Books

Searching for Socialism: the Project of the Labour New Left from Benn to Corbyn, Colin Leys and Leo Panitch, Verso £8.99

Issue section: 
Author: 

Searching for Socialism is a history of the Labour Party from the 1970s until 2019. Its authors, the Canadian academic Leo Panitch and British author Colin Leys, have condensed their 2000 book, The End of Parliamentary Socialism, to form the first five chapters. The rest of the book consists of new material on Labour under Blair, Brown, Miliband and Corbyn.

Hiding in Plain Sight: the Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America, Sarah Kendzior, Flatiron £22

Issue section: 

If you only read one journalistic account of Donald Trump’s America make sure it is Sarah Kendzior’s Hiding in Plain Sight. It is certainly one of the most devastating indictments not only of the Crooked President himself but of the corrupt system that put him in power. Kendzior first came to notice with the publication of a collection of her journalism, The View from Flyover Country, which provides a powerful account of post-2008 America from the point of view of the blue and white collar working class.

Sway: the Science of Unconscious Bias by Pragya Argawal

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

This book represents what has largely become mainstream thinking on race, gender, sex and sexuality. Argawal argues that a large body of human behaviour, especially oppression, prejudice and discrimination, results from irrational decisions governed by our implicit or unconscious bias towards people who are different to us.

She combines her experiences as a single parent from India with her academic research in behavioural science.

Burned: The Inside Story of the ‘Cash-for-Ash’ Scandal

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Earlier this month Sir Patrick Coghlan’s enquiry into Northern Ireland’s Renewal Heating Initiative (RHI) scandal published its 650 page report.

It took 270,000 words to effectively whitewash the role of Stormont Executive and the DUP’s Arlene Foster in particular. It concluded that ‘there was no evidence of corruption’ whilst acknowledging ‘incompetence’ and ‘wholly inappropriate behaviour’ from ministers and their advisors.

The Romance of American Communism

Issue section: 
Issue: 

One of the great enigmas of working class history is how it was that so many fine working class militants, men and women, embraced Stalinism and either refused to believe in or actually helped cover up its crimes.

They happily followed political strategies dictated by Moscow and aimed to further Soviet foreign policy rather than the class struggle.

Who the Hell is Karl Marx? And What Are His Theories All About?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Do we need another book on Marx? Many recently published books deal with Marx’s approach to history, to economics, to ecology and to the family in innovative and exciting ways. Having read this book, the answer is a definite yes.

We need books that present Marx and his ideas to new readers, and which remind all readers of the depth of the tradition in which we stand and its capacity to explain and contest the challenges we face.

Civilization Critical: Energy, Food, Nature and the Future

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Darrin Qualman was the primary researcher and writer for the National Farmers Union, a Canadian organisation of farm families promoting environmentally safe farming practices, until 2010. His work focused on food, agriculture, energy, climate change, the environment, the economy and trade.

His book offers a complex analysis of civilisation today, focusing on our energy, food and material flows. His analysis of past civilisations demonstrates the environmental impacts produced by the power sources fuelling them.

The Lost Decade, 2000-2010, and What Lies Ahead for Britain

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Welcome to Polly Toynbee’s unremittingly grey Britain. Of course, there are very many elements of truth to the picture she and her co-author David Walker paint in this book about a decade of Tory rule, all of which will be familiar to readers of this magazine.

This is a compendium of reminders of just how much the Tories have lied, attacked the most vulnerable, overseen a huge rise in homelessness, poverty, inequality and rotten, badly paid jobs, used racism to divide and so on.

The mirror and the light

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The final book in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about the sixteenth century statesman Thomas Cromwell has finally arrived. The success of the previous books—Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up The Bodies (2012)—made Mantel a superstar among authors and the publication of the final part of the story has been afforded the sort of saturation media coverage more usually associated with the likes of the Harry Potter franchise than with serious literature.

Not Working

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Government figures on the labour market are, on the face of it, perplexing for socialists. They show employment up and unemployment down, both apparently to ‘record’ levels. But this is in the shadow of an extremely weak post-recession recovery, when the picture shouldn’t be anything like as rosy.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Books