Friday, December 4, 2009

John Cage Review in ARTNews!

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to announce that our John Cage: Zen Ox-Herding Pictures appears in this month's issue of ARTNews! Click on the image above to see the wonderful review from Lilly Wei!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nobel Prize? 30,000 to Afghanistan

As Obama leave for Copenhagen after announcing that he may send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, we wonder: can he accept the Nobel Peace Prize that awaits him in good conscience?

The war in Afghanistan has gone on for 8 years. Sending more troops will only get us deeper and deeper into the conflict. One can only think of Vietnam.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Reminder of Iran's Struggle

On June 20, 2009, Neda Agha-Soltan was slain during the Iranian election riots—a fearless activist, she was shot down and silenced. Images of her death, of the blood gushing from her body, instantly made their way around the world. Neda became a a focus for the Iranian opposition, and a topic of discussion for those had previously ignored Iran's unrest.

Part of me wishes that I had protested in front of the United Nations.

Tonight PBS will air a documentary about Neda, her sacrifice, and the struggle she represents. To say "I'm glad this documentary has been made" seems like an empty gesture, so instead I'll simply ask you to watch it with me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

55 Years of Publishing... And Now This.

George Braziller, Inc., is pleased to announce that our spontaneous, unedited thoughts will now appear in packets of 140 characters or less on a new RSS feed site named "Twitter."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holding the U.S. Accountable

In recent weeks we've read a number of articles criticizing the use of drones in U.S. military operations on the Afghan border. People are asking: How many civilian deaths will result from drone strikes? Are drones accurate enough for use? And now the United Nations wants the U.S. for transparency on the issue:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — The United States must demonstrate that it is not randomly killing people in violation of international law through its use of drones on the Afghan border, a United Nations rights investigator said Tuesday.

The investigator, Philip Alston, also said the American refusal to respond to United Nations concerns that the use of drones might result in illegal executions was an “untenable” position.

Mr. Alston, who is appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, said his concern over drones had grown in the past few months as the American military prominently used them in the rugged area along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said the United States may be using the drones legally but needed to answer questions he raised in June. “Otherwise you have the really problematic bottom line, which is that the Central Intelligence Agency is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws,” he said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home of the Wounded

While we usually focus on brighter news in this blog, today we find it urgently necessary to discuss a very serious issue—the lives of veterans returning home from war. Yesterday's New York Times featured an Op-Ed piece by a wounded soldier, discussing the difficulties he faced in his own life, and the solutions he hopes to find. In response, we want to make sure that his words are heard, and that we make room for further dialogue. If you have comments or experiences you'd like to share, please share them here.

We are proud to have published Wounded, a book that explores this subject in depth, and invite readers to join us in raising awareness of a problem too long ignored.

Maxwell Heller,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tooting our horn a bit for John Cage

The day calls for a little trumpet playing, what with Publishers Weekly unable to get enough of our Fall titles—they highlight John Cage: Zen Ox-Herding Pictures as one of 2009's great illustrated gift books.

Publisher's Weekly valiantly makes the argument for the joys of untying the ribbon, ripping open the wrapping reveal a beautiful old fashioned paper-and-ink book. Or to quote their intro: "As the industry watches--in most quarters nervously--the market for e-books slowly rise, there is consolation for some that, although you can give an e-book away, you can't give it as a gift. And there's no kind of publishing where the old rules still apply quite as surely as in illustrated books, in which full-color format and coffee-table book dimensions are their raison d'etre, and make them ideal for the gift giving season".

Among the many other lovely titles PW choose for the article is another Cage-related title--a book of Gerhard Richter's Cage Paintings with text by Robert Storr-- highlighting once again the ongoing significance of John Cage within the context of contemporary art.

But mostly this is about how great our book is (yes, it does seem to always come back to that.)