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Out now: Definable Traces in the Atmosphere

An anthology of Mike Marqusee's selected articles discussing Bob Dylan, the game of cricket, American Civil rights, Jewish identity, William Blake’s art, nationalism, Big Pharma, Labour Party politics, the films of John Ford, Flamenco music, the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, the BDS campaign, Muhammad Ali and Italian Renaissance painting amongst many other topics explored with Marqusee's acute, erude and kaleidoscopic writings.

Past visions, future dreams

Contending for the Living Red Pepper, February-March 2014 Last spring, I made the steep climb to the mountainside entrance to the Cuevas de Covalanas, one of several caves in the Cantabrian region of northern Spain decorated with pre-historic paintings. I had seen reproductions of this type of art in books, but nothing prepared me for… Read more

Why cricket?

Published in Wisden India Almanack 2014, edited by Suresh Menon. Let’s imagine a group of ultra-intelligent extra-terrestrials who visit earth and find themselves at a cricket match. I’d submit that, given sufficient time, they would be able to deduce the rules of the game in their entirety (even the lbw law) from direct observation, without… Read more

A further note on BDS and “singling out” Israel

Opponents of the BDS campaign accuse its supporters of unfairly “singling out” Israel while neglecting a host of other deplorable regimes. It seems that until we simultaneously campaign against all outstanding injustices, any campaign against a particular injustice will remain illegitimate. Presumably, however, the liberal critics of BDS have no objection to the Palestinians themselves… Read more

“If not now, when?” On BDS and ‘singling out’ Israel

[This is an edited version of a letter I’ve sent to a relative in the US who’s been trying to figure out the BDS issue in the wake of the recent onslaught against the American Studies Association’s decision to support the academic boycott.] The “singling out” objection seems to me quite perverse. It’s not possible… Read more

How the left supported ethnic cleansing

Contending for the Living Red Pepper, December 2013 The British left has made some terrible errors in its time but surely few more appalling than its 1948 support for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their own land. Today the left is attacked for “singling out” Israel for criticism but historically its record is the… Read more

“On the Waterfront”: doubts and reflections

After watching ‘On the Waterfront’ this afternoon for the first time in ages, I was struck by the film’s mix of strengths and weaknesses, but most of all, I have to say, by the severity of the latter. Brando’s subtle, supple embodiment of the protagonist is legendary for good reasons, and the surrounding performances justify… Read more

A party to dream of

Contending for the Living Red Pepper When the left alternative goes unvoiced, the real choices unposed, democracy is drained of content, writes Mike Marqusee. That’s why we need a new party of the left I’m one of the thousands who signed up to the Left Unity appeal issued by Ken Loach in March. I did… Read more

World’s longest running industrial dispute sets example for us all

Their banner reads: “Ex-Midrand Council Workers in Dispute Since 1994! Dismissed for fighting corruption in 1994 and still fighting today! 20 years of Sacrifice! 20 Years of Poverty! 20 Years of Solidarity!” South Africa’s ex-Midrand Council workers are engaged in what is surely the world’s longest running industrial dispute, a Burston for our times. It… Read more

Surprisingly, I’m still alive

Dear friends, My oncologists are very happy with me at the moment. When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in mid-2007, I was given a prognosis of three-to-four years survival. My prospects were particularly miserable because the type of myeloma I have is associated with rapid deterioration. Yet here I am, more than six years… Read more

Cricket in the USA: watching and being watched

In the strangest and most distressing cricket story of the summer, it appears that New York police have compiled lists of the city’s cricket grounds, along with cafes and restaurants where people gather to watch international cricket on TV, in order to facilitate surveillance of the Muslim population. Some years back I was passing through… Read more