The Anti-Empire Report – October 30

October 31, 2008

The Anti-Empire Report
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life
October 30, 2008
by William Blum

Don’t tell my mother I work at the White House. She thinks I play the piano in a whore house.

The Republican presidential campaign has tried to make a big issue of Barack Obama at one time associating with Bill Ayers, a member of the 1960s Weathermen who engaged in political bombings.

Governor Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, although Ayers’ association with the Weathermen during their period of carrying out anti-Vietnam War bombings in the United States took place when Obama was around 8-years-old.

Contrast this with who President Ronald Reagan, so beloved by the Republican candidates, associated with. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. This is how they spent their time when they were not screaming “Death to America”. CIA and State Department officials called Hekmatyar “scary,” “vicious,” “a fascist,” “definite dictatorship material”.

None of this prevented the Reagan administration from inviting the man to the White House to meet with Reagan, and showering him with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan.

Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush, palled around with characters almost as unsavory during his first campaign for the presidency in 1988. His campaign staff included a number of genuine pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic types from Eastern and Central Europe. Several of these worthies were leaders of the Republican campaign’s ethnic outreach arm, the Coalition of American Nationalities, despite the fact that their checkered past was not a big secret. One of them, Laszlo Pasztor (or Pastor) had served in the pro-Nazi Hungarian government’s embassy in Berlin during the Second World War.

This had been revealed in a 1971 page-one story in the Washington Post. When this past was again brought up in September 1988, the Republicans were obliged to dump Pasztor and four others of his ilk from Bush’s campaign.

And who has John McCain been palling around with? Who has been co-chair of McCain’s New York campaign and a foreign policy adviser to McCain himself? None other than the illustrious unindicted war criminal and mass murderer Henry Kissinger, who must be very careful when he travels to Europe for there are committed and serious people in several countries there who will again try to have him arrested for the crimes against humanity he’s responsible for … Chile … Angola … East Timor … Vietnam … Laos … Cambodia …

By contrast, there is no evidence that Bill Ayers was involved in any Weathermen bombing that killed anyone; nor have I seen any evidence that on the very rare occasion that an anti-Vietnam War bombing in the United States resulted in a casualty that it could be ascribed to the Weathermen.

John McCain’s bombings certainly killed – some two dozen aerial attacks upon the people of Vietnam, people who had neither done nor threatened any harm to him or his country. What label do we give to such acts, to such a man? His level of violence is matched by his degree of hypocrisy. Speaking of Ayers, McCain asked: “How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?”

Full Report

Ready for rapture

October 29, 2008

New Book Collects Miles Davis Interviews

October 29, 2008


New book collects Miles Davis interviews

Legendary trumpeter and St. Louis area native Miles Davis is one of the most talked-about and written-about musicians of the late 20th century, and he’s now the subject of yet another book, Miles on Miles, which collects 30 interviews from various periods of Davis’ storied career.

The blurb from publishers Lawrence Hill Books describes the volume as “essential reading for anyone who wants to know what Miles Davis thought about his music, life, and philosophy. Miles on Miles reveals the jazz icon as a complex and contradictory man, secretive at times but extraordinarily revealing at others.

Full Article

Review of “W.”

October 28, 2008

W: A crude approach is not good for grasping much of anything
By David Walsh

W. is veteran American director Oliver Stone’s film about the life and career of President George W. Bush. It was shot and edited rapidly for release while Bush was still in office. The November 4 election was no doubt a consideration as well.

The film is a collection of episodes, broadly written and performed, following Bush from his student days at Yale to the disastrous turn that the Iraq war took for the US in 2003-2004. W. contains two time frames—the first treats Bush’s earlier life impressionistically, offering glimpses of him over the course of several decades; the second, dealing with his first years in the White House, dwells at greater length on the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

The pivot of the film occurs in 1986, around the time of his 40th birthday, when Bush “sees the light” and becomes a reborn Christian. The film takes seriously the notion that he conquered his inner demons and made something of himself.

