10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, editor
The New Press, 2006
This small book (157 pages), geared toward those considering enlistment, contains 10 essays on topics such as “You may be killed,” and “You may be asked to do things against your beliefs.” Each essay has a different author, including Cindy Sheehan who contributes an essay and an introduction. Like most collections or anthologies, some contributions are stronger than others. The real standouts are pieces written by veterans and others with direct experience with the military. Aimee Allison, a conscientious objector during the Persian Gulf War, contributes a powerful piece telling recruits that they may face discrimination in the military. She combines examples racism and sexism she experienced firsthand with statistics to tell a compelling story. Adele Kubein’s essay on her daughter’s struggle to receive appropriate medical care after being injured in Iraq as a member of the National Guard is equally as convincing. Other strong pieces include Robert Acosta and Nina Berman’s, “You may be injured,” Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg’s “You may be lied to,” and Louis and Marti Hiken’s “You may find it difficult to leave the military.”
Overall, this is a great resource and most of the pieces are well written, but some language is problematic (“You may kill others who don’t deserve to die,” for example. Who decides who deserves to die? Are there people killed during war that do deserve to die?). I think the challenge will be getting it into the hands of individuals who are considering enlistment and their families. But with declining support for the war, this may be the tool many are looking for to talk to their friends and families, including the resource list at the end that covers not only resources for soldiers and their families, but help with alternatives such as other sources of college funding.
Against Civilization: Reading and Reflections.
John Zerzan, ed.
Uncivilized Books, 1999
Admittedly I approached Against Civilization with some skepticism: after all, can’t “civilization” take some of the credit for the standardized written language that allows me to understand the book, or the publishing industry that printed it, or the mail service that brought it to me? At the same time, right there on page one it says “critiques of civilization are nothing new.” So maybe the critique of civilization is part of the package—the doubts and misgivings that can never be fully put to rest, the always open question of whether we have made the right choice. Against Civilization will swiftly bring you up to date on the last few hundred years of this ongoing conversation.
This expanded edition includes 15 new contributions by indigenous and female writers, in an attempt to correct a certain imbalance in the first edition. These inclusions are typically very interesting reading, and many of my favorite passages in the book are drawn from them. Most of the material preserved from the first edition offers the perspective of a privileged white male, and the new additions are a much-needed expansion of critical possibilities. At the same time, there is one idea conspicuously lacking from an otherwise very thorough anthology: that civilization itself is a peculiar type of masculine domination in the home, at work, in public, and over nature. Many selections refer to the origins of civilization in gender-exclusive language, which is a fully appropriate though under-examined choice.
At the same time, Against Civilization is an unusually readable anthology. The selections are short and to the point, so there is no chance to get lost in some arcane argument and lose sight of why you were interested in this book in the first place. Moreover, it’s practically an encyclopedia of fascinating approaches to thinking about what’s wrong with the way we live. It raises so many interesting questions and at the same time demands that you start to answer them on your own. After all, at least on an individual level we can choose just how “civilized” we want to be: how we dress, what we eat, where and how we live and work are the fabric of civilization, our response to a “hostile” environment from which we attempt to wrest our survival.
The ideas in this book range from the sublime to the ridiculous: here’s a short sample of the ones that struck me. Our medical system has an infinity of ways to prevent death, but it has no definition of what health really is. How perverted is it to think backwards from the grave, rather than forward from the womb? “Primitive” peoples actually came a lot closer to the ideal of an affluent society than we have. Their needs were defined by what they themselves could attain, rather than some remote, seductive fantasy of extreme wealth that they will in all likelihood never experience… In some hunter-gatherer communities it is actually an affront to say “thank you” for food that is shared with you—sharing is an expectation, not an exception, and “civilized” expressions of gratitude are interpreted as calculating and selfish… Collisions between birds and aircraft have become so expensive to the military that they have invented a “rooster booster” which hurls a chicken carcass into a running propeller to study the damage… This is our footprint. Watch your step.
- Tom Snell
Against the New Authoritarianism:
Politics after Abu Ghraib
Henry A. Giroux
Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2005
In his latest book, Against the New Authoritarianism, Giroux exposes the cogs of the present political machine as well as the oil that lubricates it. If you are not outraged or enlightened by the time you finish this book, read it again, because Giroux crams a lot of information into under 200 pages. And as if that’s not enough, Giroux takes the reader on a “cite-seeing” adventure at the end of each chapter. Don’t worry; most sources are available online to read at your leisure.
