The Emperor's Clothes Recommended Gift List

(Seven gifts for any occasion, for anyone including you...)

Gift #1 - "JUDGMENT!" Video

Produced by Emperor's Clothes and reporters from Serbian TV, this film was shown by Slobodan Milosevic on September 26th at The Hague. It exposes the organized dishonesty behind the demonization of the Serbian people.

That demonization was launched full-force on 6 August 1992. Photos were broadcast on TV in Britain and the U.S., supposedly depicting Muslims imprisoned behind barbed wire in a Serb-run death camp.

But the pictures, taken from video shot by the British news station, ITN, had been staged and doctored. The men were *not* behind barbed wire. They were *not* in a death camp. It was a refugee center - as had to be obvious to Penny Marshall and the rest of the crew from ITN.

Using film shot the same day by a Serbian TV crew that accompanied the ITN people, "JUDGMENT!" shows how the hoax was fabricated.

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cover Gift #2 - "The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925," by Prof. Herb Gutman

Jared Israel comments: The niece of a friend of mine moved from Serbia to the U.S. She called me and during the conversation she mentioned that she had made friends with a Black woman and wanted to read something that would help her better understand Black social history. I mailed her my copy of this book.

It is stunningly researched and written and it exposes a score of demeaning myths about Black people during Slavery. For example: Did Slavery destroy the Black family? It did not. Did Black people take the names of their owners? They did not. Were Slave revolts led by the laziest workers? No, they were led by the most serious and disciplined workers. Was Black culture derived from Slave Owners? It was not. It was an *immigrant* culture, using elements from the past but creating something new. Is it true, as at least one well-known historian has claimed, that Black parents did not suffer when their children were taken from them and sold? No, Gutman proves this is a cruel slander...No summary can do justice to this treasure.

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Gift #3 - "Witness To Jasenovac's Hell," by Ilija Ivanovic.

Jared Israel comments: Jasenovac, run by the clerical-fascist state of Croatia, was the first Nazi death camp in Europe. Emperor's Clothes has 30 Copies of "Witness to Jasenovac Hell" by Ilija Ivanovic, who was imprisoned in Jasenovac as a boy.

If you wish to understand the Holocaust, if you wish to understand why Serbs will not let themselves be ruled by Croatian neo-Fascists and Bosnian Islamic Fundamentalists, read this book. It has a spirit, a passion for decency that inspired me despite the horror.

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cover Gift #4 - "John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings" (Library of America hardcover)

Jared comments: If you suspect that "American culture" is an oxymoron, read Steinbeck. And if you're going to read Steinbeck, there's nothing better than "The Grapes of Wrath." It tells the story of the Joad family, farmers thrown of the land by ruthless capitalists during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The book alternates between chapters about the epic of the Joads and chapters discussing social problems in a way that mixes poetry of language and sizzling brilliance of conception.

Sizzling is the right adjective: Steinbeck's ideas cook like eggs on the pan.

We've linked to two different formats. This is the Library of America hardcover. Below is a softcover version (costs less). I'll use that space to quote a little from the book.

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cover Gift #5 - "The Grapes of Wrath" (20th Century Classics softcover)

Jared comments: Here's a short excerpt:

"The last clear definite function of man - muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need - this is man. To build a wall, to build a house, a dam, and in the wall and house and dam to put something of Manself, and to Manself take back something of the wall, the house, the dam; to take hard muscles from the lifting, to take the clear lines and form from conceiving. For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man - when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back..." (pp. 204-205, softcover edition)

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cover Gift #6 - "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies," by Prof. Jared Diamond

Prof. Francisco Gil-White comments: Countering racist explanations for the differences in development in different parts of the world, Prof. Diamond explains in this sweeping world history the broad patterns of the human saga.

He weaves into his eminently readable narrative a truly spectacular erudition in the fields of archaeology, linguistics, paleoecology, anthropology, and history and evolutionary biology. His argument, in a nutshell, is that accidents of geography blessed the Eurasian land mass with an abundance of easily domesticable plants and animals and also an east-west axis that permitted movements of populations across great distances and hence the sharing of ideas, etc. Anyway, this is a great book -- Francisco Gil-White

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Gift #7 - "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy," by Daniel Lazare.

Francisco Gil-White comments: A most interesting historical critique of the shortcomings (for ordinary people) of the US Constitution.

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