James Haywood

The Insurrectionists

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William J Fishman, Five Leaves, £9.99

This book attempts to trace the path from the early revolutionary theory of the French Jacobins of the late 18th century to the Bolshevism of the early 20th century. The majority of the book is made up of fascinating condensed biographies of the major players in revolutionary and socialist thought, from François-Noël Babeuf and Louis Auguste Blanqui of France, to Petr Tkachev and Julius Martov of Russia.

A Child in Palestine

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Naji al-Ali, Verso; £9.99

The cartoons of the legendary Palestinian character, Hanthala, are composed into this beautiful collection.

One drawing sees a man holding his dead child in his arms, the child's hands amputated and bloody, behind him a cinema screen reads "The End" - the horror in Palestine continues after the news finishes. Another depicts Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan in bed under a duvet of the map of the world, with Reagan taking too much of the cover; an incredibly simple, yet powerful, image.

Buda's Wagon: a brief history of the car bomb

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Author: 

Mike Davis, Verso, £7.99

Although the very concept of this book may make some socialists flinch, Davis's book, now released in paperback, is actually a very good read. Some fascinating nuggets of history are unearthed.

For example, it was none other than Zionists in Palestine who first effectively utilised the car bomb as a weapon of urban warfare.

Whose crisis?

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Chris Harman's article on the financial crisis (Feature, Socialist Review, February 2008) highlighted the most important historical problems facing capitalism today.

The ideological basis of so-called "Middle England" has precisely been the massive lending by banks to workers to keep the economy running. The figure quoted in Harman's article of British workers' "debt to disposable income ratio" at 162.9 percent is truly astounding. Some workers do have large TVs, cars, etc, but when personal debt reaches this level the very "ownership" of these goods is put into question.

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