Pimp My (Friends’) Books


I don’t usually write about music or journalism produced by friends or colleagues, but when friends or colleagues happen to produce badass work, I gotta give due credit.

The San Francisco-based Mac McClelland, a former colleague of mine at Mother Jones, recently wrote a book about refugees from Burma called For Us Surrender is out of the Question, after living with refugees there in 2006. She tackles her subject with such a candid sense of humor that prompted me to tell her in a recent email that she was completely “punk rock.” She agreed.

Milan-based Joel Schalit, a fellow skateboarder and musician who gave me much journalistic motivation while living in London last year, recently wrote a book called Israel vs. Utopia, about Israel’s perceived identity in the West. This from the same writer who taught me to pay more attention to fliers, graffiti, adverts, street signs, menus, and other things you pass every single day.

Reactions to Joel’s work are here. More about Mac is here. Coincidentally, Schalit is the former associate editor of Punk Planet, which was published by Soft Skull Press, the same folks who published McClelland’s book.

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