Interview

'Workers' control in Venezuela cannot be implemented by decree. It has to be built and it advances as a process.'

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Steve Mather talks to Venezuelan workers and activists who are attempting to shape the unfolding revolutionary process and looks at those who are determined to stop them.

It is only a matter of days until the presidential elections, and Venezuelan society is in a state of suspended animation with all other political battles on hold. The ruptures within President Hugo Chavez's camp have been bandaged up for now. The energies of those who are against Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution" have been channelled into the campaign of Chavez's opponent, Manuel Rosales. Rosales, who supported the defeated coup against Chavez in 2002, is the only opposition candidate with significant popular support.

Interview: Tariq Ali

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'The history of the development of Islamic civilisation is one of adaption and intermingling. It is one of both influencing the non-Islamic world and being influenced by it.' Tariq Ali challenges the myth that Islam is incompatible with the West in his four novels about the Muslim world and Europe. He discussed them with Talat Ahmed.

Since Jack Straw made his comments on the veil, politicians have been falling over themselves to demonise Muslims in Britain. Now university lecturers are expected to spy on "Asian-looking" students in order to spot potential terrorists, while parents are warned to be on the look out for "fundamentalist" tendencies among their children. Britain seems to be in the grip of an anti-Muslim hysteria that has been gathering pace for some time. Tariq Ali's four novels on Islam and its relationship to Europe provide not only welcome relief but also an antidote.

Interview: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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'My book is not just about people thrown into a war where we watch them die. It is about people who have full lives and how war changes them'. The award winning author of Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, talks to Charlie Kimber about her new novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, set during the Biafran War.

Although she is only 29 years old, the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has won wide acclaim. Her first novel Purple Hibiscus was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Booker.

Her latest book, Half of a Yellow Sun, focuses on the Biafran War.

Feeling the Heat?

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Governments and big business clamour to show their green credentials but their 'solutions' fall way short of what is necessary. George Monbiot talked to Andrew Stone about his new book, Heat, and the more radical policies he believes are essential.

George Monbiot does not start Heat, his prospectus for fighting climate change, with melting glaciers or parched soil. He begins with the metaphor of Faust, the 16th century cautionary tale popularised by dramatist Christopher Marlowe in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus: "Faust is a man who swaps the long term for the short term," he tells me, "in order to have 24 years of indulging himself to the absolute limit. He strikes a deal with the devil. He can get whatever he wants now, in return for eternal damnation. He refuses to believe that eternal damnation is a reality.

Andrew Glyn: 'Will we face a dystopia in which very large numbers of less qualified and poorly paid people exist to service the consumption needs of the rich?'

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Andrew Glyn has been a prominent left wing economist for more than 35 years. He talks to Rob Hoveman about his latest book Capitalism Unleashed.

Andrew Glyn's previous books sought to analyse the factors which moved the world economy from its "golden age" of strong growth before 1973 into the subsequent period of mass unemployment, lower growth and greater instability.

Interview: Ariel Levy

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'Raunch culture isn't about opening our minds to the possibilities of sexuality. It's about reiterating one particular shorthand for sexiness'

In her book Ariel Levy decries the rise of "raunch culture", which sees pornography and stripping passed off as a form of women's liberation. Levy spoke to Judith Orr about her work and the debates it has sparked.

From "Bus Pass Boob Jobs", the title of a recent Channel 4 programme about women over 60 getting breast implants, to the packed pole dancing classes at Cambridge university - society seems to be embracing an image of women's sexuality that in the past would have been identified with the world of pornography.

The Myths of Nuclear Power

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The renowned anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott has written a new book entitled Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. She spoke to Martin Empson about her work.

ME: The British government claims that nuclear power is a "carbon neutral" form of energy generation, and so does not contribute to global warming. Can you explain why, as you argue in your book, this isn't the case?

'I think they've identified the wrong war. They think it's between whites and Arabs. But above all, it's a war between rich and poor.'

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Faïza Guène grew up in Pantin, a banlieue north of Paris. Her first book, Just Like Tomorrow, sold over 200,000 copies in France. She spoke to Jim Wolfreys about being a French-Arab and the recent struggles that shook France.

In 2004, 20 year old Faïza Guène wrote Kiffe Kiffe Demain, the wry, sardonic story of Doria, a teenage girl growing up in the impoverished suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis north east of Paris with her Moroccan mother. The book, perkily translated and due to be published in Britain this month as Just Like Tomorrow, has become a publishing phenomenon in France, with over 200,000 copies sold. From September it will be a set text in French schools.

'Playing jazz is a form of resistance. It's about being independent and not conforming. But resistance can also mean standing up to authority'

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Composer and multi-instrumentalist Courtney Pine spoke to Martin Smith about how the battle against prejudice has been a backdrop to his musical career, and about his new album, Resistance.

In 1986 a 22 year old jazz musician from north London released his first solo album, Journey To The Urge Within. His name was Courtney Fitzgerald Pine. The album was a huge hit, breaking into the British Top 40, the first album by a British jazz artist to do so. It established Courtney Pine as a leading figure in the jazz scene. Twenty years later he has just released his 11th album, the critically acclaimed Resistance. He took time out from his 40-date tour to speak to SR about it.

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