Books

Shooting the Darkness

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This book of photographs is linked to a documentary of the same name. It tells some of the stories of the Troubles in Northern Ireland using the photographs and memories of seven photographers: Stanley Matchett, Trevor Dickson, Alan Lewis, Martin Nangle, Crispin Rodwell and Paul Faith.

They each have their own chapter where they explain something of their own professional lives before providing a commentary on their photographs, which span from the 1960s until the early noughties.

On the Doors

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Eliza Gearty’s debut novel is vivid and utterly engaging, grabbing you from the very first page and pulling you up and down Glasgow’s sandstone tenement flats, into living rooms filled with clouds of tobacco and along the city’s iconic streets.

The book is loosely based on Gearty’s own experiences as a door-to-door fundraiser, and is told through the character, Emma. Emma works for a homelessness charity and, like many fundraisers, and until only recently, a sharply rising number of the population, is employed on a zero-hour contract.

On Fire

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For 20 years Naomi Klein has been one of the foremost activists, journalists and writers within the anti-capitalist and environmental movements. From No-Logo, a book that epitomised the anti-capitalist politics of the Seattle generation, to This Changes Everything, a polemic that put the blame for the climate crisis squarely on capitalism, her books are powerful critiques of a world that puts profit before people and planet.

The Debt Delusion

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John F Weeks sets out to demonstrate how there is an alternative to austerity, effectively exposing the Machiavellian machinations of Conservative policies along the way.

Austerity myths were constructed carefully over time and the author is at pains to systematically demolish the lot. His sleuthing is done with relish and enthusiasm as he urges us to “change the rules and drive ourselves”.

Empire of Borders

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This is a powerful book, an indictment of a system where borders are used to divide people. After 9/11 “the war on terror” was used to justify a massive growth in the security industry and the strengthening of borders. Yet Todd argues borders are above all to stop the world’s poor from moving into countries where global wealth resides.

Going Home

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The murderous attack and eviction of tens of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 (Nakba) from their homes and land by Israeli Zionists signalled the cruel and inhumane methods that the newly established colonialist state would employ and condone in securing their goal of a “homeland”.

Hostile Environment

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This is an important book, remorselessly chronicling how “the UK’s immigration politics” have “devastated” the lives of hundreds of thousands of people over the years. Maya Goodfellow starts off with the then home secretary Theresa May’s proudly proclaimed “hostile environment” policy, which ministers boasted was intended to be “cruel”. And, for once, they were true to their word. The “Windrush scandal” was “an almost inevitable consequence of the impossible system” that May put in place.

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