Reviews

Unleashing Demons

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It is alleged in some quarters that we are seeing “buyer’s remorse” in the UK over the referendum decision to leave the EU. This reviewer has not felt it and the polls do not seem to support it, but Tony Blair, no less, is threatening to return on the back of it.

There is undoubtedly a more widely held perception that it is somehow more progressive to support the EU than to oppose it. This book, unintentionally, goes some way towards dispelling that particular myth.

No Borders

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The author explains that this book is a combination of PhD research, time spent as an activist in Calais and as a researcher activist in Athens. She says it has been undertaken in this way in order to avoid the artificial separation between theory and practice, which often takes place.

The introduction describes the recent refugee drownings in 2015 and the way in which they were reported. The movement of thousands of people to Europe is presented in most reports as a problem for Europe, and the refugees described first as victims of smugglers and then as criminals themselves.

The Speech

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“A paranoid conspiracy theory” — this is how Frank, lead character of this wholly fictional but entirely plausible novel describes his friend’s suggestion that the authorities, far-right politicians and Nazi thugs could all be ensnared in a web of racism, bigotry and brutality.

Reminiscences of RAR

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Reminiscences of Rock Against Racism (RAR) is an essential buy for every socialist and anti-racist. This is not simply a collection of stories, but a guide to building a mass movement, and it couldn’t be more needed. With the racist bigot Donald Trump in charge of the US and the far-right rising across Europe, the movement against racism needs to be united on a scale much larger than anything we’ve seen in recent years.

Lenin's Moscow

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In this gripping political memoir Alfred Rosmer gives us a very clear, detailed look at what went on during his time in Moscow as a delegate to the Comintern and as a member of the executive committee to the Communist International, from 1920 through to Lenin’s death in 1924.

The Mosaic of Islam

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This book presents a series of critical reflections on the faith and politics of Islam. In the process certain simplistic Western myths about Islam are also undermined.

The book takes the form of interviews with Suleiman Mourad, Professor of Religion at Smith College, Massachusetts, conducted by historian Perry Anderson. The first section explores the composition of the Quran and how this difficult, multi-layered and contradictory text reflects the challenges faced by Mohammed in building up a community of believers.

China on Strike

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Anyone who is feeling a little demoralised and frustrated by the lack of strikes in the UK should add this book to their Christmas list, and then make sure they take some time out to read it.

Everyone knows about the booming Chinese economy, and many people know about the horrendous working conditions of those who have migrated from the countryside to the cities. There are two responses to alienating working conditions. One is the individual response which at best is walking out and at worst committing suicide.

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