Rachel Eborall

Too Big to Fail

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Andrew Ross Sorkin, Penguin, £14.99

Too Big to Fail soon developed another title in my head: "Why Socialists Yell Jump to Bankers". This book claims to be a moment by moment account of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. However, it turned out to be full of tittle-tattle and gossip.

New Capitalism?

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Kevin Doogan, Polity Press; £16.99

For years we have been told that through neoliberalism the global economy has changed fundamentally and in turn the labour market has been transformed. We are told that there is no such thing as a job for life any more; that because of technological advances capital can easily move from country to country looking for the cheapest labour; that because of open markets multinationals can move to countries like India and China at the drop of a hat. It is claimed that these changes have led to a more precarious world where workers' lives have become more unstable.

Bodies

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Susie Orbach, Profile Books; £10.99

Just walking down the high street means being surrounded by images of bodies being used to sell everything from shaving gel to breakfast cereal. More often than not these bodies are airbrushed and altered so the women portrayed have inflated breasts, tiny waists, rounded bottoms and long legs while men are muscular with angular jaws.

Make them pay

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Over the past month we have seen the effect the economic crisis on the lives of working class people with rising job losses and home repossessions (How will the crisis affect people's lives?, Socialist Review, November 2008).

The government that told us that there wasn't enough money for public services were able to nationalise the banks. Now there are job cuts in the building industry, financial services and manufacturing - the government should renationalise these industries to save jobs.

We should demand that those at threat from eviction should have their homes taken into public ownership. We need to campaign within our trade unions and communities to ensure that the rich pay for their mess.

Rachel Eborall, London

Mad, Bad and Sad

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Lisa Appignanesi, Virago, £20

In Mad, Bad and Sad Lisa Appignanesi sets out to describe the relationship between psychiatry and women over the last 200 years. This is no small ambition but the resulting book is serious, well researched, fascinating and above all humane.

Appignanesi uses the biographies of well known women, including writer Mary Lamb, French revolutionary Theroigne de Mericourt, Alice James (sister of Henry and William), Virginia Woolf, Sabina Spielrein (Jung's patient, lover and early analyst), Sylvia Plath and Marilyn Monroe.

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