Chris Nineham

The Long Road to Baghdad

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Lloyd C Gardner, The New Press, £18.99

This is an important book. It stands out from the growing literature on the build-up to the Iraq war for three reasons. First it has to be amongst the most closely researched and information-rich accounts of how and why US foreign policy has evolved. It provides chapter and verse to show that not just Donald Rumsfeld but George Bush too was pressing to attack Iraq within 24 hours of 9/11. "Go back over everything, everything," Bush reportedly ordered his head of counter-terrorism on 12 September, 2001, "See if Saddam did this.

Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia

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Tate Modern, London, until 26 May

Just before the First World War the cultural world was rocked by a series of dissident artists. They were self-conscious rebels out to shock. They fought convention on many fronts. They used new non-art materials, selected new subject matter, scrapped the conventions of naturalism like perspective, depth and realistic colour, and in general tried to break down the boundaries between art and everyday life.

They have become known as modernists, and the three featured in this exhibition were among the most controversial.

The Shock Doctrine

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Naomi Klein talks about her new book with Chris Nineham and discusses some of the controversies it has raised.

The Shock Doctrine shows in chilling detail how the free market has been backed up with violence over the last 30 years. I suspect it has stirred up a debate already.

It would have been silly of me to spend four years writing a book the thesis of which is, "This is a war, this is a very real battle and there are very real casualties" and then think that the book would be greeted with applause and pats on the head.

Perilous Power

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Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar, Hamish Hamilton, £16.99

The interview format of Perilous Power allows its authors an unusual amount of space to expound their views on 9/11 conspiracies, the rise of Islamism, the Iraqi insurgency, boycotting Israel, the chances of an attack on Iran and a host of other issues.

Hold Everything Dear

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John Berger, Verso, £14.99

John Berger has been writing art criticism and fiction with a very social sense of outrage for nearly five decades. His 1970 TV series and book, Ways of Seeing, made a Marxist approach to art and culture mainstream and him a controversial figure.

Since then, during a time of retreat for the left, Berger has written movingly about hidden suffering and hidden struggles - the plight of immigrants, the marginalisation of committed artists or the resilience of peasants half broken by the world market. In the process his profile if not his stature has declined.

Either Way, They Lose

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By sending thousands more troops to Baghdad, Bush and the neocons have shown their inability to accept defeat but, argues Chris Nineham, the move will expand tensions at home.

Just when it seemed things couldn't get any worse for the US establishment, George Bush's antics have taken panic and division in Washington to new levels. His rejection of the Iraq Study Group report has put Bush on collision course with a cross section of the elder statesmen of the US ruling class including James Baker, the man responsible for ensuring that Bush's dubious election was upheld at the end of 2000.

Future Perfect?

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Review of 'Realizing Hope', Michael Albert, Zed Books £14.99

In this new book Michael Albert develops his ideas about what a liberated "good" society might look like, outlined previously in his book Parecon (short for "participatory economics"). This time he moves beyond economics to speculate about wide areas of everyday life. He goes deeper into the first principles of his thinking.

Modernism: Blueprints for Change?

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Modernism: Designing a New World is the latest Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition. Chris Nineham reflects on the history of modernism and its legacy for today.

More than half a century after its heyday, modernism still riles the right. Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins finds the new exhibition of modernism at the Victoria and Albert Museum "the most terrifying show I have ever seen". He claims that the work of two of the founders of modern architecture, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, "must have caused more misery than any other in history".

Turn on the Light

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Review of Dan Flavin, Hayward Gallery, London

At first Dan Flavin's art feels like pure pleasure. Flavin became famous in the 1960s by working almost exclusively with fluorescent light tubes of various colours. It is extraordinary how his careful positioning of these fingers of light transforms spaces and influences moods.

People wandering about this exhibition look genuinely exhilarated. I can't remember ever seeing children so transfixed at an exhibition - they explore the magically lit spaces with wonder in their eyes.

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