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nerd teacher [books] Locked account

Joined 1 year, 7 months ago

Anarchist educator who can be found at where I muse about school and education-related things, and all my links are here. My non-book posts are mostly at, occasionally I hide on, or you can email me at [they/them]

I was a secondary literature and humanities teacher who has swapped to being a tutor, so it's best to expect a ridiculously huge range of books.

And yes, I do spend a lot of time making sure book entries are as complete as I can make them. Please send help.

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nerd teacher [books]'s books

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Revolting Prostitutes (2018, Verso Books) 4 stars

You hear that selling sex is degrading; you hear that no one would ever choose …

A Topic More People Need to Explore

4 stars

This book is one of the few that I found that talk about sex workers in a nuanced light. This is largely because it's a book that's by sex workers, and that makes all the difference.

As someone reads through it, they'll start seeing the connections between a lot of different issues and sex work in particular: trans and queer issues, homelessness, misogyny and violence against women, migrant issues, race, and so on. It provides one more link in a chain that highlights the ways in which everything is connected, which is something that more people really need to be cognizant of.

There are a few parts that I take issue with, and it's largely because they try to be... more polite to people than I think they ought to be. There's a part of the text where they say something along the lines that they want to sit down …

The Anarchist Expropriators (2016, AK Press) 3 stars

Osvaldo Bayer's study of working-class retribution, set between 1919 and 1936, chronicles hair-raising robberies, bombings, …

Drags on, for as short as it is.

3 stars

I can't tell if it's because of the translation or if it's just... not great. Or maybe it's both? But either way, it really is quite tedious for something that you think would be engaging and interesting. It really was a struggle for it to hold my attention, which was... weird considering expropriation is a topic that I'm rather interested in.

There's also little real commentary about expropriation and the ways of doing it. It's more like a bit of a story of individual events that all were, to some extent connected. Which is fine, but that wasn't really what I was sold. And it comes off as being a bit... obnoxious because it refuses to really acknowledge that there is a place for expropriation, though we need to have less of a masculinist tendency behind it (which would've been an interesting point to engage with, since it was also …

Independent Diplomat 3 stars

Although diplomats negotiate more and more aspects of world affairs--from trade and security issues to …

Most of this is obvious, but it's still good to say.

3 stars

The book details a lot of the author's growing discomfort working in the UN and with international diplomacy through formal organisations. Each essay focuses on slightly different topics, though most of them are interconnected and refer back to each other.

A lot of it is pretty interesting from an 'insider' perspective, but it also doesn't really go far enough. Perhaps it was because I was introduced to Carne Ross through It's Going Down, but I was expecting something... more.

It completes with an essay about their Independent Diplomat organisation, which is... I guess useful. But I don't think it does what the author's pointing out is the problem. Just because Ross helps the government of Kosovo in the UN, it doesn't mean that they're helping Kosovars in the world. Perhaps it's making it slightly easier, but it's also still maintaining the hierarchies that people still suffer under. Maybe the context …

The God Delusion (Paperback, 2007, Black Swan) 1 star

It is a smaller version of the Black Swan edition.

This book wouldn't have even aged well in 2006.

1 star

Content warning Discusses apologia of rape, abuse, and CSA; includes conversations of various bigotries (spin a wheel, and I promise it's there).

The Ignorant Schoolmaster 3 stars

The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation is a 1987 book by philosopher Jacques …


3 stars

I'm baffled by this text and how often it floats around spaces filled with "radical pedagogues," how often it's cited as something that has shown people what they didn't know. That's fine. I'm not against texts that make people aware of something, nor am I against people finding something in places where I do not.

But this book is baffling. Its construction is confusing, and much of it feels apocryphal while told as fact. It swims between multiple perspectives without really claiming any beyond seeking to reform the school system, and that's the part I take most issue with. It is a reformist text, seeking to make it clear that what we're doing is wrong but not so completely wrong that we can't salvage it. At best, I think it was misguided when it was published, and its philosophical discussions have been outdated since before then.

I also cannot figure …

Black Flag Boricuas (2013, University of Illinois Press) 3 stars

This pathbreaking study examines the radical Left in Puerto Rico from the final years of …

Interesting, but not because the author intended that.

3 stars

First and foremost: There is not nearly enough written about anarchist movements outside of the US, Spain, and Kropotkin. That's absurd, and it's also tiresome. It leaves out a lot of characters and a lot of movements, and it enables people (particularly those in Western Europe and the Anglophone world) to pretend that some things haven't been said or done. There's a lot of history missing, and it's ridiculous.

Which is really why this book is interesting. It's history that is rarely covered, but it's written in the most boring way possible. It's like a timeline filled with names and dates; it's a narrated chronology, with minimal description of events or people (except a handful). And the analysis is sorely lacking.

There are moments where the author fails to recognise what colonialism is, how it has impacted loads of people, and that people in empires built on colonialism and imperialism …