A theme throughout is Bush’s conflict and rivalry with his father, George H. W. Bush, congressman, CIA director, vice president and, ultimately, president from 1989 to 1993. We first see the youthful Bush (Josh Brolin), 20 or so, when he’s being hazed at a Yale University fraternity house. Later, Bush phones his father (James Cromwell)—now a congressman—from jail, and receives a warning that this had better be the last such incident.

Intercut with that material are scenes of the Bush White House, and in particular, the debate over a prospective war with Iraq following the events of September 2001. Vice President Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (Dennis Boutsikaris) are the most ardent advocates of an invasion, countering the skepticism and reluctance of Secretary of State Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright).

The young Bush carries on, from one escapade to another, eventually meeting his future wife, Laura (Elizabeth Banks), in 1977. Defeated in a run for Congress by a populist Democrat, Bush promises “never to be out-Texased again.” In 1986, he moves to Washington, and experiences his conversion. A huckster evangelist, Earle Hudd (Stacy Keach), presides over Bush’s change of heart.

Switching once again to the more recent past, Stone’s film presents Cheney delivering a lecture on Iraqi and Iranian oil reserves, pointing to the region and the Straits of Hormuz in particular as the “chokepoint of civilization.”

The film cuts back in time again, and we see Bush senior presiding over the Gulf War in 1991, making the decision, with which his son disagrees, not to march on Baghdad. George W. announces his plan to run for governor of Texas in 1994, much to his family’s consternation.

In 1999, he tells his preacher-advisor, “God wants me to run for president.” We jump to 2003 and the fraudulent claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Hussein regime’s efforts to get hold of “yellow cake” uranium ore from Niger. Finally, the invasion occurs and Bush announces “mission accomplished” in May. The fiasco then unfolds.

Oliver Stone has never been a subtle director. He perceives himself, it seems, as someone who strives to treat a given subject in broad strokes. Stone told an interviewer from GQ magazine that, like George W. Bush, he has the tendency not to want “to pay too much attention to details.”

The director possesses a lively vulgarity, which he applies to glaringly public and intimate moments alike. Occasionally, this is effective and attractive; here, more often than not, however, it is not.

The references to Bush’s fascination with baseball and his aspiration to become the professional sport’s commissioner seem about right. He and the world might have been happier. A final scene, in which now-President Bush is unable to answer a simple question from a reporter, as to whether he had made any mistakes or done any soul-searching, is telling. These moments are exceptions.

Malice doesn’t seem the clue to the problems in W. so much as great confusion, and ignorance of American social realities.

It is a fallacy to imagine that a crude approach can adequately grasp a crude subject. In general, a crude approach is not good for grasping much of anything. Because Bush is an extremely limited human being doesn’t mean that his life and advancement are not bound up with complex questions, or even that his own psychology is an open book. Stone, unhappily, seems most at home with moments of drunkenness, backwardness, unconsciousness. He revels in and savors them.

Stone’s and screenwriter Stanley Weiser’s Bush is an eternal frat boy, living in the shadow of his father. He’s essentially well-intentioned, if unevolved, amiable, but prone to angry outbursts, impulsive. Brolin does an effective impersonation of the public Bush, but it’s not clear that we are much further in the direction of understanding the man who would become America’s 43rd president.

The film catches largely at externals, in its look, feel and social perceptions. As always, a good deal of effort has gone into making certain that hairdos, clothes, automobiles and furniture correspond to the respective eras.

To explain Bush’s trajectory, as W. does, largely on the basis of his unresolved conflict with his father begs the question. Many people have such battles, many, alas, also “find Jesus” at present, many leave off drinking—very, very few are elevated to the White House.

