Susan Babbitt

Susan E. Babbitt is associate professor in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario, Canada. She received a PhD at Cornell University with a dissertation on rationality. As university professor, she specialized in feminism, moral psychology, epistemology and the philosophy of science.

Starting in 1993, she spent large accounts of time in Cuba, eventually organizing a popular for-credit Philosophy course at the University of Havana. She received several grants for research projects related to Cuba in the 90s and early 2000s.

Researching Latin America, she became increasingly interested in and concerned about the dogmatic, even bigoted nature of academic philosophy in North America: It is often taught as though three entire continents have no philosophical traditions worth teaching. When courses on African, Latin American or Asian philosophy are offered (rarely), they receive little importance.

Dr. Babbitt has authored four books and co-edited one, along with numerous articles. She is currently working on Freedom and Death: Philosophical Reflections on Dhamma (Cause and Effect), bringing together two areas of research: early or Theravada Buddhism and (Cuban philosopher) José Martí. She writes regularly for the news web sites, Counterpunch and Global Research.

Book Reviews by Susan Babbitt

Reviewed by: 

Sister Helen Prejean is known for campaigning against the death penalty, reinstated in the US in 1976, responsible for 1, 940 deaths.

Reviewed by: 

“the book is eminently worth reading for its compassion, research, and practical insight.”

Reviewed by: 

Nelson Mandela wrote hundreds of letters from August 5, 1962, until February 11, 1990. Prison Letters is a selection.

Reviewed by: 

The communes of the ’70s were “weird, wacky and mostly dysfunctional.” So said the Guardian Weekly about Christiania, a Copenhagen military barracks claimed by “seekers of peace” in 1971.

Reviewed by: 

The graphic format of a biography of Stephen Hawking has advantages. For one, pictures explain the science.

Reviewed by: 

When someone says, “She’s a lesbian, but really nice,” the “but” reveals unfair bias. Jonathan Hansen’s “revisionist” account of Fidel Castro is of this sort.

Author(s):
Genre(s):
Reviewed by: 

The Apology is a personal story of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. It is also about healing. It’s a controversial approach to healing, and the author is unaware.

Reviewed by: 

Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers gives morality an explanatory role. In international politics “moral actions help [a rising power] to establish a degree of credibility . . .

Reviewed by: 

Given the title of this book, one expects to learn how writing brings social change and, since interviews are from “the edge,” one expects that change to be radical.

Reviewed by: 

Tony Perrottet intends his well-researched Cuba Libre! to be “entertaining and readable, unsaturated by ideology.” He succeeds in the first but not the second.  Perrottet doesn’t discuss i

Author(s):
Genre(s):
Reviewed by: 

Voluntary repatriation was psychological warfare. So argues this intriguing book about the Korean War.

Reviewed by: 

Emmett Till’s murder was the “first great media event of the Civil Rights movement.” Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till provides new detail: the family, the trial, and o

Reviewed by: 

Sleep of Memory shows how literature trumps philosophy and political theory.

Author(s):
Reviewed by: 

Some say protests in Gaza are useless. Nothing is gained. There are no tangible results. But they may be asking the wrong question. Sometimes, tangible results are not what matters.

Author(s):
Genre(s):
Reviewed by: 

In Prisoner of Pinochet, Sergio Bitar describes harsh imprisonment after the U.S.-backed coup against Salvador Allende in 1973.

Reviewed by: 

Two points stand out about this short book. First and foremost is the Dalai Lama himself. The book’s message pales beside the author himself. He laughs.