The book delves into the events after September 11 that molded the base of Bush’s push for an authoritarian form of government. This type of society views examples of public discourse with the same regard as a child’s temper tantrum: Daddy knows best and will protect you. Giroux links this rise in indifference to human rights and suffering with the influence that the Christian Right, major corporations, and media moguls have on setting US policy at home and abroad.
At the same time, an eerie mind-set comes into play: Either you are with us or against us. Giroux demonstrates how Bush filets the English language into sound bite-sized jargon and feeds it to the media while opportunists jump on the bandwagon to back the Administration. After all, who wants to be labeled “unpatriotic”?
If you think all this reads like a bad Tom Clancy novel, you’re right. Unfortunately in this case, truth is stranger than fiction. With the authoritarian attitude in place that under the Bush regime, the United States can do no wrong, atrocities like Abu Ghraib may only be the beginning.
But Giroux does offer hope in the form of education. First we choose to get involved and teach others to recognize what is happening and those taught teach others. Consequently we can unravel the corporate flag cloaking our nation and reweave one to again stand for democracy.
Common Courage Press, 2005
Hephalumps and Woozels:
First the good news: Joshua Frank is a first-rate journalist who's written a superbly researched, incisive book about who and what the Democrats really are. Now the bad news: Joshua Frank is a first-rate journalist who's written a superbly researched, incisive book about who and what the Democrats really are.
Depending upon your outlook, you may not care that there are still real journalists out there, like Frank, who are willing to search for and describe the truth. You may be one of those "fundamentalist" types who still believe what Mommy and Daddy and whatever relevant Authorities told you when you were one to ten years old – the years of impression, the mind-minting years, the years of language-acquisition and consequently, myth acquisition: that the Democrats are the "party of opposition," the defenders of "the little guy" and all that's worth fighting for. Mr. Smith goes to Washington, etc.
Read full review ...
Hellen van Meene: Portraits
Hellen van Meene, photos
Kate Bush, text
Aperture Foundation, 2004
The photographic work included in Helen van Meene’s: Portraits is inward and melancholy with an unsettling element. Her young models’ eyes are downcast, closed, or gazing off to one side of the frame. They are engaged in their own worlds, paying no mind to the viewer.
There are some recurring themes. Many of the models are stuck on something: delicately arranged hair tied to branches, arms trapped in a skirt, a head in a waste basket. There are children lying still dressed and in the bath, heads in profile floating in a sink or a basin, a girl in a wet blouse, or crouched in a puddle. We are catching solitary moments of these models or characters. Some seem less believable as an everyday reality, but these make just as compelling a narrative.
Kate Bush’s essay does a good job placing van Meene’s work in the context of contemporary art. However, it leaves me confused as to why van Meene is obsessively focused on making highly staged images of adolescence. The images are interesting and beautiful regardless of the artist’s reasons for making them.
Last Week’s Apocalypse
Night Shade Books, 2006
The literary equivalent of the Talking Heads’ bitter classic “Life During Wartime,” Last Week’s Apocalypse visits the lives of a handful of people living different variations on the theme of Portland, Oregon. Some exist in the present time, or a time very much like the present; others inhabit various near futures. As the world goes to hell, these ordinary people find ways to cope, or — more often — to stick their heads in the sand. In “The Sea Monkey Conspiracy,” a psychology student analyzes television news so that he doesn’t have to think about what he’s watching. In “’84 Regress,” a young couple takes drugs that disguise the drabness of today as the gee-whiz shiny silver future. In “I Read the News Today,” nuclear warfare takes a back seat to revelations of adultery. Everyone is running in place, and as the bomb drops and aliens land and material goods crumble away, they cling to the illusion of normalcy with all their strength, knowing that it’s all they have left.