It’s true that W. makes obligatory reference to other questions: the pursuit of Iraq’s oil reserves, for example. In relation, however, to the significance of that issue and its consequences—1 million or more Iraqis killed, thousands of Americans dead and wounded, a country ruined, a region driven to the brink of a wider war—the scene is relatively perfunctory and formulaic. Cheney is filmed from a distance, and the moment is not likely to linger in the memory.

This isn’t what Stone feels most deeply or what interests him, in the end. What’s placed in the foreground, in almost perpetual, warts-and-all close-up, are Bush the younger’s relations with his father and family. The sequences in the White House, the discussions of war and torture, are fairly flat and unevocative. The film gets its adrenaline pumping almost exclusively during the intra-family squabbles.

Neither element is entirely convincing, because a deeper grasp of the relation between Bush’s personality, his family and the larger world of American politics social life eludes the director and screenwriter.

Stone framed his film to an interviewer from the Guardian in the following manner: “How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?” He continued: “He had tremendous personal problems, and I have to give him enormous credit—he did overcome them, through willpower. Whether he solved them is another issue, but he overcame certain states of mind.”

This, to put it politely, is inadequate. To put its shallowness in context, one must consider Stone’s background.

Born to privilege in a staunchly Republican family, and a fellow student of Bush’s at Yale in the 1960s, Stone enlisted in the military and volunteered for combat in Vietnam. The experience shattered and changed him. To his credit, he translated that into two films hostile to US imperialism’s intervention in Southeast Asia, Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989).

Vietnam and related events knocked Goldwater Republicanism out of Stone and propelled him toward the “counter-culture” and various strands of protest and liberalism, and hedonism, but it did not equip him with a coherent and profound understanding of American class society. This is not entirely his fault. The intellectual laziness and evasiveness of the New Left and the anti-war protest movement could not have provided such an insight, nor did they have any desire to.

Stone is something of a lost soul, alienated from his social and ideological roots, but never finding his way to a more substantial and politically informed opposition to American capitalism. He is congenitally all over the place; indeed, one might say, that is his life’s vocation.

His comments about W. wander here and there, and few of them indicate any grasp of the questions involved in the effort to bring Bush’s life accurately and meaningfully to the screen.

“It’s not a political film,” Stone told Maxim magazine, “but a Shakespearean one. It’s a film about George W. rebelling against his father, doing better than his father, believing that he’s stronger than his father, and outdoing his father…and it’s about the colossal mistakes he made and the lies he told. In a way it’s Oedipal. One can say he did kill the father because he did destroy the legacy, the name. It’s a big thing with the Bushes.”

In passing, the same interviewer can note that Stone “has little sympathy for Bush, who he says is responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths abroad and the corrosion of civil liberties at home and the fortune of future generations squandered.” The director, however, tells the interviewer from GQ that the film is “light,” prompting the question, “Wait, are you saying this movie is a comedy?,” to which Stone replies: “Well, it has to be done with an ebullience and a certain fun, because the guy is goofy. He’s a goofball!”

The inconsistency and unseriousness are not Stone’s alone, they are shared by a wide layer of pragmatic middle class iconoclasts and critics in the US, who lament this or that feature of American life, even warn histrionically about incipient “fascism,” and then go about their daily business complacent as clams.

That George W. Bush is an empty vessel would not be disputed by many thinking people. But how, the filmmakers might have asked themselves, is it possible that American capitalism placed its fortunes in the hands of such a lowlife?

No serious reference is made to the ultra-right forces that pushed Bush forward, the same forces responsible for the Clinton sex scandal and impeachment drive. Stone, in a peculiar manner, takes the Bush “success story” at face value. No doubt Bush junior had his conscious or semiconscious motives, but what driving forces, as Marxists know to ask, stood behind those motives and by what social elements was he picked up?

A more plausible explanation than the time-worn Oedipal story is that Bush was merely a front man for more conscious and politically motivated forces, with a wide-ranging and reactionary agenda at home and abroad. Painted as amiable and down-to-earth by the media, partial to vague “values,” supposedly conservative but “compassionate,” with a well-known family name, Bush was directed toward the White House; he had relatively little to do with the matter. No doubt, if he had not stopped drinking and carousing, the opportunity would have been closed to him, but that is about the most one can say of his “overcoming” his “personal problems.”

