Edwards does a great service for the public by turning the spotlight of disclosure on this dark corner of international...

SHADOW COURTS

THE TRIBUNALS THAT RULE GLOBAL TRADE

TIME investigative reporter Edwards charges that the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement tribunals at the heart of many current trade deals represent a major shift in global relations in favor of private corporate interests.

These tribunals set up arbitration procedures separate and exempt from the judicial systems and laws of the participating states, and taxpayers of those states can be held financially liable for private investor losses. This can include potential future losses as compensation for government actions against private investments. TransCanada, for example, is presently attempting to extract $15 billion from American taxpayers as compensation for potential losses from the denial of the Keystone XL pipeline project. The company claimed that President Barack “Obama’s decision to block the project violated the North American Free Trade Agreement.” As the author clearly shows, ISDS is involved in many bilateral trade agreements between nations, beginning with the first one in 1969. Edwards also believes that U.S. policymakers, in their enthusiasm for the potential of the mechanism when used against relatively powerless nations, overlooked the possibilities of its use against the U.S. The provision was included in NAFTA, writes the author, because “U.S. and Canadian investors operating in Mexico would need a way to avoid capricious Mexican courts.” The growth in the number of agreements featuring such provisions has been quick. By the early 1990s, there were a few hundred, but “as of 2015, there were more than 3,000.” Furthermore, their use against emerging economies has accelerated markedly—Argentina has faced 54 of them—and the huge increase in foreign investment in the U.S. assures they will be used here, too. This troubling trend has spawned an unanticipated permanent structure of well-paid arbitrators developing their own private body of “law,” outside any properly constituted legal system, to the detriment of states and their taxpayers.

Edwards does a great service for the public by turning the spotlight of disclosure on this dark corner of international relations.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9971264-0-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Columbia Global Reports

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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