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sabot Wooden Shoe Books: anarchist and radical literature
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We aspire to be open from noon (or earlier) to 10pm, 7 days a week, but... we're all volunteers, and sometimes it just doesn't work out. If you're making a special trip to the Shoe it's a good idea to call ahead to make sure we're open: 215 413 0999

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Book Reviews ...

Book: Work by CrimethInc Edited by Kari Ross
Review by: Wode
(Posted 6.24.2012)
The poetic propaganda of CrimethInc reaches for our hearts yet again in a burgeoning dialogue effectively aiming at a wider audience than previous works.... [Read more of this book review]

Book: Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century Edited by Chris Spannos
Review by: James Generic
(Posted 5.6.2009)
Parecon is an economic school coming from the libertarian socialist and anarchist school of thought, in opposition to traditional liberal economics or centrally planned economies. It seems to argue three basic things.... [Read more of this book review]

Book: Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman by Sharon Rudahl
Review by: James Generic
(Posted 12.6.2007)
Emma Goldman is one of the big name names of American anarchists, as well as one of the earlier to contribute to free speech, birth control, and the labor movements. She was an amazing public speaker, something that is lost in this day of television and radio, and her writing still ranks amongst the classics of Anarchist thought... [Read more of this book review]

Book: Getting Free: Creating an Association of Democratic Autonomous Neighborhood Associations by James Herod
Review by: James Generic
(Posted 12.6.2007)
There's lots of different theories on how to change the world, or to make a world that's a better place. Many times, there aren't many real road maps of how to get to those places except "organize" or "be allies" or "raise awareness" and other vague terms. Too often, you have to wade through what people are saying... [Read more of this book review]

Book: Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports By Dave Zirin
Review by: James Generic
(Posted 12.6.2007)
Sports are the world's great distraction, especially in the United States. To really understand American culture, and other cultures too, you have to understand sports to get why people get so very fanatical about them. In a sense, they are a form of reality TV, except they envelope so much more. [Read more of this book review]

Book: How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads By Daniel Cassidy
Review by: James Generic (Posted:10.7.2007)
The Irish make up one of the biggest ethnic groups in the English speaking world of Britain, the USA, and Australia. As the first colony of England, where much of later British imperialist policies were perfected and tested, the Irish were the laborers, the soldiers, and the maids of the Anglo rulers in the United States and Britain. Irish women were especially popular in the States as servants because they spoke English. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Dishwasher by Pete Jordan
Review by: James Generic (Posted:10.7.2007)
I really like stories of people's jobs, and no one I've ever read about has had more jobs then Dishwasher Pete. The author of the long-run cult favorite zine "Dishwasher" has put out this great book by the same name. Pete decided at a very long age when he had a hard time figuring out what he wanted to do for his life, that he liked to travel and see the country, and that dishwashing was the way to do it. [Read more of this book review]

Book: A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom By David Williams
Review by: James Generic (Posted:10.7.2007)
For a long time, the American Civil War became a war of valiant white Southerners fighting for "their way of life". History was re-written to be not about slavery or profits, but about "state's rights" against the government. Such figures like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis became heroes in the post-war South, while the people who fought the war were largely white-washed. [Read more of this book review]

Book: The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia by Benjamin Dangl
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 6.14.2007)
Things across Latin America look like they've heating up in the last five years to the breaking point. After decades of military rule, right-wing forces, banana republics, and domination by foreign companies, governments in Latin America crushing left-wing movements and people fighting the old orders of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, it really looks like those days are through. Social movements are no longer an isolated thing. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Criminal of Poverty by Lisa "Tiny" Grey-Garcia
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 5.29.2007)
Lisa "Tiny" Grey-Garcia graced our bookstore in Philadelphia with her presence and incredible thoughts. She came off as incredibly intelligent, very creative, and a very likable person. She is the founder of POOR magazine, dedicated to the poor when all the other magazines seem dedicated to people who don't need anymore dedication (rockstars, politicians, actors, etc.). When at the Shoe, she talked about strength through organization and ... [Read more of this book review]

Book: Stonewall by Martin Duberman
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 4.10.2007)
If there's any one thing that has the potential to evoke instant violence from individuals, it's the idea of homosexuality. Today, nothing seems to polarize so many people. Anyone growing up has heard "fag" as a basic insult in the grammer of teenagers and beyond, and I really suspect there's a lot of people who are in the closet in some way that know that if they came out at all of even being remotely attracted to members of the same sex (however you want to define that), then they would become an instant target for former friends and family. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina by Marina Sitrin
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 2.3.2007)
People have been asking about this one for a long time. This book came out in Spanish a few years ago and was already heavily asked requested. Now, an English translation let me read this for the first time, and it's no disappointment! Horizontalism is about the social movements in Argentina since the economy collapsed in December of 2001, seemingly a part of the bigger movements for social justice sweeping across Latin America. [Read more of this book review]

Book: A People's History of the Vietnam War by Jonathan Neale
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 1.25.2007)
The war in Iraq and September 11th probably will be the defining event of the youth of the United States today when we look back in a few decades, in much the same way the war in Vietnam defined a generation of youth in the 1960s and 1970s. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Feminism Is For Everyone: Passionate Politics by bell hooks
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 1.25.2007)
This book is a nice short read covering the basics of feminist theories and detailing bell hooks's experience in becoming a feminist. She touches on a variety of subjects and how they relate to feminism in practice. Class, work, race, bodies, relationships, sexuality, and others are all touched upon. It's pretty good, especially for a beginning text. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
Review by: Ben Straub (Posted: 11.06.2006)
Okay...let me first state that I am a total nerd and have a passion for science fiction. I also like social revolution, long walks on the beach, discussing gender and trans gender issues, interplanetary space travel and anarchism. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Race by Studs Terkel
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 11.06.2006)
Studs Terkel's "Race" is another in a series of books that provides an excellent oral history about subjects that few feel free to talk about. If you like oral history, then you'll love Studs Terkel. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Open Relationships by Wendy-O Matik
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 11.06.2006)
Whether to put more emphasis on one's politics or one's personal life has been a running debate between activists, organizers, and rebels of all sorts for a long time now. Where does your personal life stop and your efforts to change the world begin? [Read more of this book review]