The deterioration in the political representatives of the ruling elite is a function, in the final analysis, of the decline in its fortunes and prospects. George W. Bush’s ascension to prominence speaks to the terminal crisis of American capitalism. Now a cosmetic change may be necessary, but Bush was no accident: he represented accurately the dominant section of the US establishment—arrogant, shortsighted and criminal to the core.

Some of those same forces, chastened by the experience, are now endorsing Sen. Barack Obama in an effort to compensate for their sin.

Stone and Weiser sacrifice art and truth to narrow political concerns. Scandalously, they make no mention of Bush’s presiding over 153 executions as governor of Texas, in one case mocking a woman’s pleas for mercy. The deep sadism of the man is missing. Nor is the hijacking of the 2000 election treated. In both cases, no doubt scenarist and director sought to avoid “partisan” and “controversial” issues, which would have brought the right-wing media down on their heads. As a result of Stone’s ideological blindness or, not to mince words, political cowardice, the full picture of the man and his period is not here.

Along the same lines, Stone portrays Bush the elder as a stern and honorable figure, when, in fact, he was (and is) a corrupt, greedy representative of the ruling elite, and as CIA director, up to his elbows in blood. The filmmakers also, in passing, canonize Colin Powell as a voice of moderation, entirely undeservedly. The chief diplomatic liar for the Bush administration and a war criminal in his own right, Powell developed public differences only after he saw that the Iraq war was going badly.

All in all, Stone and Weiser have no historical or sociological purchase on Bush. Such an understanding wouldn’t preclude individual psychology; on the contrary, it would create the context in which those private relations would take on real, full-bodied life. That opportunity was not taken.

Cartoon of the Day

October 28, 2008

Troy Davis given a stay of execution!

October 24, 2008

There will be no execution on Monday!!!!

A great development for sure but the struggle to save Troy’s life is far from over.

Continue fighting the executioners!

Continue fighting for justice!

Court issues stay of execution for Troy Davis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, October 24, 2008

The federal appeals court in Atlanta on Friday stayed the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, who was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Monday evening.

“Upon our thorough review of the record, we conclude that Davis has met the burden for a stay of execution,” the court said in a ruling issued by Judges Joel Dubina, Rosemary Barket and Stanley Marcus.

Davis, 40, recently lost an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Davis is on death row for the Aug. 19, 1989, murder of 27-year-old Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Since Davis’ trial, seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.

The defendant’s claims of innocence have drawn opposition to his execution from leaders across the globe, including former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI.

Davis’ lawyers expressed relief and jubilation over the court’s decision.

“This is the first step toward a court hearing to consider the new evidence – something we have been asking for for almost a decade now,” attorney Jason Ewart said.

Neither MacPhail’s mother or sister had heard the news when a reporter called. The officer’s 75-year-old mother, Anneliese, declined to comment until she had more information.

MacPhail’s sister, Kathy McQuary, cried.

Earlier this week, Davis asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to pursue another round of appeals in federal court on claims he is actually innocent. Permission for a new round of appeals is required under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

On Friday, the court said the stay of execution is conditional. Davis must make a showing he can meet the “stringent requirements” to pursue another round of appeals, the decision said.

The court directed Davis’ lawyers to file a legal brief on their arguments within 15 days. The state Attorney General’s Office has another 10 days to respond

Troy Davis Global Action Day

October 23, 2008

Only four days left before the scheduled execution that’s been set because both the Supreme Court and the State of Georgia decided to ignore overwhelming evidence of Troy Davis’ innocence.

Please do whatever you can to help save this innocent man’s life.

Stand Firm For Justice!

