Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire - John Pilger Trained as a historian, I am skeptical about the evidence of a "Golden Age" when the Fourth Estate "spoke truth to power" and made the lives of our leaders uncomfortable. There's always been enormous pressure to maintain the status quo but I'll admit that we're at a particularly low nadir when the media obsesses about Miley Cyrus' naked back and the absence of flag pins on pols' suits, all the while ignoring the crimes of the most incompetent administration in the last century and the easily predictable, disastrous results of 30 years of neoliberal economics (just two among a host of problems confronting the Republic).

So it is a bittersweet revelation to read John Pilger. Sweet to find that we still have people capable of uncovering the myriad sins committed by our leaders in our name; bitter to read of those sins and how they continue to torment the innocent unrequited (and unlikely ever to be atoned for).

Pilger covers five areas in this book: Diego Garcia, Palestine, India, South Africa and Afghanistan. As Pilger writes in the Introduction: "This book is about empire, its facades and the enduring struggle of people for their freedom. It offers an antidote to authorized versions of contemporary history that censor by omission and impose double standards. It is, I hope, a contribution to what Vandana Shiva calls `an insurrection of subjugated knowledge.'"

The strength of the book lies in how Pilger captures the view of people affected by (in thses cases) American foreign policy (if you can call shilling [whoring?] for corporatist elites a foreign policy) and the contemptuous disdain of our leaders, so enamored with the trappings of power.

It's not all depressing; people continue to struggle against state violence, oppression and iniquity, and sometimes they make progress.