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This week’s front page editor

Rosemary Bechler

Rosemary Bechler is the mainsite editor of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

“A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you” – Anonymous, 1998

A weekly book recommendation from the readers, writers and staff of openDemocracy. What are you reading now? Email us

'Watchmen,' Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

As Hollywood attempts to take "Watchmen" to the big screen, Richard Young explains its enduring appeal.

'How Bush rules: chronicles of a radical regime,' Sidney Blumenthal

George W. Bush: a compassionate conservative or wilfully radical? Sidney Blumenthal debunks the Bush agenda.

'State repression and the struggles for memory,' Elizabeth Jelin

From Bosnia to Rwanda to Argentina's Dirty War, Elizabeth Jelin explores how the fight for memory is crucial in periods of confrontation and conflict.

'Learn by heart this poem of mine,' Gyorgy Faludy

A poem from one of Gyorgy Faludy's most celebrated collections.

'In the wake of Katrina,' Larry Towell

Between 3–11 September, 2005, photographer Larry Towell, accompanied by novelist Ace Atkins, travelled along the coast of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, documenting the dramatic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

'Dying to win: why suicide terrorists do it,' Robert A. Pape

An extract from Robert Pape’s comprehensive analysis of suicide terrorism.

'Generation X: tales for an accelerated culture', Douglas Coupland


"Generation X: tales for an accelerated culture"
by Douglas Coupland
St. Martin’s | March 1991 | ISBN 031205436X

Recommended by Jessica Reed: In many ways Douglas Coupland is like Andy Warhol. His art may not be mind-blowing at first glance, but contextualisation is everything: he captures the essence of a generation. Generation X is the post-modern Bible for hordes of self-defined slackers and alternative kids who feel they do not 'fit in' and demand more out of life than consumerism and pop-culture junk.

'All men are brothers', Mahatma Gandhi

“…to suck one into a world where the most secret and wandering questions of your soul come rushing out to confront you”

'Kinshasa: Tales of the Invisible City', Filip De Boeck and Marie-Frangoise Plissart

An anthropologist and a photographer explore the hidden worlds of Kinshasa.

"The Class of the New", Richard Barbrook

"Revealing the true innovators of society, this is a small book packing a big punch…"

"Voices of Time: A Life in Stories", Eduardo Galeano

An extract from the latest memoir by one of Latin America’s most beloved writers, Eduardo Galeano.

'The Long Tail', Chris Anderson

Has the rise of "niche culture" brought about the demise of the smash hit blockbuster? Chris Anderson's seminal book explores a new era of cultural consumption and distribution.

'The Divided Ground', Alan Taylor

"An account of the Iroquois Indians and how the American Revolution led to their downfall."

'Slaughter House Five', Kurt Vonnegut

"A blunt riposte to the chicken-hawks of his day that has, regrettably, once again become relevant to current affairs."

'Free Culture,' Lawrence Lessig

Has Daniel Trilling become a geek, or has he merely read one of the most innovative books on the modern information age?

'Middlesex', Jeffrey Eugenides

"A riveting tale that will lure you in with its unapologetic honesty about a difficult topic"

'Moment in Peking', Lin Yutang

Inspired by a visit to London, Wenjun Shi succumbs and finally reads China’s most popular book “Moment in Peking.”

'The Aesthetics of Resistance', Peter Weiss

Brían Hanrahan finds rich reward in Peter Weiss’s great modernist masterpiece.

'Sleepwalking Land', Mia Couto

"...their destination is the other side of nowhere, their arrival a non-departure, awaiting what lies ahead"

'The Terrorist at my Table'

“Imtiaz Dharker’s poems and pictures hurtle through a world that changes even as we pass”

'Dancing in the No-Fly Zone: A Woman's Journey Through Iraq', Hadani Ditmars

"A reference on human courage and normalcy in the face of utter chaos."

'The Girl from the Coast'

Based on the life of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s own grandmother, The Girl from the Coast explores the complex power relationship between classes and sexes in a Javanese fishing village early in the 20th century.

'The Trouble with Islam Today', Irshad Manji

"Hard-hitting and challenging questions that go to the heart of many of the dilemmas that Muslims face."

'Country of My Skull', Antjie Krog

"what it is to be human..."

Country of my Skull

'Selected short stories', Rabindranath Tagore

"Tagore's profound sense of humanity."

'How It Is', Samuel Beckett

“One of Beckett's most formidable achievements.”

'American Alphabets', Wendy Ewald

"How the alphabet extends the understanding of the self..."

'Enemy Combatant', Moazzam Begg

In this extract from his new book, ex-prisoner Moazzam Begg describes arriving at Guantánamo Bay.

'Freakonomics', Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

"This book shows you how to think."

'The Kite Runner', Khaled Hosseini

"heartbreaking and ingenious"

'The Playgrounds and the City,' Aldo van Eyck

"Most books about architecture or town planning are earnest treatises: this book sings"

"A Man Without a Country", Kurt Vonnegut

"Kurt Vonnegut can't 'parallel park worth a damn' but gives the kind of epigrammatic insights that most authors would give their writing arm for."

'In Gods We Trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion', Scott Atran

"The evolutionary and psychological origins of religion."

"A Brief History of the Future: Origins of the Internet", John Naughton

"The only book that tells the whole story of the internet."
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