From National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Activists and lawyers are working around the clock to stop the scheduled execution of Troy Davis from happening on October 27. New appeals were filed yesterday. The time is now to attend actions and contact public officials (contact info listed at the bottom of this message).

Amnesty International has issued a call for a Global Day of Action set for today (Thursday, October 23) in conjunction with a large rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta to stop the execution of Troy Davis. The rally will begin at 6 PM.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty supports this initiative and is encouraging all of our members, supporters and allies to participate in some way. If you can attend the rally in Atlanta, please do so. If not, find an action in your community and attend. Those we know of are listed below.

Also scroll down to the bottom of this email for contact info of Georgia public officials you can contact.

Here is a list of scheduled actions:


206 Washington Street SW
*Reverend Al Sharpton, National Action Network
*Larry Cox, Executive Director Amnesty International
*Steve Hawkins, NAACP Executive Vice President
*MC’d by Lorraine Jacques White, radio host on WAOK

Sponsored by Amnesty International, NAACP and National Action Network
For more info call 404-876-5661 x13
SOLIDARITY ACTIONS (See below for full announcements):
*Washington, DC
*New Hampshire
*New York


Thursday, October 23, 4 PM
Solidarity Rally for Troy Davis
Memorial Union, Arizona State University
Contact or


Solidarity Rally for Troy Davis
Desert Sun, 750 N. Gene Autry Trail
Thursday, Oct. 23 noon
More info:

Join the Global Day of Action for Troy Davis
Thursday, October 23rd
5:00 pm, Powell and Market, San Francisco
Help us gather petition signatures

Speak out on the day of the scheduled execution
Stand in solidarity with Troy
Monday, October 27th
3:00 pm, Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco
Stand in solidarity with Troy

For more info call: 510-394-8925
Sponsored by the CEDP and Death Penalty Focus

Action at Old Town Square, Fort Collins
Th. Oct. 23, 4 PM
More info:


Columbia Heights: Th. Oct. 23, 6 PM
STAND FIRM FOR JUSTICE: Solidarity Rally for Troy Davis
Corner of 14th St. and Park Rd. NW (the paved triangular area), right by the Columbia Heights Metro.

Howard University: Th. Oct. 23, 12:30 PM
Solidarity Rally for Troy Davis
Outside Douglass Jall, by flagpole
More info:

Atlanta: 10-26-08, 6 PM
Prayer rally for Troy Davis and Friends of God Concert
Immanuel Baptist Church, 644 Memorial Drive
More info: Pastor George,

Kennesaw: Oct. 23, noon
Emergency SpeakOut to Save Troy Davis
Campus green, Kennesaw State University
GET ON THE BUS! Passenger vans will be transporting students and others to/from Kennesaw State University to the 6
PM downtown rally at the capitol. Seats reserved on a first-come/first-served basis.

Call 607-280-4070 to reserve your seat now. More info: call Matt at 404-452-2697


Chicago: October 23, 5:30 PM
Speak-out for Troy Davis!
DePaul University Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield
March to Quad for candlelight vigil

Sponsored by Amnesty International–DePaul Chapter and Midwest Regional Office; Campaign to End the Death Penalty; DePaul Students Against the Death Penalty; and National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

Contact for more info.

Monday, October 27 5 PM
Speak-out to Save Troy Davis!
Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn
For more info contact the Campaign to End the Death Penalty at or 773-955-4841

Monday, October 27 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Protest the execution of Troy Davis on the campus of Muskegon Community College
Muskegon, MI
More info:


Th. Oct. 23, 3 PM
Vigil at the corner of Wheelock and Main, across from the Hanover Inn
Hanover, NH
More info: 603-448-4655 or


Day of Action NYC:


US Supreme Court denies justice for Troy Davis & lifts stay of execution!

What: Demonstration for Troy Davis

When: Thursday, October 23rd at 5.30 PM

Where: 33rd Street and 8th Avenue – SE corner (NYC)

Who: Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union.

