Newsletter – May 2014

Welcome to The Global Dispatches,

This month Olga Jazzarelli, returning to China after several years absence, describes the dramatic changes in China's social, cultural and physical landscapes as she tours the Shanxi and Sichuan provinces; we have a review of Michael Lewis's new book Flashboys that reveals just how badly Wall Street is rigged; Nick Turse on how the US is going to war in Africa on the sly; Aaron Edwards, senior lecturer in defence and international affairs at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the author of Mad Mitch’s Tribal Law: Aden and the End of Empire on the precarious state of Yemen; Professor of Economics at Harvard, Jeffrey Frankel on the current debate on inequality and the dangers it is creating for the global economy and the return of Spain's Republican newspaper, the Heraldo de Madrid that was closed down by the Fascists back in 1939 - and much more

Travels Through Rural China
By Olga Iazzarelli

Returning to China after several years absence, Olga Jazzarelli describes the dramatic changes in China's social, cultural and physical landscapes as she tours the Shanxi and Sichuan provinces.

Beat Box
By MC Ledbetter

Updated for August 2017. Every month we recommend a few classic music CDs that rarely see the light of day. This month sees: Incredible Bongo Band, Jesus Guerrero, Budos Band, Dead Combo, Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos, Ali Khattab and The Cairo Jazz Band get main billing.

Yemen in the Frame, Again
By Aaron Edwards

The toll of violence in Yemen continues unabated—if largely unreported. Unless the international community engages with its causes and the local parties, so it will remain. The vibrant secessionism in the south poses a significant challenge to state stability in the long term.

China’s past, China’s present
By Kerry Brown

China's rich history is a seductive resource for China's modern politicians. But its complexity can also make it a selective one, says Kerry Brown who discusses Timothy Brook's excellent study of China from 1279-1644 - The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties .

Review: Flashboys by Michael Lewis
By Allston Mitchell

Wall Street is rigged, and best-selling author Michael Lewis tells us how. Rollercoaster style, he recounts how a motley group takes on Wall Street, converting Goldman Sachs to the straight and narrow en route. Incredibly, morality and truth win out. Horrifying and fascinating in equal measure.

Energy descent

By Carlos Cuellar Brown

We have the opportunity to change this oil dependence and avoid peak food and peak population. Some nations have begun to do it, in the realm of regional needs, with the aid of the information age with new technologies and energy alternatives. 

The adolescent mass culture mentality of the twentieth and twenty-first century with its “only me counts generations” will have to evolve and be replaced by an empathic social model.

1592: Coining Columbus
By Michiel van Groesen

For many, the arrival of Columbus in the Americas is inextricably linked to a particular image: a small group of confident men on a tropical beach formally announcing their presence to the dumbfounded Amerindians. Michiel van Groesen explores the origins of this Eurocentric iconography.

AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly
By Nick Turse

"It turns out that, if you want to know what the U.S. military is doing in Africa, it’s advantageous to be connected to a large engineering or construction firm looking for business. Then you’re privy to quite a different type of insider assessment of the future of the U.S. presence there." .

How to Address Inequality
By Jeffrey Frankel

Professor of Economics at Harvard, Kennedy School, Jeffrey Frankel, argues that commentators should focus on identifying the policies that are best suited to improving income distributions efficiently, and the politicians that support them.

The “Heraldo de Madrid” Returns
By Allston Mitchell

When army divisions led by General Franco took Madrid on 28 March 1939, one of their first acts was to send a group of Falangist militiamen to seize the offices of the Heraldo de Madrid by force of arms. 75 years on, a commemorative issue has been printed, underscoring the fragile state of Spain's news media.

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