forward a hopeful, serious and long-lasting climate fight, beyond all easy optimism.

The comprehensive self-insulation

COVID-19: Jennie Bristow and Emma Gilland: The Corona Generation. Coming of Age in a Crisis
SARS in 2003, bird flu in 2005, MERS in 2012, Ebola in 2014, combined with the financial crisis, massive refugee flows, and revolutions in the Middle East and Greta Thunberg's shrill doomsday voice, had largely immunized the population against something as abstract as Covid19.

We call it precariat

WORK: Kalyani Chadha and Linda Steiner Routledge: Newswork and Precarity
Precarious working life is perhaps alluring with its freedom and flexibility. But with the precarious also comes the uncontrollable, the unpredictability and the lack of rights. Precarious work has become widespread in a subject such as journalism. Nevertheless, I am still tempted by the flexible tasks, by the sense of variability, freedom almost.

An ever-creeping feeling of loneliness

ISOLATION: Daniel Schreiber: allein
Acute loneliness affects both winners and losers. Daniel Schreiber visits a wealth of hermit literature – such as Thoreau's Walden and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. But what does social withdrawal mean today – whether it is the occupational or pandemic condition?

An incantation against neo-fascism

CAPITALISM: Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen: Late Capitalism Fascism
Is not the struggle now about the right not to be exploited, but the right to be allowed to participate? There is much that is valuable in Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen's short book about the possible return of fascism in today's world – but it is weak in terms of empirical documentation.

The aesthetic manifestations of fascism

FASCISM: Julia Adeney Thomas and Geoff Eley: Visualizing Fascism. The Twentieth-Century Rise of the Global Right
This does not necessarily manifest itself through mass spectacles and revolutionary fractures, and it is not a primarily European phenomenon. But like a product of political crises in the modern capitalist states.

Late fascism is here

CAPITALISM: The West's "thin" fascism, which Bolt analyzes, is there especially because there is currently nothing else. Which does not rule out that it will one day grow as "thick" as Russian and Chinese fascism.

Ecology is playfully serious

ECOLOGY: Timothy Morton: All Art is Ecological
Penguins' newly launched green series presents old and new books that change the way we think and talk about the living earth. You are in the age of mass extinction, but the philosopher Martin Heidegger brings us here on the trail of what we need.