Pirates of the Caribbean

Published by Verso, 2006 (new and updated edition 2008)

A fiery polemic on Latin America’s challenge to US-led neoliberalism

The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela has brought Hugo Chávez to world attention as the foremost challenger of the neoliberal consensus and American foreign policy. Drawing on first-hand experience of Venezuela and meetings with Chávez, Tariq Ali shows how Chávez’s views have polarized Latin America and examines the hostility directed against his administration. Contrasting the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutionary processes, Ali discusses the enormous influence of Fidel Castro on Chávez, President of Bolivia Evo Morales and, in this fully updated edition, the newly elected President of Ecuador Rafael Correa, the latest addition to the “Axis of Hope.” Infused with references to the culture and poetry of South America, Pirates of the Caribbean guides us through a world divided between privilege and poverty, a continent that is once again on the march.

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From the archive

  • International Viewpoint reviews Rough Music

    March 1, 2006

    Rough Music reviewed by Fred LePlat for International Viewpoint, March 2006.

    Tariq Ali’s new short (100 pages) polemical book against New Labour is a must for every socialist. The book was written over the summer, so it is up to date with analysis on the “July days”, the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, and the attacks on civil liberties.

    The actions and words of Blair in his un-ending war against terrorism are scrutinised with a forensic approach, and the hypocrisy the prime minister is laid bare with acerbic wit.

    Probably the most interesting part of the book is the description of the unfolding coup by Blair and Campbell against Greg Dyke and the BBC. If virtually all the newspapers supported uncritically Blair’s drive for war, the BBC felt it had to follow the unfolding events  …

  • Interview: Tariq Ali on Writing Novels

    February 1, 2010

    An interview with Tariq Ali on writing novels, by Maniza Naqvi for 3 Quarks Daily, February 1, 2010

    Maniza Naqvi: You have spent a lifetime leading political, anti war and socialist activism through demonstrations, protest marches; political articles, books, lectures, interviews, and speeches . You have spoken out in all sorts of forums ranging from university settings to the streets during anti war demonstrations. You are noted as the leader of the Left in Europe. You’ve been a hero and example for many of us. So, in all of this, where does writing novels fit in? You have now written five novels, two of which I absolutely loved reading: The Book of Saladin and Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree.

    Tariq Ali: I started writing fiction in 1990. Why? I don’t know. I felt like it  …

  • ‘The Imprisonment of Jafar Panahi’

    March 18, 2010

    ‘The Imprisonment of Jafar Panahi’ by Tariq Ali for The London Review Blog, March 18, 2010

    It’s one of those ironies of history: a by-product of the clerical revolution in Iran was the emergence of a new wave of Iranian cinema. Kiarostami became the most celebrated auteur in the west, but he was part of a much larger creative and critical community. They view each other’s work at rough-cut stage, they comment on scripts, they suggest actors: there is a strong sense of solidarity. The cinematic language is varied, the interior destiny of each filmmaker is different, but even the self-contained Makhmalbaf family benefits from being part of a larger group. Watching their work one can see the influences that stretch from Rossellini, Fellini and Godard to Kurosawa, Ray and Hou Hsia-hsien.

    I’ve always regarded one of this  …