Why: October 14th, the US Supreme Court denied Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis’ request for a new trial. The
decision was a cruel answer to Troy and his family who were hoping the Court would review the facts and
circumstances surrounding his unjust conviction. Troy was convicted without physical evidence — instead, the case
against him relied on witness testimony. However, since his conviction 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted their
testimony at trial.

Troy’s case has become an important battleground for all those who are concerned about the unfairness of a legal
system that routinely sends the poor and minorities to prison without due process. Concerns about Troy’s case have
prompted a wide range of individuals from across the world to call for a halt to his execution. From former President
Jimmy Carter to Rev. Desmond Tutu, people concerned with justice have been organizing on Troy’s behalf.

JOIN US! Join the tens of thousands who demand justice for Troy Davis!

Demonstration this Thursday, 33rd Street and 8th Avenue (NYC).

More info: Alyce Stark,; Jamie Wood,; or Lee Wengraf,


Th. Oct. 23, 5:30 PM
Rally for Troy Davis
Lehigh University Bookstore (on Morton Street).
More info:

Th. Oct. 23, 2 PM
Candlelight Vigil for Troy Davis
Shippensburg University
In front of Ezra Lehman Memorial Library
Sponsored by Amnesty International–Shippensburg University
More info:


Sunday, October 26, 2 PM
Rally and demonstration in support of Troy Davis
Federal Courthouse, W. Brambleton Ave. between Granby and Monticello
Sponsored by Old Dominion University and Hampton Roads Amnesty International Group
For more info, call (757)515-9520 or email

Thursday, Oct. 23, 4 PM
Rally in support of Troy Davis
College of William & Mary, in front of the Wren Building
Sponsored by the William & Mary chapters of the Students for the Innocence Project, the Black Law Students
Association, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union.

More info:


Th. Oct. 23, 6:30 PM
Candlelight Vigil for Troy Davis
Westlake Plaza
Sponsored by Amnesty International Local Group 4
More info: 206-713-5685



Oct. 23, 4:30 PM
Solidarity vigil for Troy Davis
Court of Justice
Sponsored by Amnesty International

Th. Oct. 23, 5:30 PM
Vigil in front of US Embassy
More info: Aude Exertier, Anti Death Penalty Coordinator, AI Canada (French section)

Th. Oct. 23, 6 PM
Rally in front of the Belfort Court of Justice

Th., Oct. 23, 8:30 PM
Rally/Die-in at La Place Saint-Michel

Sa. Oct. 25
Candlelight vigil in front of the cathedral

Th. Oct. 23, 6 PM
Rally in front of the US Consulate

Th. Oct. 23
Vigil at the U.S. Embassy (Grosvenor Square)
Sponsored by Amnesty International


*Text message “TROY” to 90999 to send a message to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

*Write a letter to the editor.

*Call on Georgia public officials to stop Troy’s execution


Chairman Gale Buckner
State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909
Telephone: (404) 657-9350; 404-656-5712 or 404-651-8502
Fax: 404-651-6670; (404)651-8502; (404) 651-5282; (404) 463-6627

Or fax or email a message through Amnesty’s Web site:

Thurbert E. Baker
Office of the Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Ga 30334
Phone:(404) 656-3300
Fax:(404) 657-8733

Spencer Lawton, Chatham County District Attorney
Chief Assistant District Attorney David Locke
133 Montgomery Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone: (912) 652-7308
Fax: (912) 652-7328 or (912) 447-5396

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
Office of the Governor
Georgia State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334


Help Stop the Execution of Troy Davis

October 17, 2008

As expected, the state of Georgia has moved quickly and set an execution date of October 27.

Every minute of every hour of every day, now matters more than ever in this struggle to save Troy Davis’ life and in this fight against the racist and class biased american criminal justice system.

Here are some more actions that can be taken.