I recently read “On a Scale of One to Three” (in which a doctor tells his son that a woman dying of radiation poisoning is just having a mild heart attack) aloud to friends and was startled when they started giggling at parts I thought were troubling, wrenching, and sad; yet I also had to hold back laughter by the time I reached the end of the story. It was the sort of laugh you inadvertently emit when you’re trying to cheer up someone in terrible circumstances, when a friend asks you a question of emotion or conscience that hits a little too close to home, when you’re so appalled by what just happened that you find yourself trying to ward it off with disbelief and mockery. Lain has a gift for finding the small, intensely personal tragedies of modern life and presenting them with a stark simplicity that calls up surprisingly strong emotional reactions. He never preaches; his narration often has the flat affect of the deeply depressed or disturbed. His characters believe themselves to be prisoners of their circumstances and their minds, to the point where you want to shake them and shout at them to wake up and take control. In a way, the collection is a paradoxical call to activism, not through polemics but through the exhibition of people driven to madness and despair and the occasional brilliant but short-lived revelation by their circumstances. It seems to say, “This could be you. What are you going to do about it?” After reading this collection, you will no longer be satisfied with not having an answer to that question.
The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster New York, 2005
We Michiganders are a strange breed. We come from a wilderness that was chewed up and spit out by industry. Every fall, businesses shut down and deer carcasses grow on the roofs of vehicles. We tend to be descended from people who didn’t fit in or got kicked out of other places and signed up for some free land up north near the frigid lakesides. Like local native Madonna, we get through long winters by regularly trading in our public identities. Also like Madonna, we get the hell outta there. We roam the continent in old salt-rust scarred cars. We gawk at the world innocently but with a strange sense of humor formed by postindustrial decay. We enjoy the reputation for being tough motherfuckers that comes with having survived the economic version of a neutron bomb and for being from the land of Hoffa. We get through difficult situations with a combination of hardened numbness and excruciatingly polite mannerisms. After you’ve been to Autoworld, there’s not much absurdity that’s going to phase you.
In his book of short stories, “The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas,” Davy Rothbart establishes himself as one of the emerging voices of the Michigan Diaspora. He grew up in the poor and deolate sections just outside of snobby liberal Ann Arbor where I moved to with my mom when I was fifteen. Davy Rothbart is best known for having started the small media empire that is FOUND Magazine which curates what people find on the ground and in the trash and send to him. His goofy accent is frequently heard on the public radio program “This American Life”, where he can be heard doing things like taking his psychic channeling mom to Brazilian faith healing camps and asking Mr. Rogers about a real Chicago neighborhood.
In this book, there are eight stories filled with convicts, bad situations, dysfunctional families, Chicago, bad parties, difficult relationships, dark little towns, and odd little moments of beauty. The stories blast forth with a narrative strength that comes from a people that sit around all winter drinking, repeating, and honing their anecdotes. Some read like biography. Some are clearly fictional. They all are about the quiet dignity and everyday weirdness of people surfing their way through the absurd situations they find themselves in.
-Chris “Spam” White
Making American Boys:
Boyology and the Feral Tale
Kenneth B. Kidd
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
In Making American Boys, Kenneth Kidd tracks the construction of white middle class masculinity through the lens of “boy culture” — stories, 4H programs, guides, and psychological analysis of boyhood from the late nineteenth century to contemporary child rearing advice. Kidd makes a well-researched and interesting argument about the construction of middle class white US boyhood. That boyhood is defined and circumscribed by the feral tale — the idea that boys are wild and untamed, and that training and instruction are provided for the feral boy to “evolve” into the civilized adult white middle class man. Kidd is very clear about the racism of the construction, and offers numerous examples of feral boys compared to both animals and to men of color — there’s a brief discussion of this phenomenon in England, with the books of Rudyard Kipling being the tool by which young English boys are compared to the “wild” peoples of India. The book also discusses “boyology.” The last section of the book takes the feral tale’s location in psychoanalysis, illustrating the emergence of the tale in the works of Freud, and the general prominence and popularity of psychoanalysis in the US as it relates to narratives regarding childhood. The book’s final connection to the feral tale is to current parenting manuals, advice shows, and other media productions where we learn about what it is to be a boy. The connection is convincing — particularly in light of reporting on the purportedly ever-shrinking attention spans of boys, the supposedly new and monstrous behavior of boys, and the general need of parents and other adults to be constantly on the lookout for potentially destructive behavioral impulses. There’s also a brief and interesting conversation about the heterosexism inherent in this argument — that the flip side of feral boys, feminized boys, are also, apparently, as deeply destructive to boys as lifelong feral status. As a book of sociology, this book is surprisingly entertaining to read — especially to those of those who spend a lot of time thinking about where our ideas about gender and sex come from.
