Socialist Review issue

November 2009 #341

1989 - 2009


by Nahella Ashraf

The war in Afghanistan has spread to Pakistan, and now the US is struggling to contain the disaster they call the Afpak war.

by Panos Garganas

It is not very often that governments decide to commit political suicide, but that is exactly what the ruling conservative party of New Democracy...

by Patrick Ward

The Tax Payers' Alliance (TPA) describes itself as "Britain's independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes...The TPA is committed to forcing...

by Stefan Bornost

The results of September's general election in Germany are contradictory. It brought to power a right wing combination of a conservative-liberal...

by Patrick Ward

"I don't take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won't let them block change anymore," said Barack Obama in a campaign ad...

by Patrick Ward

Jamie Leigh Jones, a Halliburton/KBR worker, alleges that she was drugged and then raped by seven male contractors in Iraq in 2005 and then locked...

by Lindsey German

A poll conducted after the Tory party conference last month showed that they were down one percentage point over the previous month, while Labour...


Mark L Thomas

Mass social movements swept across Eastern Europe 20 years ago, toppling repressive Stalinist regimes that had claimed to be socialist. Mark L Thomas introduces our coverage of the anniversary as...

Mike Haynes

What happened to the illusions that free market capitalism would bring democracy, social justice and equality to the societies of Eastern Europe? Mike Haynes reports

Colin Barker

Twenty years ago popular mass movements brought down the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe. Such movements are the crucial vehicles of social transformation and the sole means through which...

Mark Dolan

With postal workers taking to the picket lines last month, Mark Dolan, a prominent CWU activist, writes about strikes, rank and file organisation and 30 years working in the post office

Slavoj Žižek

Cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek offers a thought provoking analysis of how ideology embeds itself by structuring the way we react to the conditions of our daily lives

Simon Gilbert

Post-revolutionary China needed rapid industrialisation to meet the demands of the middle class and compete with other capitalist states, but it was the workers and peasants who paid the price....


Letter from
by Hsiao-Hung Pai

The 60th anniversary of the People's Republic has become a nationalistic festival of "ethnic harmony" manufactured to cover massive discontent, reports Hsiao-Hung Pai

Union-made column
by Julia Rapkin

Migrant workers are no longer a marginal part of the workforce in Britain or simply a "reserve army of labour".

In perspective column
by Chris Harman

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, many on the left concluded that socialism had failed. Others of us saw these countries as state capitalist and an integral part of the world system. This theory...

Culture column
by Martin Smith

A popular joke in Soviet era Poland went something like this: "One day a pre-school teacher told her class, 'In Poland all kids are happy. They have lots of beautiful toys and live in great...


by David Glanz

Ian Taylor's article (Feature, Socialist Review, September 2009) rightly condemns the print unions NGA and SOGAT...

by Benjamin Kindler

I found last month's article on China interesting and Charlie Hore is right to point out that what happened in 1949 was not a socialist revolution (Feature,...

by John Richmond

I am not an SWP supporter but I love your magazine.

by Marc James Leger

Lindsey German's column on 21st century feminism (Column, Socialist Review, October 2009) reiterates many of the...


The news that Chris Harman had died of a suspected heart attack in Cairo is shocking. This loss will be felt by all of us who have worked with him, who have read his articles and books and heard...


by Judith Orr

In Killeen, Texas, the Under the Hood Cafe is getting military families and soldiers organised. Its founder, Cynthia Thomas, talks to Judith Orr



Rabab El-Mahdi and Philip Marfleet, Zed Books; (£16.99)

by Adam Fabry

János M Rainer, IB Tauris; £20

by John Parrington

Roland Chambers, Faber & Faber; £20

by Miriam Scharf

Shlomo Sand, Verso; £13.99

by Patrick Ward

Stieg Larsson, MacLehose Press; £18.99

by Andrew Stone

G A Cohen, Princeton University Press; £12.99

by Neil Davidson

Tom Gallagher, Hurst and Company; £12.99

by Mike Gonzalez

Max Aub, Verso; £12.99

by Roger Cox

Jordan Goodman, Verso; £17.99

by Sarah Ensor

Tony Benn, Hutchinson; £18.99

by Jonathan Maunder

Slavoj Zizek, Verso; £7.99


The Thing Around Your Neck - Five Years of My Life - Umpteen Pockets - The Silence Seeker

by Louis Bayman

Director Grant Heslov; Release date: 6 November

by Alexander Harker

Director Park Chan-Wook; Release date: out now

by Christophe Chataigné

Director Philippe Lioret; Release date: 6 November

by Sally Campbell

Director Michael Haneke; Release date: 13 November

by Beth Stone

Release date: out now

by Jack Farmer

By David Hare; National Theatre, London until 10 January

Five Things Listing

Revolution on paper - Ms Understood - Age of Stupid - Bonjour - This Much is True

Art / Exhibitions
by Mike Gonzalez

British Museum, London