Books

Crowds and Party

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For a decade or more there has been a sustained assault on the need for a political party in order to achieve social change. Many of the great movements of 2011 such as Occupy and 15M in the Spanish state explicitly rejected parties and leadership. This is now changing.

Venezuela Reframed

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Venezuela’s state capitalist economy and its political dynamics have been shaped in the past 16 years by the indigenous population. In Venezuela Reframed the author argues that constitutional rights for indigenous people were made a priority through state-led capitalist development. He seeks to assess how successful Chavez’s Bolivarian movement has been in extending these rights.

My Turn

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Doug Henwood sets out to challenge the idea that Hillary Clinton represents anything to do with progress or real change. “The case for Hillary boils down to this: she has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.” Now Bernie Sanders’ challenge has forced her to tack left. Even her feminist claims have been undermined by polls showing women prefer Sanders. Rejecting misogynist attacks on Clinton, Henwood explains he’s not interested in analysing her policies as she’s unlikely to stick to them. It’s her political record that counts, and it’s “not inspiring”.

The Egyptians

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Egypt’s 25 January revolution in 2011 was a moment in which history flipped upside down. It was a period of momentous events that are far from over. The counter-revolution of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who seized power in May 2013, appears to have put the lid back on the street movements, strikes and protests that were unleashed by the Arab Spring.

Makhan Singh: A revolutionary Kenyan trade unionist

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Many vital leaders through 200 years of struggle against racism, imperialism and capitalism are forgotten, or appear simply as footnotes. So it’s always a pleasure to be reminded of their activities.

Makhan Singh was a communist, born in India in 1913, who was central to the development of trade unions in Kenya, an east African state that was part of the British Empire.

1956: The World in Revolt

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1956 was a year of change across the world. The apparently stable international order imposed by the victorious powers at the end of the Second World War was challenged by a series of dramatic revolts. This book provides an excellent survey of the key events from Budapest to Cairo and Algiers to Montgomery, Alabama.

Author Simon Hall brings their impact home with lively and inspiring blow by blow accounts and portraits of key personalities such as Rosa Parks, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Imre Nagy.

A Man's World

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“I kill a man and most people forgive me. However, I love a man and many say this makes me an evil person.” These are the words of world boxing champion Emile Griffith. A Man’s World tells the incredible story of the black man who lived this terrible contradiction.

Griffith died aged 75, just months after Orlando Cruz, the Puerto Rican boxer, came out publicly as gay in October 2012. He was the first ever professional boxer to do so.

Clara Zetkin: Letters and Writings

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Clara Zetkin’s life saw some of the most momentous events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

She was a leading member of the German Socialist Party until the outbreak of the First World War.

She fought politically alongside Rosa Luxemburg — a close friend — and Karl Liebknecht, breaking with the German Socialist Party to found the Spartakus League and then the German Communist Party.

War Against the People

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An Israeli security company, International Security and Defence Systems (ISDS) — with the very active support of the Israeli government — was brought in to advise the Brazilian government on security measures during the 2014 World Cup and this year’s Olympic Games.

On its advice, in 2010 a large contract was awarded to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for drones, electric fences, ground radar, sensors and satellite technology.

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