The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture CornerRumble & How to Hide an Empire

Jul 18, 2022

Film: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a 2019 documentary, available to stream on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon

The award-winning documentary looks at Native Americans’ influence on American music. In the face of horrific attacks on their lives and way of life, their cultural influence lives on in modern music.

The film shows their influence in pre-blues, and how the mingling of Native Americans and Black Americans fostered a merger in blues and in jazz and how it helped change the trajectory of rock and roll. The film features scenes from Mardi Gras and folk music, and musicians Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy St. Marie, Danny Castillo, and others, and features interviews discussing how these artists and their culture inspired and changed music.

Book: How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr, 2019

This book exposes how the United States is not just the fifty states. It lays bare that the U.S. has a hidden history of deception here at home in the U.S., and more hidden history abroad, in which it ruthlessly conquered and exploited a large colonial empire all over the world. It hid this by saying they were “civilizing” these populations, that they were “helping” them, all the time stripping them of wealth and even taking their lives.

In the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South and Central America, and many more, he describes in crackling and wry prose the gripping and startling details of America’s conquests. He graphically and even with humor tells outrageous story after story of the relationships the U.S. has with the rest of the world, how U.S. policies further the interests of the rich, and how and why the U.S. moved from having colonies or territories to a modern policy of globalization. Essential reading to understand the U.S. role in the world and how it needs to change.