Deadly Baggage: What Cortés Brought to Mexico and How It Destroyed the Aztec Civilization

Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. 2015

Deadly Baggage book cover

Deadly Baggage: What Cortés Brought to Mexico and How It Destroyed the Aztec Civilization explains the success of the famous Cortés expedition not by description of the personalities and actions of the key players in a historical drama but in terms of the conquest’s underlying biology, history, geology, technology, geography, and culture. Deadly Baggage includes maps and illustrations.

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Selected bibliography

Press release

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The Taming of the American Crowd: From Stamp Riots to Shopping Sprees

Monthly Review Press, 2009

Barbara Ehrenreich called this book “a unique blend of popular culture and working class history—written with great flair. . . . ” CHOICE’s Current Reviews for Academic Libraries described Taming as “impassioned, with apt examples,” predicted that it would become a standard reference that is “highly recommended” for all levels of libraries, and selected the book as an outstanding academic title for 2010.

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Selected bibliography

Press release [PDF]

Review from Labor History

Listen to an interview about  Taming on KPFK

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Plundertown, USA: Coos Bay Enters the Global Economy

Hancock House in 2003

Plundertown book coverAround 2000 I visited the coastal town in Oregon where I’d spent my childhood. I was appalled by the changes that I saw there and inspired to write this book, which though no longer in print, is easily obtained through Amazon. Ariel Dorfman said of Plundertown, “By taking this heart-rending journey into his own luminous past and the more remote and somber past of the lumber town where he grew up, Al Sandine has masterfully laid bare some of the most crucial issues facing America and the world today.” Plundertown includes many photos of the Coos Bay area, past and present.

I have been a mill worker, freeway landscape groomer, claims investigator, free-clinic counselor, information officer, arbitrator, and insurance auditor. I have a graduate degree, and I’ve written many articles for political newsletters. I’ve been politically active, I’ve traveled widely, and I’ve lived in the Bay Area for many years. I look to my spouse, a clinical psychologist, for love and affection, practical advice, and better judgment than mine. I also paint.

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Cultural Impersonations & Appropriations: A Fashion Report,” Monthly Review 62.4 (September 2010).