Not a Minute More:
Ending Violence Against Women
Written and Published by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2005
UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) has been improving women’s lives since its establishment in 1976. Not a Minute More is an official UNIFEM report that provides an overview of the gains in global women’s rights and explores the many roadblocks to ensuring women’s safety and freedom.
Since the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1979, NGOs, governments large and small, and a multitude of other actors have been making progress in the fight to end violence against women. Not a Minute More highlights legal, institutional, and research contributions to this cause.
UNIFEM champions their own efforts, but does not fail to stress that the improvement of women’s lives is the work of international and regional organizations, and individuals. One of the benefits of the book is that it provides snapshots of specific regions such as North Africa, Moldova, and the European Union. The purpose of the report, however, is not to give in depth analysis, but a summary of the movement.
One strength of the report is the substantial section on legal reforms. Legislation on domestic violence and gender-based violence was not easily gained, and is still missing from the agenda in many countries. The struggle to follow through and effectively implement progressive legislation is a discussion that the report does not shy away from. Getting law enforcement and other front line workers to carry out anti-violence laws continues to be a challenge.
Not a Minute More provides a realistic report on the movement to end violence against women around the world. Progress is noted, but more importantly, UNIFEM stresses that more energy, time, and a greater commitment of resources is needed to continue the fight.
-Michelle M. Alletto
Patriots Act: Voices of Dissent: An Oral History
The Lyons Press, 2006
Patriots Act could have been a pivotal book. The oral histories of activists of varying stripes hold much in the way of promise. Hearing from a variety of people who loved our country enough to stand up to its government could be inspiring, but Bill Katovsky’s latest book needs some revamping.
Throughout Patriots Act we hear firsthand accounts from everyday citizens who’ve done extraordinary things as well as government officials who blew whistles and ruffled feathers. Where the book falls short is not so much in its purpose as in its delivery. The stories you hear seem unedited and at times ramble along. You hear distinct, real voices (good) but with that comes some long-winded styles (bad).
The book asks important questions: What does it mean to be an American today? What is freedom? Who has it? The courage of each of the patriots within the pages can not be denied. Their sacrifices for freedom, their ability and willingness to force introspection when many want to do nothing deserves enormous respect. The book simply does not do the acts justice.
-Heather Myrick Stocker
Rove Exposed: How Bush’s Brain Fooled America
James Moore & Wayne Slater
The Hammer Comes Down: The Nasty, Brutish, and Shortened Political Life of Tom DeLay
Lou Dubose & Jan Reid
Public Affairs, 2006
Damaged people in a damaged system, Tom DeLay and Karl Rove are both examples of how misanthropic behavior is often rewarded in American public life. In a very real sense, 21st century America is Tom and Karl’s world. And the rest of us are just forced to live in it.
Every Clamor reader knows who these guys are. Rove, the feral intelligence behind the proudly stupid Bush administration and DeLay, the corrupt and thuggish master of the “people’s house” — the US House of Representatives. As of this writing, DeLay is under indictment and has had to step down as House Majority Leader (but not as member of Congress from TX-22) and Deputy Chief of Staff Rove faces a federal grand jury investigation from his office in the White House. But that’s not the story here. Whether either or both end up serving out their remaining years on the taxpayer’s dime in jail jumpsuits, they have still won. They have proven what they set out to prove: If you’re a big enough asshole, if you’re willing to ignore any ethical constraint, and if you’re completely uninterested in anyone’s well-being save that of yourself and of those to whom you toady, you can come out ahead in American politics. Short jail terms will not undo what they’ve both done, what they’ve both built.