From Equal Justice USA

Write a Letter to the Editor about Troy Davis’ Case

Urge the Georgia Board of Pardons & Paroles to grant clemency to Troy Davis

Two first-time authors bring fresh Boricua lit right from the streets

October 17, 2008

Iván Sánchez, autor of the memoir “Next Stop.”

Two first-time authors bring fresh Boricua lit right from the streets

By Carlos Rodríguez Martorell

Two Boricua authors from New York are debuting this fall with stories of hard-earned lessons from the streets.

Iván Sánchez’s harrowing memoir “Next Stop” involves guns, drug dealing, addiction, fights and everything a gang member can experience during a lifetime — only he went through all of it before reaching drinking age.

“I was brought up in a pretty harsh environment,” says Sánchez, 32, whose book, which comes out Tuesday, chronicles the violence-infested Kingsbridge section of the Bronx of the late ’80s and early ’90s.

“My mother left New York when I was 15, and she tried to take us to Virginia,” says Sánchez, who decided to stay in the city.

“Because I was pretty much living alone, I was able to just kind of run wild and make all kinds of mistakes.”

And so did dozens of friends who didn’t live to tell about it. “I lost about 15 or 20 friends killed,” he says, unable to recall the exact number.

Sánchez left the Bronx in 1993 and settled in Virginia, where he lives with his wife Stormy Sanchez and three daughters.

A computer technician, he has partnered with actress April Lee Hernández as a youth advocate and motivational speaker.

“I’ve been able to turn my life around,” says Sánchez, although, as a writer, he may have got himself into trouble. In “Next Stop” (Touchstone, $14), he used the real names of some of his ex-friends’ crack dealers, “a crazy idea,” he admits.

“I’ve received a lot of death threats,” he says. “And I have reasons to fear for my life.”

Once he even brought a bullet proof vest when visiting the city but ended up not wearing it. “I figured if someone’s gonna kill me for writing an honest book, maybe there’s a lesson in that as well.”

Author Daniel Serrano never feared for his life, but did lose the first manuscript of his debut novel, “Gunmetal Black” (Grand Central Publishing), on 9/11.

“I was a paralegal at a reinsurance company that had its offices in Tower 2,” says Serrano, 41, a Brooklyn resident who never made it into Manhattan that day.

“I left three years’ worth of work on the hard drive and on a disk next to the computer,” he says.

Serrano rewrote the entire novel, which is the story of Chicago Boricua Eddie Santiago, an ex-con who dreams of settling down in Miami to run a salsa shop but can’t get a break from old friends and corrupt cops.

“Tough neighborhoods are diverse, and so are Latinos,” says Serrano, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Chicago.

“Growing up, I knew ghetto-nerds like Junot Díaz’s Oscar Wao, but I also knew street-smart kids like Eddie. Myself, I walked somewhere in the middle.”

Most of the action and romance packed “Gunmetal Black,” published last month, is set in Chicago’s Paseo Boricua.

“Today, that neighborhood is largely gentrified, but when I grew up, it was notorious for poverty, crime and drugs,” he says. “Nevertheless, it was a ‘home away from home’ for many Puerto Ricans.”

Although they haven’t met yet, both Sánchez and Serrano share a bond with other Boricua crime writers, such as the late Jerry A. Rodríguez, who died of cancer last June.

“When I read about his passing I choked up and felt a loss, because there was something uniting us,” says Serrano, whose next book is “Boogiedown,” a thriller centering on NYPD Detective Cassandra Maldonado.

As for Sánchez, he has just finished co-writing the autobiography of DJ Disco Wiz, “the first Latino hip-hop deejay in the ’70s,” to be published after his unlikely literary debut.

“In my first interviews after the book came out, [in a self-published edition] people kept asking me if I was a fan of [street-wise writers] Piri Thomas and Luis Rodríguez. And to tell you the god-honest truth, I had never heard of any of them,” he says.

“I had never finish reading an entire book in my life.”

Voice of the Day

October 17, 2008

“Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.”

– Shirley Chisholm