Book: The Huey P. Newton Reader edited by David Hilliard and Donald Weise
Review by: Ben Straub (Posted: 10.15.2006)
Alright...the Black Panthers Party for Self Defense. Before starting off on this adventure, I would brush up on your histories of the late 1960s, particularly the black liberation, wimmins liberation and 3rd world struggles. [Read more of this book review]

Zine: The F-Word edited by Melody Berger
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 10.15.2006)
Melody is one of philly's finest writers. When I picked up the F-Word, I was absolutly amazed to see the famous people she managed to get interviews with. [Read more of this zine review]

Book: I Cried, You Didn't Listen: A Survivor's Expose of the California Youth Authority by Dwight E. Abbott
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 9.24.2006)
The author of this book states that he wrote it while in solitary confinement. It's a trip into his childhood, where he came of age in California's Juvenile system. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Children of NAFTA by David Bacon
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 9.24.2006)
Struggle and hope. That's what I thought of this May the 1st of 2006, when seemingly millions of people across the US, mainly Latinos, rallied to support so-called illegal immigrants. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Louise Michel by Edith Thomas
Review by: Ben Straub (Posted: 8.24.2006)
If you like books about Emma Goldman and Voltarine de Cleyre, then you will absolutely love this book about the French Revolutionary Louise Michel. The beginning of the book starts off a bit slow, but hold out dear reader, because the barricades go up very quickly! [Read more of this book review]

Book: Clandestines: the Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile by Ramor Ryan
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 8.24.2006)
I never thought I would enjoy a travel journal, but Ramor Ryan changed my mind. At first I thought it was going to be an over-romantic story of this guy travelling around the world in order to avoid himself, in the way that a lot of Crimethinc type of stuff reads. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Working Class White: The Making and Unmaking of Race Relations by Monica McDermott
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 7.27.2006)
The book explores race relations and is a sort of an undercover look at working class people's basic thoughts on stereotypes and how those views differ based on region. The researcher gets jobs at convenience stores in two working-class white neighborhoods bordering on working-class black neighborhoods, one in Atlanta and one in Boston. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America Edited by Paul Avrich
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 7.27.2006)
Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America is a real treasure. It's more than 450 pages long, but I couldn't put it down. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 6.6.2006)
Who else wasn't glued to their television set, or the newspapers, or their internet, or whatever, last late August into early September? It's not everyday that we see a city destroyed by a combination of a hurricane and government ineptitude. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Still Philadelphia: A Photographic History 1890-1940 by Fredric M. Miller, Morris J. Vogel and Allen F. Davis
Reviewed by: James Generic (Posted: 6.6.2006)
Around the Turn of the Century, Philadelphia was in a turning point in its history. Put together by Temple University's Urban Archives collection, the authors do an excellent job crossing architecture with people. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Seeing Like A State by James C. Scott
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 5.17.2006)
While most theory books have a hard time captivating me, this one is very well done. Scott focuses on why some of the utopian centrally-planned societies failed and why organic "home-spun" communities and societies generally are more adapt to deal with harsh times. [Read more of this book review]

Book: The Case Against Israel by Michael Neumann
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 5.17.2006)
A huge issue in our times and our world has been the injustice of an the Palestinians and Israelis. It is not an easy issue, either, in America, where there is a large Jewish population. [Read more of this book review]

Books: Outlaws of America, by Dan Berger and Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975, by Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz
Review by: Mitchell (Posted: 3.30.2006)
I recently read the new book, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity, written by a local – Dan Berger. I followed this up by reading Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Other Sheep I Have…. The Autobiography of Father Paul M. Washington
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 3.30.2006)
Other Sheep I Have…. The Autobiography of Father Paul M. Washington is the story of Philadelphia's legendary Father Paul Washington, the reverend of the Church of the Advocate. Writing in the early 1990s after his retirement, he recounts three decades of being a force of social change in North Philadelphia. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Five Years In The Warsaw Ghetto by Bernard Goldstein
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 2.2.2006)
It took me a few days to write this review after I finished "Five Years In The Warsaw Ghetto" by Bernard Goldstein. In a day where there's much wrong with our world, you can't help but be depressed when reading of people in the past that's ideals were utterly crushed by the might of state power. [Read more of this book review]

Book: Since Predator Came: Notes from the Struggle for American Indian Liberation by Ward Churchill
Review by: James Generic (Posted: 2.2.2006)
When I read Since Predator Came by Ward Churchill, I was not surprised by the subject matter of the series of articles by Ward Churchill which appeared in academic journals from the 1980s to the mid 1990s. What I was surprised by was how much I enjoyed the book. [Read more of this book review]

Book: What's My Name, Fool? by David Zirin
Review by: James Generic
Posted: 11.6.2005
What's My Name, Fool? shatters the image that many on the left think of athletes. Citing both historical and present day acts of resistance by athletes in national spot-light sports, DC area socialist Dave Zirin challenges this sometimes elitist with clear and crisp writing. [Read more of this book review]

Wooden Shoe Books • 704 South Street • Philadelphia, PA 19147 • • (215) 413-0999