Angry white men are made, not born, and Tom and Karl both have plenty of anger. DeLay’s dad was, in his son’s words, a “domineering alcoholic” often absent on oil rigs. Rove never knew his biological father and his stepfather (who Rove believed to be his father) left his family while Rove’s mother later committed suicide. Both Rove and DeLay were aware early on that the world was not waiting for them and both harbor a resentment of the people that they’ve viewed as their social betters. Joe Neely, a dentist who lived next to Rove gives a telling example. Fighting over a boundary on their lawns, Neely and Rove feuded for several years. Neely, tired of avoiding his neighbor’s gaze, went over one day to bury the hatchet. Rove said forget it, he could never forgive what his neighbor had said to him. Perplexed, Neely asked what it was. Rove replied, “You said you moved out here to get away form people like me.” Neely was stunned — he’d never said anything of the kind. Rove had fabricated this reason to be bitter out of whole cloth and seemingly believed it. A similar sense that people who considered themselves superior were looking down on DeLay also mark his career.
Books like these serve a valuable purpose in documenting the despicable actions of these bastards, but ultimately these creeps are symptom, not disease. In a democratic society, the disease can only be cured by organizing and making sure people like Rove and DeLay are never again given access to power. Let’s hope that the subjects of the next generation of political biography are the organizing, the leaders, the people, and the communities who make Rove and DeLay’s misanthropic style of politics history.
Sex and War
Soft Skull Press, 2006
Stan Goff was the ultimate warrior, a combat-hardened member of the Rangers, Special Forces, and Delta Force. His conscience proved stronger than his military indoctrination, however, and he quit and turned against the state’s institution of terror. Once outside it, he devoted himself to understanding the social and psychosexual roots of organized violence. Sex and War is his third and most ambitious book on this topic.
Stan Goff constructed this book as a mosaic form. Each piece has its own discrete integrity, and it also fits together with the others into a whole. Sex and War is written in riffs and blips, in shards with lots of edges. Some English comp instructors would give it a D for organization. But this seems the right form for this topic in our fragmented times. When the reader pulls back from the pieces, the overall pattern emerges. The book has two perspectives: in your face and off the wall.
Goff writes often with grace, always with energy, and almost always with clarity, but his zest for theory sometimes propels him into convoluted, abstract sentences that require a second reading, though the backpedaling is worthwhile. He flashes from vivid descriptions of his military operations, through stories of the plight of women forced to live under patriarchal militarism to insightful renderings of the stunted psyches of warriors and Marxist analysis of the US’s violent drive for hegemony, while connecting us to the work of other writers on these issues.
He gives us insider reports on the military mentality and makes clear the inevitability of atrocities. Then, in a synaptic leap, he shows that the abuse of women is a similar syndrome but much more widespread throughout society. In his portrait of a Delta Force friend turned rapist, we see how rape in all its varieties is a mainstay of patriarchy as a whole, not just its military branch.
Goff was a medic, among other things, in the Special Forces. Now he emerges as a diagnostician of the pandemic pathology of our culture. And like a good medic, he has suggestions for curing us of this disease of sexualized violence.
Sex and War is both a personal and an analytical tour de force. It’s a book that only Stan Goff could write, and I’m very glad he did.
-William T. Hathaway
Scissor Press, Winter 2006
I don’t read zines because I want to be cool or alternative. I read zines because most of them are much better than mainstream magazines. Verbicide is yet more proof that the zine world is producing more interesting and thoughtful writing than anything Conde Nast has going on. Verbicide, a tri-annual zine dedicated to punk, art, and literature, combines interviews with famous and not-so-famous musicians, with well-written fiction, essays on art, and reviews of books, films, and albums.
There is a youthful energy to this that I really dug. The writers are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and talented. The interview with Chuck D. is a perfect example. It’s obvious that interviewer Avir Mitra is stoked to be talking to one of his heroes, and his excitement comes through without him seeming like a dilettante. He asks Chuck D. questions about everything from the state of today’s youth to the war on terror, and Chuck comes off like a slightly bemused elder statesman.
The review section was pretty good, full of honest opinions on a slew of punk and metal releases. I have to admit I was pretty weirded out by the Mormom kid who quoted scripture in his review of Christian hardcore albums. I hate to be judgmental, but to me Christian punk makes about as much sense as white supremacist gangsta rap.
Everything in the zine is approached with a positive attitude by people hungry to create, rather than hell-bent on being jaded and critical. The fiction is pretty good, and there are some interesting articles on artists I hadn’t heard of. Verbicide is a solid effort, and a worthy addition to your zine collection.
-Patrick Sean Taylor
White Slave Crusades: Race, Gender and Anti-Vice Activism 1887-1917
University of Illinois Press, 2006
“White slaves” was the popular term in the late 19th and early 20th century U.S. for women working in the sex industry, even though many such women were actually African-Americans or immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and therefore not considered “white” at the time. The reformers who organized to abolish the sex trade during this period were largely white and from well-established “native-born American” backgrounds. These reformers popularized an image of a corrupt underworld system in which women and girls were “lured” or “forced” into “white slavery” and exploited by “white slavers” — the pimps and brothel owners vilified as “foreign” and a threat to “native-born” Americans. Yet, anti-white slavery activists were not uniformly against immigrants or in favor of repressive social policies; they included women’s suffrage and temperance activists, workers in the settlement house movement, and missionaries who worked with immigrant populations. Many of these organizations and individuals would have described themselves as advocates for immigrants, blacks, workers, and women, as well as critics of at least some of the excesses of capitalism.
In this book, Brian Donovan looks at the complex racial and gender politics of the movement against white slavery, and the part it played in developing new ideas about race in the United States. Racial terms used in the mid -1800’s distinguished between native-born, or “Anglo Saxon” Americans, other Europeans, African-Americans, and people of mixed African and European ancestry. As the European immigrant population grew, and white native-born elites sought to solidify their control over newly free African-Americans, the idea developed of a “white” race made up of Europeans and a “colored “ race made up of people with any African ancestry at all.
After reviewing and engaging with other research about the development of the idea of race, relationships between conceptions of gender, sexuality, and race, and some of the cultural and economic history of this period, Donovan looks in detail at efforts against white slavery in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. He concludes that the movement’s rhetoric set up norms of male and female sexuality that incorporated taboos against sexual and social mixing between “whites” and “blacks.” Europeans who conformed to these norms came to be accepted as “white.”
This, however, is an oversimplification of what this book does. Most of it deals with description and analysis of activism against white slavery in these three cities. The in-depth look at different individuals and organizations with their different ideologies, influences, internal contradictions, and interactions with each other is White Slave Crusades’ richest aspect. Particularly illuminating is its look at white slavery literature from the period, including journalistic accounts, pamphlets warning about the danger of white slavery, and “white slave narratives,” that ostensibly told true stories of former white slaves. The material makes for a considered, nuanced look at the basis of socially accepted ideas about race, and at the way social movements can operate with blind spots about class, race, gender and other hierarchies.
Wireless Networking in the Developing World
Rob Flickenger, ed.
With the advent of wireless networking and its subsequent popularity, the cost of providing Internet access to communities is starting to fall. However, many communities worldwide still do not have this technology because they lack the knowledge required to start such a network. But a new effort aims to change that. Wireless Networking in the Developing World: A Practical Guide to Planning and Building Low-Cost Telecommunications Infrastructure aims to make Internet access a reality by bridging this knowledge gap.
The manual — available for free on the Internet — is written by a global team of people including open source experts, software developers, social technology advocates, even a former military paratrooper and insect scientist, who found common ground in bringing Internet capabilities to places that previously had none. True to its title, the vast majority of the 254-page book consists of practical information about the logistics of developing a network. As a result of the contributors’ hands-on experience in the field, the book is greatly enriched by the inclusion of a chapter dedicated to case studies, complete with trials and tribulations, both technical and human, in setting up wireless networks in specific sites.
Community involvement is a crucial element of this project. As a result, the book is written for people who wish to develop wireless Internet networks in their local communities and stresses the need for group participation at all stages. While this book is of import, it is only the kernel of a larger project, which consists of a number of other supporting resources. These include: a PDF version of the book, a website, an archived mailing list (to promote discussion of the book), training course materials, information about the latest equipment, lists of pertinent websites, and a wiki. Clearly, this project is an organic and interactive one, as the authors actively solicit feedback and continually update their materials.
In order to encourage the spread of these materials, the book and the PDF file have been released under a “creative commons” license which means anyone is allowed to make copies of the book and even sell it for profit as long as the authors are credited for producing the work and the copies carry the same copyright rules. The group is also working on translating it into Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and other languages. An ambitious project with a promising start, Wireless Networking in the Developing World is pushing the reach of the Internet, and helping others help themselves.